Dubai's best coffee shops
Love a latte? Crazy for cappuccino? Time Out finds Dubai's best coffee 7 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)
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