I am Naveed and my interest in specialty coffee piqued when I won a Coffee Master Class with London Dairy Bistro in 2019. Ever since then, I have visited countless specialty cafes here in the UAE. Needless to say, I can also brew a decent cup of coffee on the V60. I started The Need for Coffee Blog earlier this year to share about my coffee experiences.
Since Andy has done a post on specialty coffee shops in Dubai, I think a curated list on roasteries is a must. I visit these roasteries often and I also find myself ordering their coffee regularly, to brew at home of course.
I have a mantra when I buy coffee that I follow very strictly i.e. Try before buy. One out of every three coffee bags I buy end up not as exciting as I thought it would be.
This is why coffee has to ignite that spark on the taste buds. Brewing at home has become an important part of my morning routine, and good coffee ensures a good start to the day.
Disclaimer: This is by no means an exhaustive list. This is not my top five either. I just cannot find it in my heart to rate these roasters and their coffee. All are equal in my opinion, and they have their own unique way of presenting the coffee to the customer.
So, here goes:
Grandmother Coffee Roastery
Grandmother‘s new roastery is voluminous, spacious and features a beautiful well-designed barista bar. This is by far one of the top ones for me. The hanging clay pots above the bar give it a 3D wave like effect. Seats are set up by the bar designed for customers to interact with the baristas as they prepare your drink.
The roastery is headed by Freddie and he has been in the coffee business for the past decade. He still talks about coffee as his new-found passion and this is as refreshing as their coffee menu.
Their Carbonic Macerated Ethiopia from Project Origin is my all-time favorite. But recently Kim, junior roaster, who also competed in the UAE National Barista Championship 2021 made me try the Colombia Geisha Maximus.
What’s so special about this coffee? Let’s just say that this coffee hits the Panama Geisha out of the park. It is one of those super-premium beans undergoing a complex double anaerobic fermentation process with notes of jasmine, plums and pineapple.
Cypher opened its doors in 2016. Fun fact: the closer you get to this roastery, the smell of the coffee gets stronger. Even inside the car. I might have issues with my AC filter but I’m not complaining.
I still remember my first visit a year ago and again accompanying me was Lameen. He is my coffee buddy after all. The space is massive and straightforward, a very long barista bar capable of handling pesky walk-in customers like us.
We were approached by Milo Sekulovic, Q grader and roaster, who showed us around the facility – the roastery, storage, packing and distribution station. There was a massive Probat roaster which made quite an impression. Probably taking a power nap before it starts roaring and roasting large amounts of coffee again.
A tour is not complete without tasting some coffee, Milo brewed a Cortado using beans from Uganda Chanzo. The main course was the V60, the beans he used was Diego Samuel from Colombia. This is from their Nobility line, which meant the cup score is over 90.
RoR Coffee Roastery
The most memorable coffee I have had here was the Maragogype varietal from the farm – Panama Hartmann. The size of the beans are massive and also referred to as Elephant beans.
The new operation in Al Quoz is much bigger. You are greeted by a very clean barista bar surrounded by coffee accessories courtesy coffeedesk.ae.
Sherryl, head roaster, was the 2021 UAE Cup Taster Champion. What this means is that the coffee roasted here is top-notch. Their Colombia Paraiso Lychee is a must try!
Did you know that RoR is the acronym for Rate of Rise. This is the rate at which the coffee temperature changes within the roasting machine. Apt name for a roastery.
Roast Story is a new roastery that popped up out of nowhere earlier this year. To tell you the truth, I spotted a ROEST on their Instagram feed and that was one of the main reasons for visiting this place.
This has become one of my favorite places to get work done. High ceilings, natural light and great ambience. Order their Brazilian flat white to start off, and a Colombian Castillo on V60 to taste some of that honey sweet fruity goodness.
Their filter brew menu is vast. A selection of Ninety Plus Coffee is also available if you want to treat your taste buds. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
Specialty Batch Coffee Roasters
My very first cup of specialty coffee was from Specialty Batch Coffee Roasters. The cafe from where I had is not important in this post, but the coffee definitely left a lasting impression.
Founded by Ryan Godinho in 2013, he is a man that plays many roles in this coffee business. He is the head roaster, green coffee buyer, barista trainer, and also handles quality control. See what I mean.
Their current roastery is also in Al Quoz and you can only buy beans from here for now. They are opening doors to their new space at Port Rashid soon, and it’s going to be huge.
Three Coffee Roastery
Three Coffee does does things differently, and their beans are literal fruit bombs. They have a variety of unique anaerobic processed coffee and work with producers experimenting on new fermentation processes.
Spice Up from El Salvador is a perfect example with beautiful notes of lavender, cola and spices. To put the notes into perspective, think of candied cardamom.
Now with the holiday season fast approaching, grab the Advent Coffee Calendar which has 23 drip bags and a coffee bag. This is a different coffee everyday for a different aroma, taste and sensory experience.
Mattina Coffee is a roastery based in Dubai – UAE, sourcing specialty coffee from different origins, roasting and supplying to the local market. They also provide training and have a strong team of coffee professionals, Q Graders, roasters and cuppers certified by the SCA.
I had no idea Mattina’s focus was also on the premium specialty coffee until I attended a coffee tasting event with Hacienda La Esmeralda in October. I couldn’t pass on this as I got a chance to interact with Daniel Peterson and also taste the Panama Noria San José Natural Geisha.
What that meant was a chance to experience a one-in-a-lifetime 90+ scoring coffee. The coffee was beautiful with juicy notes of plums and cherries, and intense aromatics of Jasmine while sipping the brew. This might have been one of the best Geisha I have had in a long time.
These are the best of the best, with focus on roasteries only in Dubai. Do you have any of your favorites that you would add to this list? Comment below and let me know.