When I first came to Dubai back in 2009 you could count the number of coffee roasters on one hand and everyone who loved coffee, knew who the roasters were. Since then the Specialty Coffee scene has exploded and with it has come a raft of new coffee roasters many of whom are of a smaller, boutique type.
The roasters are split into three main categories, defined by me, so bear with me :
Specialty Coffee Cafe with an on site roastery : A perfect place for coffee lovers to hang out. The Coffee shop will be well thought out, there will be a buzz around the coffee and generally theres’s some food on offer too. Watch the roasters at work, chat to the roaster and the baristas and get a really great experience and as an added bonus take away some locally on site roasted coffee too. Generally these types of Cafes are located in more mainstream locations, and have a ‘walking past’ footfall as well as being somewhere for coffee lovers to hunt out. In the cooler months, you’ll spot quite a few of these brands out and about at outdoor markets and events. Whilst Specialty Coffee is their thing, I find that these cafe’s also add some more “trendy blended coffee drinks” on their menu which are crowd pleasers for the non coffee purists whilst the Specialty Coffee lovers will tend to stick to more traditional espresso based drinks or coffee brewed using Chemex, V60, Aeropress etc plus Cold Brew and Nitro Coffee.
Roastery with a Specialty Coffee Cafe : Similar to the first option, but with the subtle change of emphasis. Here the main focus is on the roastery and the coffee shop/cafe is equal or secondary to that function. Bearing that in mind, these are generally located a little more off the beaten track than the first category, and are often located in more industrial settings and larger warehouses. Al Quoz seems to be the coffee hub for these type of roasters and google maps or Waze will be your friend to hunt out these spots. Persevere and find them and you will be in for a treat. You still get chance to chat to the baristas and roasters, but sometimes the roasting is on a larger scale to the first option and they may be roasting, usually under a private label, for some of the other locally based Specialty Coffee Shops. Usually you will be able to purchase some locally roasted coffee to take home as well as some coffee brewing gadgets too! Typically you’ll find less ‘trendy blended coffee drinks’ here as the main attraction is the mightly coffee bean and it’s heritage.
The larger commercial roasters – these tend to be more focussed on larger batch roasting and here the public rarely get to see the beans being roasted, with the exception of the odd open day or public cupping session. The larger roasters tend to focus on producing for the F&B industry or large commercial customers, although you may be able to buy a house blend or single origin coffee line on-line.
No matter what your preference, there’s bound to be something out there for everyone and on the attached map, I’ve listed the Coffee Roasters along with a few notes to give more information about them.
Further details coming soon with more information on each roaster.
Until then, happy coffee bean hunting x
Last updated : 1st July 2019
Have I missed anything? Do drop me a line and let me know and I’ll be happy to add.