Whether it’s a latte you’re after or a double shot of espresso, there’s no shortage of independent cafes in Dubai to satisfy your every coffee urge. We’ve enlisted the help of Kim Thompson, one half of homegrown roastery Raw Coffee Company, to tell you where to go when you’re in need of a caffeine fix. Be part of our burgeoning cafe culture.
Try everything on the menu at The Brass
Tucked away in City Walk is this shiny new gem, which boasts one of the most extensive coffee menus in the city. They’ve got all the classics – latte, cappuccino et al – with a plethora of original blends, including Lavender Honey Latte, rosewater-infused white coffee, a dairy-free Coconut Latte … Aficionados can take it a step further and nominate how they want their coffee delivered: via French press, siphon, cold drip or pour-over.
Meet the locals at Friends Avenue Cafe
A pair of young friends put their heads together and came up with this quirky little cafe located in the high-rise Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT) residential district. This spot “oozes personality”, according to Thompson, and is filled with a very loyal clientele, sipping on a long black or an espresso con panna. Almond and soya milk options are also available.
For designer types, try Craft Cafe
With its high-glassed walls and wooden decor, this sunny, airy cafe dials up the style quotient in the up and coming fashion hub, Dubai Design District. On the menu is a wide variety of delectable dishes and some on-trend cold brews, including Orange Twist and Vanilla Latte, suited to the warmer weather. The chef in charge is Peruvian Roberto Segura, the man behind some big-name restaurants in town, including The Act Dubai.
Relax by the beach at Park House
Sit back, relax and take in the tranquil views of the sea from Park House, located next to Kite Beach. It’s the perfect spot for casual people-watching and light entertainment with children. What goes well with a good blend while lounging on the beach benches? The house popcorn and other sweet treats. Or, says Thompson, “Grab a great takeaway coffee and go and sit on the beach.”
Get a history lesson at Dubai Coffee Museum
With coffee’s rich history rooted in Arabia, there’s no surprise Dubai has an entire museum dedicated to the fragrant beans. Here you will learn all there is to know about the origins of the drink and how it has evolved. Thompson says: “It’s a must see for anybody that is remotely interested in the very long and interesting history of coffee.” You can cap your visit with a tasting of traditional Arabic qahwa at the in-house cafe.
If you’re serious about coffee, head to Mokha 1450
Part boutique, part coffee shop, Mokha 1450 is an intimate place with exceptional coffee. What’s on offer? “You can savour original Heirloom Ethiopian Geisha, Jamaican Blue Mountain grade 1 Ultra-premium beans and an incredible Yemeni coffee from the Sabree Mountains farmed by a co-operative of female farmers,” says Thompson.
Experience a “coffee” truck at Yumtingz
Food truck meets coffee house? Sounds an unlikely concept, but this Australian brand makes it work. “They’re young and hip with an extensive menu offering honest Aussie-style gourmet café food,” says Thompson. You’ll find the roving bus at all the hottest happenings and festivals, with their signature hot drinks and playful cold brews, including a fruity variety.
The original hipsters: The Sum of Us
Tom & Serg are a fixture on Dubai’s cafe scene and their cozy roastery is widely regarded as one of the best coffee spots in town. Inspired by Melbourne’s independent coffee house culture, the cafe on Sheikh Zayed Road caters to casual drinkers and coffee connoisseurs alike, in an industrial-like open space.
Savour a traditional twist at Aryaas
Don’t expect the standard cappuccinos or lattes here. Instead, introduce yourself to the frothy flavours of South Indian filter coffee. The coffee in this beverage that means business is prepared using a special metal filter and combined with boiling milk and sugar. The resulting concoction is a velvety drink which is a staple in parts of India.
Learn the trade at Raw Coffee Company
Veterans of the homegrown coffee scene, Raw Coffee Company roasts organic and beans with Fair Trade approval daily in their warehouse roastery. Visitors can take classes on coffee preparation or just enjoy some of the 15 single origins and five unique blends at this specialty space.
For that community feel, visit Arrows and Sparrows
This new locale is the second offering from the local Friends Avenue team. The larger space in Emaar Business Park, near the Greens, is decorated in hues of teal and gold. “Serving a cozy mix of comfort food and contemporary café fare, this spacious, modern place offers fresh organic coffee made very well,” according to Thompson.
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