You’d have to look really hard to find another city in the world that has cooler coffeeshops and roasteries. Dubai is next level.
Take Cafe Rider, for example. What’s On called it one of the coolest coffeeshops right now. Think a double volume warehouse space. Leather couches. A breakfast menu that slaps. And motorcycles. Yes, motorcycles. It works. And it’s been working since 2013.
We chatted to the Head Roaster, Gideon Cañido, to find out more.
Please introduce yourself to the readers.
I am Gideon Cañido, I was born in a small town of Bolinao in the province of Pangasinan in Philippines and I’ve been in the UAE for almost 7 years.
Tell us about Cafe Rider.
Cafe Rider opened its doors in 2013. At the time, the concept of specialty coffee was not very well known and only a handful of places served it in Dubai.
The business has since grown very organically – the roastery was built in 2016 (first for our own consumption, then also for customers who wanted to take beans home and now we supply to various businesses across the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman), the kitchen was added in 2017, and now in 2022 we’re looking to expand both of those spaces.
The cafe encapsulates the passions of owners, Nicky and Murtaza Moulvi – coffee, motorcycles, and community. So, in addition to the cafe, we have a fully operational motorcycle workshop that is separated from the cafe with a glass wall so customers can see what is going on.
But mostly, what makes us unique is the community that has been built over the past 8 years. It’s what got us through the pandemic, and makes our job more meaningful on a daily basis. We love organizing community events, such as our Caffeine Cruises, car meets, brewing competitions, etc.
What is the Cafe Rider philosophy?
Be Original. Be Free.
This has been the motto of Cafe Rider since its inception. But when talking about coffee specifically, when we source our coffee we look for transparency of origin, sustainable growing practices. We buy from green bean suppliers locally as well as trading directly with farms. It is important that consumers understand the multitude of steps and processes involved before the coffee ends up in their cup. At the same time, we like to make good coffee more accessible to the general public.
What is your earliest coffee memory?
My earliest memory of coffee is having it on a rainy morning with my parents. I remember during the wet season in the Phillipines, we were always woken up by heavy rain in the morning, usually accompanied by a cup of coffee. I really fell in love with it when I started working in a coffee shop way back in 2010 – the moment I learned how intricate the process of bean to cup really is, and the thousands of hands that touch it on the way. I knew I had found my passion for coffee.
What is your opinion on the future of specialty coffee in the UAE?
The growth of specialty coffee in the UAE is surreal. Everyone is on the fast lane!
Simultaneously, the market has become saturated and the sudden rise of specialty coffee shops has its own positive and negative effects. Positively, it has fueled everyone’s curiosity about specialty coffee and consumers have become more aware of their choices. On the other hand, it affects the salaries of people working in the supply chain. I’ve personally seen the trend of how the average salary in the industry has plateaued (or even decreased) over the years.
The supply and demand of specialty coffee have greatly changed over the past years and I hope that everyone in the entire value chain upholds the values of what specialty coffee is all about.
How do you spend your private time?
Aside from social media, Netflix, cycling, I love going to home stores. I love seeing home designs, mock-ups of home spaces, and interior design innovations. I like getting ideas from these set-ups and writing it down in my “home bucket list” as I slowly build my own nest back home.
Anything else our readers should know?
Our first single origin specialty coffee capsule has just been manufactured and we’re so excited to launch this in the coming weeks! We’re now working on other origins to add to the selection.
We’re also expanding our roasting and kitchen space in the coming months. Some other exciting developments are still in the making, to be announced at a later stage.
You’ll find Cafe Rider in Al Quoz here. The roastery is on instagram here. And the custom motorcycle shop here.
Have you visited yet? Tell us about your experience in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe for exclusive subscriber offers and giveaways.