The best coffee in Dubai: Five specialist coffee shops
Fanatical about flat whites? Lover of the latte? Get your morning fuel from one of these dedicated Dubai coffee roasteries.
01. Seven Fortunes
Karim Hassan is a stickler for details. From bean sourcing, to the exquisitely handsome packaging, everything in his Seven Fortunes coffee emporium has to be done to his, very precise, standards. No surprise, then, to discover that Dubai’s coffee aficionados – not short of an exacting standard or two themselves when it comes to coffee – are flocking to Seven Fortunes for their java fix.
Finance-major alum turned coffee king Karim operates from a renovated warehouse in Al Quoz. There’s no café (although there is a ‘special area’ where invited guests can sample the coffee) – instead, he sells directly to cafés, with individual purchases made online. Offering a selection of six roasted, exclusive beans – from as far as Guatemala and Costa Rica – from his huge roaster, which occupies a large chunk of the warehouse floor, Karim is a man obsessed with coffee, painstakingly spending hours switching up variables – temperature, speed and ratios of beans – to create unique flavours. It’s not just about selling beans to make a profit either. Seven Fortunes are working with The Sameness Project to help raise funds for initiatives across the city, including the Water For Workers campaign.
Where to drink Seven Fortunes: Culinary Boutique, Toil & Tinker, Dum Dum Donutterie.
Al Quoz, sevenfortunes.coffee
02. Specialty Batch Coffee
For Specialty Batch Coffee, coffee isn’t just a drink – it’s a work of art. Working exclusively with traceable, speciality-graded coffee from farms across South America, Central America and Africa, the team roasts to order in small batches, allowing time to focus on the finer details of each order. The outcome is magnificent coffee that, while not quite ready for a spot at the Louvre just yet, certainly would satisfy even the most stringent of coffee connoisseurs.
Where to drink Specialty Batch Coffee: Stomping Grounds, The Espresso Lab, Café Rider.
Various locations, specialtybatch.com
03. Brass Coffee & Community
Installed as part of the latest phase of City Walk, Brass Coffee & Community has four house blends, which are roasted in-house and named after the UAE, including the spiced Creek blend and the smoky – and very strong – City blend. The Eastern and speciality coffees are not to be missed – infusing such intricate flavours as rosewater, cardamom and cloves – while the coconut latte is great for those who are lactose-intolerant.
City Walk, thebrass.ae
04. Raw Coffee Company
Spearheaded by Kim Thompson and Matt Toogood, Raw has grown from a home-based operation to a major player on the Middle Eastern coffee scene. Since its official launch, in 2007, Raw has been selling their beans to cafés and restaurants across the region, supplying single origin, 100 per cent Arabica coffees, which it sources directly from farmers in Ethiopia, Colombia, Kenya, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru and Nicaragua. Kim and Matt recently launched a huge coffee food truck, as well as adding a range of new courses to their Raw education barista training programme. Next up, is their own brand of limited-edition speciality coffees, which they plan to launch this month.
Where to drink Raw: Tom & Serg, Friends Avenue, Taqado, The Pantry and many more.
Main shop in Al Quoz, rawcoffeecompany.com
05. The Sum Of Us
Boasting two super roasters – specially flown in from Greece – which stand proudly on the ground floor, The Sum Of Us takes its coffee roasting very seriously. Using only organic coffee beans, they create their own unique, soul-satisfying blends, with three different beans – from Ethiopian Sidamo, Guatamalan beans and Colombian – to incredible effect. The results are reason enough to visit the cool café, although with great food on offer too (don’t miss the almond croissants), it’s a no brainer.
Sheikh Zayed Road (Trade Centre Area), thesumofusdubai.com
What’s On’s favourite brews…
Laura says… The Roseleaf Café
Order: Flat white
Why? It’s got a thick, velvety texture that’s almost creamy. I’ll drive out of my way for this cup of Joe.
Where: Dubai Garden Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 7pm. Tel: (056) 6449886. Taxi: Garden Centre. facebook.com/TheRoseleafCafe
Stacey says… Spill The Bean
Why? The coffee here is so good you don’t even need milk or sugar.
Where: Sunset Mall, Jumeirah, Dubai, Sun to Thur 8am to 10pm, Fri and Sat 9am to 10pm. Tel: (04) 3388559. Taxi: Sunset Mall. spillthebean.ae
Nyree says… The Sum Of Us
Order: A magic
Why? All the strength of a flat white, but with slightly less milk.
Where: Street 6 (behind the Sheraton), Trade Centre 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, daily 8am to 10pm. Tel: (056) 4457526. Metro: Trade Centre. thesumofus.com
Sara says… The Lime Tree Café & Kitchen
Order: Skinny latte
Why? Medium bodied smooth coffee, it’s never bitter or burnt and has a nutty sweet flavour.
Where: Al Quoz industrial zone 3, near Times Square Centre, Dubai, daily 7.30am to 6pm. Tel: (04) 3256325. Taxi: Near Times Square. thelimetreecafe.com
Louise says… Frioul
Order: Cafetière for two
Why? It’s strong, delicious and a perfect way to start a lazy weekend morning.
Where: Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, Sat to Wed 8am to 1am, Thur and Fri 8am to 3am. Tel: (04) 5670011. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah.facebook.com/friouldubai