Go beyond your standard cappuccino order as good magazine visits nine Dubai cafes that are taking coffee to the next level, from house-roasted beans to trophy-toting baristas and lattes flavoured with beetroot.
ARROWS AND SPARROWS
In a nutshell: Rainbow-coloured coffees and Insta-worthy dishes
The lowdown: For a bright start to the day, hightail it to Arrows and Sparrows in the Greens, where your rainbow-hued latte might be flavoured with beetroot, turmeric or matcha. The vibrant salads and smoothie bowls will look equally fab in your Instagram feed.
Order: A beetroot latte and a smoothie bowl
Address: G04, Emaar Business Park, Building 4, The Greens, visit: arrowsparrows.com
THE ESPRESSO LAB
In a nutshell: Cutting-edge coffee in a chic setting.
The lowdown: Emirati entrepreneur Ibrahim Al Mallouhi is the brains behind The Espresso Lab, a specialty cafe-roaster that celebrates the rich history of coffee in the region. Caffeine fiends are spoilt for choice, with a range of espresso-based coffees, filter and the flash cold drip, a glass and steel contraption that looks like it’s been plucked straight from a science lab.
Order: The futuristic flash cold drip.
Address: Unit 8, Building 7, Dubai Design District, tel: 04 369 3930, visit: theespressolab.com
GOLD BOX ROASTERY
In a nutshell: Daily-changing beans and top-rated baristas.
The lowdown: With three-time UAE barista champion Lyndon Recera on the pour, you know the coffee is going to be good at Gold Box. This pioneering roaster and warehouse cafe likes to keep things fresh by rotating the beans in the hopper each day, so your espresso might be made with Bolivian coffee one day, Ethiopian the next.
Order: A V60 pour-over that accentuates the nuances of the beans.
Address: Warehouse 7, Umm Suqeim Rd East, Al Quoz Industrial Third, tel: 04 341 4320, visit: goldboxroastery.com
THE SUM OF US / ENCOUNTER COFFEE
In a nutshell: Fresh-roasted beans and a buzzy vibe.
The lowdown: From baking bread to filleting fish, the Sum of Us prides itself on its handmade ethos – and that philosophy extends to the coffee. Headed up by coffee maestro Jamie Elfman, the Encounter roastery sits alongside the Sum of Us dining room, offering guests a front-row seat for the roasting action. As well as landing in the silky flat whites at the Sum of Us, these top-notch beans pop up in other Bull & Roo hotspots, including Tom & Serg and Common Grounds, plus cafes across the GCC.
Order: A standard-bearing flat white.
Address: Ground Fl, Burj Al Salam Trade Centre, 6th St, tel: 056 445 7526, visit: thesumofusdubai.com
In a nutshell: Melbourne magic in Al Quoz.
The lowdown: If you’re feeling nostalgic for Australian comfort food, hightail it to Boston Lane in Al Quoz. This pretty courtyard cafe has everything we crave from home, including bacon and egg rolls, and toasties crammed with cheese and bolognese. The coffees are Melbourne-quality, too, with expertly pulled espressos including the Magic, a double ristretto with steamed milk, served in a small cup for the perfect ratio.
Order: A Magic and bolognese toastie
Address: The Courtyard, 6A St, Al Quoz, tel: 058 517 2131, visit: bostonlane.com
In a nutshell: These coffee bean ‘bootleggers’ have clocked up 11 years in the UAE.
The lowdown: When Kim Thompson couldn’t find the coffee she craved in the UAE, the New Zealander began bringing ‘bootleg’ beans into Dubai in her suitcase. She launched Raw Coffee in 2007 to fill the void for quality FairTrade beans. As we went to print, Kim was putting the finishing touches to her brand-new roastery and cafe in Al Quoz 1, where you’ll soon be able to sample hand-brewed Syphon, Chemex and Aeropress, plus cold brew, nitro, and classic espresso-based coffees.
Order: The affogato, which teams house-roasted coffee with locally made gelato.
Address: Al Quoz 1, tel: 04 339 5474, visit: rawcoffeecompany.com
In a nutshell: Detour-worthy drinks and sweet treats.
The lowdown: We’ve been known to take a detour on our way into the good office to grab a Brew coffee to go (and one of their gooey chocolate cookies). Try a light and fruity filter coffee, a cold brew over ice, or one of their espresso-based beverages with a range of milks, including almond, soy and lactose-free. Latte fans, why not mix things up with a military latte, which blends organic matcha, espresso, Valrhona chocolate and milk.
Order: A military latte and a hot-from-the-oven cookie.
Address: Jumeira Rd, Umm Suqeim 2, tel: 04 331 2333
In a nutshell: Killer cold brew just a block from the beach.
The lowdown: The flavours of the Balkan Peninsula are on show in this chic eatery in Umm Suqeim 3. Don’t miss the freshly baked cheese burek, walnut strudel or sweet cherry pie, paired with a glass flask of cold brew. Gold Box Roastery supplies the beans for the house blend and single origin, which changes on a weekly basis.
Order: Cold brew paired with piping-hot pastries.
Address: Cnr Jumeira St and Al Thanya Rd, Umm Suqeim 3, tel: 04 349 0744, visit: 21grams.me
In a nutshell: Sustainably sourced beans and nitro on tap
The lowdown: At this industrial-sleek roastery and eatery in the heart of Dubai’s creative hub, Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, sample small-batch beans that have been specially selected from micro lots around the world. The food menu is equally intrepid, with a globe-trotting selection that includes chorizo meatballs, paneer tikka and Aleppo pepper chicken wings.
Order: The nitro coffee infused with maple, orange or cherry.
Address: 8th St, Industrial 1 Warehouse G62, Al Quoz, tel: 04 330 6635, visit: nightjar.coffee
For more on Dubai’s coffee scene, read our review of Refresh Delux Cafe.