While Artisan coffees are a growing trend in the city, one new contender – Leopold’s of London – is taking its own brewing skills to the next level.
Following the opening of Dubai’s first branch of Leopold’s of London at new al fresco spot The Beach at JBR, we spoke to the barista in charge Sami Geda about the best blends and brews to suit you.
There are two types of coffee beans that are commonly used in coffee, Sami explains. ‘These are called arabica and robusta. Arabica is a smooth blend, whereas robusta is a bitter, more acidic type. For our speciality coffees, we use 100 percent arabica, but otherwise we do an 80-20 combination, which is 80 percent arabica and 20 percent robusta.’
‘Coffee also changes flavour depending on its origin – we use single-origin coffee, which is the most evident of this. The flavours of coffees from Kenya and Ethiopia have a fruity tone because the coffee beans are exposed to fruit while they are growing. Colombian coffee has a chocolatey flavour because the landscape has these types of plants, whereas in Asian countries such as Indonesia the coffee has an earthy flavour.’
Leopold’s of London is something of a coffee laboratory, with various devices and coffee machines used to enhance the beans and it has developed a comprehensive coffee-drinking process that enables a variety of different coffee methods. They have a cold coffee distiller in which coffee filters through an African blend for around eight hours called the Kyoto, which is the city where the machine is made. It’s one of its most popular products as the coffee is served cold and strong.
Sami tells of a few common tricks that baristas need to follow and avoid – as well as tips for making coffee at home. ‘A barista can be using the same coffee and machine all day but the taste will change. This is because the machine is being used frequently, so the barista needs to be taste-testing the coffee throughout the day. Occasionally people can use the wrong grind too, which can really be a problem when making the coffee. Overall, I would say the most common thing is the milk though – for example in a cappuccino, the idea is to free-pour both the milk and the coffee at the same time, which not all baristas do.’
Leopold’s of London, The Beach at The Walk, JBR, Dubai Marina, www.leopoldsoflondon.com (no number).
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‘The Asian palm civet (a small animal) eats the coffee berries and their digestive system strips away the fruit, leaving only the bean, which passes through them naturally,’ Sami explains The digestive acids of the
civets then cause the bean to ferment while it’s in their digestive system.’
Also available at Icons Coffee Couture, Souk Al Bahar (04 3214330).
More places to try coffee here in Dubai
Al Bayt Lounge
Enjoy coffee dusted with 22 karat gold at this spot.
Palace Downtown Dubai Hotel, Downtown Dubai (04 428 7806).
Try Traditional Emirati coffee, known as ‘qahwa’, here.
Marina Walk, Dubai Marina (04 368 4696).
Coffee served with camel’s milk.
The Dubai Mall (056 287 1522).