Dubai's best coffee shops

Love a latte? Crazy for cappuccino? Time Out finds Dubai's best coffee Comments

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We drink coffee by the gallon here at Time Out, but this isn’t to say we don’t appreciate an aromatic, expertly made cup. There’ll be plenty of these being poured on Thursday 14, when the final of the second UAE National Barista Championships takes place. Competitors will prepare and serve 12 drinks – four cappuccinos, four espressos and four signature coffees – in just 15 minutes; the winner will go on to represent the UAE at the 2011 World Barista Championship Finals in June 2011, in Bogota, Colombia.

But what exactly makes a good cup of coffee and, more to the point, where can we find one here in Dubai? If anyone knows, it’s Mate Nieva, one of the judges at the national barista competition. Nieva says the first obvious component of good coffee is a good blend, but a lot depends on the machine used. A modern automatic machine, if well adjusted and well maintained, will always make a decent cup of coffee – never brilliant, but never terrible. Coffee from a traditional machine, however, depends very much on the barista. A good barista can get the best out of the bean, but a bad one can serve some really horrid stuff.

As far as a cappuccino is concerned, the milk should be steamed slowly but surely. This will stop it from becoming too frothy or from overheating – the moment you overheat the milk, it destroys the taste balance. What’s more, the bubbles should be tiny, rather than big and foamy, giving the milk a silky texture. A good barista will make sure the milk jug is held at a particular angle and swirl the milk in a circular motion to heat it evenly. Once the milk is hot, it should again be swirled in the jug (like you swirl wine before a tasting), then banged on the bench to get rid of large bubbles.

Good coffee also depends on a good waiter. Not only does he have to be prompt (the aromas of fresh coffee halve every minute), but he should also draw the customer’s attention to their cup. A really good cappuccino should look great, as well as tasting fantastic.

Equipped with this new-found coffee know-how, Time Out ventured forth to discover the five venues where Dubai’s best coffee is served.
The finals of the second UAE National Barista Championships are on October 14 at 7pm, at Al Bustan Rotana Hotel, Garhoud (04 282 0000)

By Oliver Robinson
Time Out Dubai,

User reviews:

Posted by: Dubai on 09 Jan ' 13 at 14:16


Posted by: Stefano on 07 Nov ' 11 at 09:17

To the guy from Rome,

I am Stefano from Padova. Why don't you try Caffe Diemme? Now they have opened a shop in Dubai Health Care CIty, and they offer the same Coffee that is offered back home in Italy.

Posted by: Jiyah on 10 Sep ' 11 at 06:51

I was searching for great coffee but it proved to be extremely hard until I came across Raw Coffee Company in the Garden Center. Definitely worth checking it out. I hope they open a second outlet in an area that has a more urban feel since the coffee is excellent.

Other surprisingly decent coffee for Dubai:

1. Limetree
2. Carluccios (for cappuccino)
3. coffee shop inside Bloomingdales, Dubai mall (hit or miss)
4. Le Pain Quotidienne
5. Illy Dubai mall

None come close to Raw Coffee (maybe bc the beans are freshly and locally roasted in Dubai).

Posted by: Antonio on 02 Aug ' 11 at 10:20

I am from Rome, and I’ve been living in Dubai for three years. Everytime I go back to Rome the first thing I need is a cup of coffee, because the best coffee in Dubai does not even come close to the worst one in Rome. However, quality is improving the past few years. Here’s a few everyone in Dubai should try: Mockamore Dubai Mall, Vapiano Dubai Mall, Limetree Cafe Jumeirah and internet city, Segafredo Zanetti Wafi Mall and Media city, Il Caffe di Roma JBR and Espressamente Dubai Mall. I would place all these in the category 6 to 7.5, and I’m very very picky when it comes to coffee.

Posted by: Rauf on 21 Oct ' 10 at 20:05

Usually, I start my morning with a warm cup of skinny latte from Gloria Jean's. I really like their lattes.

However, last night, I could not believe my sensors when sipping a skinny latte from Krispy Kreme. It was truly delicious...

P.S. I agree with Jack, your photo of Espresso was a bad choice.

Posted by: Jack. on 19 Oct ' 10 at 08:45

Just a quick note.
Thanks for the article.
The photo of the Espresso is really really bad! This is a bad Espresso i would say since no foam, face or creme at all in the cup.
The UAE Barista Champinoship was at Meydan and not at Al Bustan Rotana.



Posted by: Mark French on 18 Oct ' 10 at 15:05

If what you claim is true, that the aroma of fresh coffee halves every minute, then logically you should only be able to taste the best coffee at cafes that use locally roasted beans. shouldn't you?

If anyone does not believe the difference this makes, buy some green coffee beans at the pick and mix section of your local supermarket, chuck a handful into a cheap hot air popcorn machine, watch carefully until the beans change to the desired colour, cool off the HOT beans rapidly, grind and brew.

You will never want to taste another cup from a chain- they mostly peddle milk-based drinks anyway!

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