Specialty Coffee Cafes and Coffee Roasters in Dubai
Specialty Coffee is Trending!
The Specialty Coffee Scene in Dubai and the UAE has expanded dramatically over the first few years. So much so that it’s hard to keep track of what has opened where, and who is serving what. At my last quick count, there are over 200 places where you can drink Specialty Coffee in the UAE. This ranges from Specialty Coffee Roasters and attached Brew bars, through to cafe’s and pop up’s who don’t roast their own coffee but make a point of only serving Specialty Coffee.
This post focuses on some of my personal favorites and covers some of the. ‘Golden Oldie Specialty Coffee Cafe’s’ as well as some recent newcomers. I’ve personally visited all of the places listed here and can recommend them. As you can see there’s plenty of scope for me to sip and slurp some more!
Specialty Coffee Cafe Map and Sippy
If you can’t keep up with all of the openings and want to find a good coffee close to you then do check out my Specialty Coffee Cafe map which is updated regularly. Alternatively there’s a handy app to locate good coffee near to you (not necessarily Specialty). You can read more about the app, called Sippy over on my post on FoodeMag dxb.
I have excluded the large chains instead focusing on smaller independents, and/or niche Coffee specialists.
Located on the Beach Road, this gorgeous Urban Balkan Bistro serves up some fabulous Specialty Coffee too! Founded by Serbian owner, Stasha Toncev they serve up some excellent hearty Balkan Food and delightful desserts. Coffee is served from a small but functional coffee bar located just behind the dessert display. The beans are from Goldbox with their own house blended coffee which is a mix of Brazilian and Ethiopian beans. Come here to work, while away the hours, take a break from the beach or just to relax and chill. Gorgeous interiors seal the deal.
This Japanese concept is now in Dubai, but don’t worry it’s still pretty exclusive and not a big chain. There are two shops, a smaller one in Dubai and a larger branch where they roast in City Walk. Keep your eye out for some exceptional latte art and great tasting coffee. Walk around Dubai Mall and find it, or any of the others mentioned here, steer clear of the larger coffee chains if at all possible, your palate will thank you for it. #CoolVibes
Update : these guys have expanded you can now find them:
Boon Coffee is run by the lovely Orit who introduced Ethiopian Coffee to Dubai through her passion of the coffee. Coffee is organic and sourced direct from the Famers. Boon provide quality coffee to many an establishment in Dubai, Baker & Spice, Izu Brasserie, Lafayette Gourmet, La Serre and Urban Cafe to name a few, she recently set up her own Boon Coffee Bar in JLT where her team of baristas serve a host of coffees with Ethiopian Coffee and organic honey. Find Boon coffee at The Farmers Market On The Terrace every Friday during the winter months. They also make a great cold brew. #ProudlyEthiopian
Brew Cafe is situated in Umm Sequiem just off the Beach Road and although it’s a small location, they pack a lot in, in terms of great Specialty Coffee, gorgeous design and knowledge of coffee. Coffee is from specialist small coffee roasters across the world including The Barn Berlin and Bonanza Coffee Roasters, also Berlin. We’ve also spotted a selection of Dubai roasted Specialty Coffee too. Parking can be a bit tricky at peak times, but it’s worth finding a space to enjoy the coffee and vibe plus outdoor seating. Pleased to see that they have upped their food game and you can now enjoy some ‘on trend’ food – plenty of avocado toast and sour dough bread photos are hitting our feed.
Celebrating their 5th anniversary in Dubai Cafe Rider boasts a perfect blend of motorbikes and Specialty coffee. They have their own in-house roaster. The atmosphere is always friendly and the baristas are skilled in a few tricks with coffee cocktail combinations – think fruit meets coffee and you won’t be disappointed. After a comprehensive refurbishment Cafe Rider now offer an extensive food menu replacing the oh so cute Ghaf food truck which used to sit inside the warehouse. The large converted warehouse space is industrial and spacious and tends to be busy all day long as it attracts plenty of co workers (though it’s not part of a formal co working scheme as far as I’m aware). Coffee is made at the bar where you are encouraged to chat to the barista as they put their skills to the test. Free Wifi and a small children’s area too. #Work&Play
Operating for a few coffee trikes located at Dubai Mall, as well as a cosy coffee bar, Chez Moe serves Specialty Single Origin Coffee roasted by Goldbox as well as some carefully selected pastries from Baker & Spice. They are currently serving Brazilian coffee from a small harvest from a single producer. The Gold Box team roast the coffee here in Dubai in small batches. You can also find the Trikes out and about at various events and at Al Manara Centre, Liberty House, and Convention Tower. #Organic
The Coffee Museum is located in Al Fahidi area in an old Emirati style house. There’s an interesting museum set on two levels as well as an opportunity to try Ethiopian coffee brewed in a pot and turkish coffee heated in hot sand on the ground floor. Staff are very knowledable and it’s a fun thing to do. Everything here is part of a private collection and there are coffee related curios from around the world. Upstairs there is a modern coffee shop with plenty of different brewing methods. There’s also a small shop selling a range of coffee brewing gadgets etc. #WishItWasCloserToMyPlace
Whilst they don’t have any physical Coffee Shops here, you are sure to have drunk their coffee as it’s available in a lot of hotels and cafes plus fuel stations. You can also buy their Coffee Blends and Pods in supermarkets (hold out for the beans if you can, and if you love coffee you should know this anyways). Their full range of coffee including their special Single Origin Coffee, Reserve Blends and Coffee Pods can be ordered on-line. Coffee is roasted at their Roastery where they occasionally hold public cupping sessions. Coffee Planet have recently teamed up with Rove Hotels where you will find their special House Blend. p#MyOnTheRoadFriend
Artisinal handcrafted cold brew coffee and now nitro brew, which is superb and at the moment is sold only on-line or via a number of gyms and selected outlets. Expect big news to be announced soon as they are moving to Ras Al Khor with a unique Bean to Bottle location and experience – still waiting for this but in the meantime the launch of their nitro brew canned coffee is a first for Dubai and the region. #Nitro
You might have seen the Goldbox Piaggo out and about over the winter with it’s distinctive gold colours! Aside from the mobile operation, Goldbox roastery is located in Al Quoz, and is a close neighbour to Cafe Rider. Coffee is sourced directly from the farmers and expertly brewed. Check this place out for some interesting Specialty coffee chat, great coffee and a passionate team. Find them at various events and make a beeline to their Nitro Brew which is fab #NitrobrewLiquidGold Their team have won a number of UAE Barista championships and CupTaster awards in 2019. Note : Closed Fridays.
You can read more about Goldbox in my article on FoodeMag dxb
Born out of a passion for Speciality Coffee following his global travels, this roaster is located in Dubai Investment Park and roasts regularly, with regular cupping sessions open to the public. I’m sure they are suppliying to some restaurants and/or hotels, but as yet that information is not public. Order on-line and they will deliver to you. There are training courses for home baristas and regular barista training courses too. Gorgeous coffee which we wish we could taste in more venues. #ElusivelyGood
You can read more about Jebena in my article on FoodeMag dxb
Located in Silicon Oasis, it’s a little off the beaten track but well worth the drive. Coffee is roasted on site and there’s a great food menu as well. Staff are very knowledgable about the coffee and they roast most days. Plenty of different brewing methods available and a mix of single origin and blended coffee available. Use Google Maps to get you there, it’s now where you expect it to be, but very worth the drive. #ProudlyKaffa
Watch out for this quirky pop up Coffee ‘truck’ which is actually a converted bright red land rover 4 x 4 which pops up at events across the UAE. They are currently at Global Village but roam around sometimes. Not sure what coffee they serve, apart from Arabic Qhawa but could be a quirky place to enjoy. #Yalla!
With a name like Loose Unicorns, you can expect a fun and quirky experience. These guys have operate an espresso & brew bar at Orra Marina, at the far end of Dubai Marina. They also offer a monthly coffee box subscription service with a monthly selection of beans. Quirky and fun branding plus a few novel community events (there’s a coffee run planned next weekend) make this a brand to watch out for. Don’t be fooled by the quirkiness these guys are serious about their coffee and the beans I tried (a small sample pack) were great.
Garth, who runs Mokha 1450 is extremely passionate about coffee and there are plenty of different brewing methods going on as well as a variety of Speciality Coffee for you to try – they often get in special micro lots of rare and expensive coffee. Located just off the Al Wasl Road and also at Golden Mile Galleria, Palm Jumeirah. Both boutiques are great finds and the baristas are passionate about their coffee which they should be as they have some exceptionally good and expensive coffee on the shelves. They often source rare, unique and exclusive single origin coffee exclusive to them worldwide, including Ethiopian Geisha at a premium price. They’ve upped their food game so you can now pair your coffee with some delicious desserts and pastries.
After what seemed the longest time, the Coffee Roastery and Eatery is finally open and proving to be a bit hit with it’s innovative food menu, urban vibe, functions and events and of course it’s great coffee which is roasted on site. I popped in during soft opening time so haven’t eaten there as yet, but their IG feed promises some delicious food. You’ll find their coffee in plenty of places including Boston Lane and Mirzam Chocolate. I tried their nitro brew and flat white. Both of which were pretty awesome. Psst Nightjar Coffee recently won a readers choice competition operated by Huntr which sent them to the Amsterdam Coffee as a prize #SuperCool
Starting off in JBR, Nostalgia have now moved to a new location at Al Thanya Street where they continue to focus on three main things, Specialty Coffee sourced from the Grandmother Roastery (their sister company), hand-painted chocolates (which are uber gorgeous) and pastries. ,Coffee comes with a cute tasting card to explain about the origins of the coffee etc and the staff are really friendly and engaging. #refreshing
One of the original roasters in Dubai, the Raw Coffee Roastery in Al Quoz is a bit tricky to find, but worth the U-turns and redirects. They now operate from a new bigger space close by which is a bit easier to find. The roastery is a great place to hang out for a few hours to work, as well as to engage in coffee chat with the baristas. Coffee sacks converted into sofa and chair coverings seal the deal in terms of an ‘addicted to coffee’ feel. Raw have also opened a new outlet the Raw Coffee Cafe which is located in Um Sequiem in the Emirates Hospitality Academy. Whilst I love Raw coffee when it’s brewed in the roastery and at a few selected outlets, it often leaves me underwhelmed when brewed incorrectly at external outlets. #Raw
This is a bit of a hidden gem situated in the Garden Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road. You can also find them at Emirates Golf Club. Take a seat surrounded by plants and greenery and feel like you’ve left Dubai. The breakfast prices are particularly reasonable. Lunch choices change daily, with 3 or specials each day as well as some regular offerings. The cakes and sweet treats change regularly. Coffee is expertly brewed and owner Rose is passionate about her food and coffee.. They have free Wifi and it’s a great place to hang out with friends or to work as the seating works for either. Rose, is constantly adding new products to the menu, so you never get bored of this delightful menu or venue.
Seven friends got together and started roasting their own coffee on a small scale, from memory whilst they were studying abroad. The coffee is now available in Dubai and is roasted at a micro roastery in Al Quoz which you can visit. I’ve seen their coffee at a few cafes whilst out and about, mainly in D3 and some of the uber trendy eateries. You’ll find them at uber hip and trendy Cassette Dubai which has just opened in Al Quoz. You also find them as Grind Coffee in collaboration with the foodtruck (which is no longer a foodtruck) #FindSalt – they also sell on-line. #MicroMystery
Find these guys at Sustainable City and Mira where they fit in perfectly with the community and they really get involved with the community vibe. This is a place for real coffee fans with single origin coffee and blends from Raw Coffee. An ardent coffee fan, Ola the owner has included a wide range of different coffee options for her clients to taste with firm favourites and cold pressed coffee. Food here has an emphasis on healthy and light, I can confirm it which tastes good too! Free Wifi and plenty of parking and very child friendly. #healthy
Lovers of Specialty Batch will be pleased to know that Dubai’s original Speciality Roaster has finally moved to Jumeirah. Situated close to the zoo in a converted villa there’s a huge outdoor space as well as a funky indoor space to keep Specialty coffee lovers happy. The team of Barista’s are incredibly knowledgeable and can chat about coffee all day long if you will let them. Coffee is roasted on site, and there are always different coffee roasts to try as well as plenty of different brewing methods. Stomping Grounds also boasts a full food menu taking you through from breakfast through to dinner, the menu is thoughtful and tasty and extremely popular too. Come here and be as happy with the food as you are the coffee which is a rare occurence #CoffeeLoveFoods
Espresso Lab has moved from it’s initial Jumeirah base and now sits firmly in trendy D3 part of town. They are also at Qasr Al Hosn (an iconic landmark) in Abu Dhabi. Espresso Lab was set up by the UAE’s First Emirati Barista, Ibrahim Al Mallouhi who was the UAE Barista Champion. The baristas actively take part in Barista competitions and Ibrahim travels extensively for the love of coffee. His most recent trip was to Panama and he’s also spent time with Sasa Setic – aka the Coffee Man. Some fantastic coffee on offer at The Espresso Lab, they often get their hands on high grade micro lots which are quite special.
Included as it’s a great place to take visitors, who want to feel the spirit of Dubai, and to taste authentic Qhawah coffee. The Majlis can be found in the grounds of the Jumeirah Mosque in Jumeirah One and also in Dubai Mall. Set out Majlis style inside with lovely leather arm chairs and relaxed seating this bright and airy cafe serves up a whole host of all day dining treats with a consistent theme being that the food is designed to be eaten with your fingers and it’s served on tiered plates reminiscent of afternoon tea. There are plenty of choices of tea and coffee available including drinks made with camel milk and the traditional Qhawah coffee which is sometimes hard to find in Dubai. The Majlis contains some well stocked bookshelves with plenty of books about Arabic culture etc which you can read as you dine. #MyAuthenticEscape
Tom & Serge | Common Grounds |The Sum of Us
Three different concepts but all operated but the same guys, Tom & Serge. Coffee is roasted at The Sum of Us which is on Sheikh Zayed Road and then supplied to the other locations. Personally the coffee is served too cool for my taste and so I give it a miss, but none the less each outlet seems to be popular with others. Each outlet offers a variety of food choices and each location and concept is slightly different. The guys were the original pioneers to move into Al Quoz area with Tom & Serge and to set a different tone and vibe to the Dubai cafe scene. They host popular pop up evenings and various events. Regular Cupping sessions are also held at The Sum of Us. Common Grounds in Mall of The Emirates – offering the Specialty Coffee (a house blend) in the mall.
Situated in uptown Mirdiff, this is a bit of a drive if you live my end of town but somewhere worth a visit. The great attraction for me is that the guys really know how to make great coffee. Sit at the coffee bar and chat to the baristas as they work. There are a ton of coffee gadgets on sale and being used too. Coffee choices include cappuccinos made with camel milk along with single origin coffees and some great breakfast and lunch treats. This is the sort of place where you can hang around all day. There is an outdoor terrace, a snug area and plenty of comfortable chairs where you can borrow a book from the cafe library or indulge in some coffee talk with the staff. Free Wifi. #Relax
Sadly no more ….
Drip House Coffee
The first Speciality Coffee Place in Dubai Investment Park, this is very much a Community Coffee Shop, with special offers for breakfast and lunch, as well as some fab coffee sourced primarily from Goldbox Roastery. V60, Aeropress, Cold Drip and Syphon coffee brewing methods as well as great espresso too. #Community –
Update : Now closed
Walters Coffee (Dubai Mall)
Remember Breaking Bad? Walters Coffee is now here in Dubai, located at Dubai Mall which now offers a few Speciality Coffee hangouts for coffee lovers. I visited just before they opened and they were serving a house blend but are promising single origin speciality coffee soon. Sadly no promised roastery for now. With references to Breaking Bad the staff are dressed in yellow Hazmat outfits and there are science references on the wall, and quite a bit of dry ice action too sadly just for show not for brewing which might be fun. Could be a quirky hangout, will be interesting to see what their single origins are like as the house blend wasn’t totally to my taste. #NeedsAnotherVisit
Update : Now closed
Sabado Coffee Club
Not strictly a cafe, but included her for completeness, there’s the Sabado Coffee Club which rotates location regularly and allows passionate coffee lovers to meet up and take part in cupping sessions. This is one of the best ways to get an understanding of what type of coffee you like and don’t like and to gain a better appreciation of different coffees. Blind cupping, an opportunity to meet other coffee lovers makes this a great place to meet. #GreatToMingle