The moment you lay eyes on the Slayer espresso machine, you fall in love. The lines. The curves. The presence. It’s a thing of beauty. It really does slay.
The search for the machine in the UAE led to a conversation with Aleksa Novicic.
Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Hi, my name is Aleksa Novicic, I was born in Belgrade, Serbia and I’ve been in UAE since 2019. I am the Product Sales Specialist and Brand Ambassador for Gruppo Cimbali.
Tell us about Gruppo Cimbali.
Gruppo Cimbali is a market leader in the design and manufacturing of professional espresso machines and equipment. We have a representative office here in Dubai since February 2019, and from here we are managing the distribution network across the regions of Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia.
We have 4 brands under the umbrella of the company: La Cimbali, FAEMA, Slayer, and Casadio. Each brand is unique on its own and each brand in a way shaped the espresso industry into what we know today.
What is your earliest coffee memory?
I remember my parents drinking Turkish coffee together every morning. Turkish coffee, or in Serbia called “Serbian Coffee” is very popular in my country and that’s the first brewing method my grandmother taught me how to brew when I was very young. I remember that it was very important to pour ground coffee into the water just before the water boils, but not after, so I was often standing next to the stove and watching the water and waiting for the sound before boiling.
There is a myth in Serbia to stop kids from drinking coffee and it says that if you drink coffee young you will grow a mustache, or even worse, chest hair. And look at me now!
In our house the coffee was a very important ritual in the morning, after lunch, or whenever we have guests.
What is your opinion on the future of specialty coffee in the UAE?
The UAE market is very competitive and very saturated and that is what is driving it forward.
Third-wave coffee penetrated all segments of F&B in UAE fast if we compare it to the rest of the world, and we can see it not only in the coffee shops but also in hotels, restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, even hair salons sometimes.
Consumers in UAE are used to excellent customer service and high-quality products. We are in a way spoiled with all the amazing things around us. That makes the UAE market the perfect soil for specialty coffee because of its high local purchasing power and I have no worries for the future of it.
I don’t think that you can find anywhere in the world so many coffee shops in one city offering and, more importantly, selling expensive geishas and other exotic coffees than in UAE.
What third-wave coffee brought to the market other than raising the bar of the service is education. Both sides of the coffee counter are very knowledgeable. Roasters know what they are sourcing and roasting. Baristas know what they are brewing. And customers know what they are buying. We have an amazing, big, coffee community with ambitious coffee professionals that are just hungry for knowledge and success. But don’t take my word for it. Just visit any local or national competition.
To conclude, I believe that the future of specialty coffee in UAE is bright and highly sustainable.
How do you spend your private time?
I like to study, and besides coffee, I’m very passionate about design, photography, and music. I stay at home, play guitar or bass, paint, edit photos, and play chess. I love street photography and right now I’m working on a new book that will come out soon.
Anything else the readers should know?
We have an R&D team of over 60 engineers working daily on the development of new and existing products. In the coffee supply chain, Gruppo Cimbali is positioned in the last link. Therefore, we have a huge opportunity: to collect all the investments made upstream of the supply chain and associate them with what we do to make our products, that every day come into contact with millions of customers around the world, sustainable.
Our commitment is to represent the link between coffee production and final consumption, as well as take action to make the moment of consumption “more sustainable” by offering products with recyclable and low-energy impact materials.
People, Products, Planet, and Partnerships are the 4 main action areas that the Cimbali Group plans to address with its new sustainability strategy. Partnerships are a transversal action area, underlining the Group’s desire to interact with the stakeholders of the supply chain in order to meet its goals. Recently we have launched M200 from La Cimbali which is an expected evolution of the existing M100 model and Faemina from FAEMA which is a single group prosumer machine for all the coffee lovers that would like a coffee shop quality of espresso at their home.
You’ll find all of the Gruppo Cimbali brands on instagram. And the local office at: Fortune Executive Tower, 27th floor, Office 6, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster T, Dubai. You can reach them on +971 4 584 7452 and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you visited the Cimbali training facility at their Dubai office?