If you’ve been reading my interviews with the UAE specialty coffee industry, you’ll know there’s one question I always ask:

What is the future of the UAE specialty coffee industry?

For most, the answers have been the same: education. Educating the farmer, educating the buyer, educating the roaster, educating the barista and educating the consumer.

Samer Mashal wants to do his part. So he’s opening a Coffee Academy. We had a quick chat about where the idea to do came from.

Why open a Coffee Academy?

It all started with Notorious. Our cafe & roastery.

The planning started in 2018 and we officially opened its doors in late 2021. But we always had the idea that Notorious should be more than just a cafe and roastery. Rather, it should be a whole eco system of coffee related services.

I started my coffee career & passion in 2015 when I first sipped my first cup of Specialty Coffee, moving from the standard capsules and commercial coffee brands. I was fascinated with the process of brewing and the many techniques used in extraction and the complex of flavors in every single method.

I educated myself via the SCA and did about 9 different coffee skills programs with them in different fields, to learn and understand the history and chemistry. Finally, I enrolled in the Coffee Excellence Program with the University of Applied Sciences in Zurich. I’ll complete my studies in September this year.

I saw a gap in the Abu Dhabi market in roasting consistency. So my co-founder and I started Notorious Roastery and Café. We experimented with a variety of origins, looking to establish something unique and develop a standard of quality in every single batch. And after many months of trial and error, we are operational and busy, producing roasted coffee of the highest consistency and quality.

Opening a Coffee Academy was the natural evolution of our eco system. We are SCA certified and accredited and currently the only approved campus in Abu Dhabi. We will be offering courses in brewing, sensory training, roasting & greens, plus Q-grader training. For both baristas and enthusiasts.

Our doors open today, Saturday, June 11th, 2022, at 10.00am.

You are all invited to join us for a fun day that will include complimentary food and drinks, a chance to win coffee training vouchers and other fantastic giveaways.

Click here for directions. And see the gallery below for a glimpse of the academy.

Images by Notorious.