Debating the best coffee in Dubai is a touchy subject, considering the hundreds of cafes around the city, from Palm Jumeirah to Al Qouz to Port Rashid. So, I narrowed my search by only selecting the cafes that also roast their own coffee.

Needless to say, there were still plenty of places around town, and in my research, I came across this thread on Reddit discussing the best coffee in Dubai. A spreadsheet and an hour later, I had my list ready based on the comments and the preferred cafes.

Best Coffee in Dubai

There was one name that the entire Tbreak office unanimously selected in their top three places for the best coffee in Dubai, and coincidentally, that place starts with an A. I knew right away that the best way to sort this list would be in alphabetical order.

%Arabica

Locations: Mirdiff City Center, Dubai Mall, City Walk, Mall of the Emirates, JBR, The Pointe (Palm Jumeirah)

Almost everyone at Tbreak agrees that in this hunt for the best coffee in Dubai, %Arabica deserves a spot at the top. The Spanish Latte is my favourite drink at %Arabica.

Price for an Espresso: AED 17
Price for an Americano: AED 18
Price for a Latte: AED 25
Price for a Chemex: AED 21
See the full menu


Black Coffe by Cafe Younez

Locations: Sheikh Zayed Road, Media City, Palm Jumeirah

Price for an Espresso: AED 18
Price for an Americano: AED 20
Price for a Latte: AED 22
See the full menu


Cafe Rider

Location: Al Qouz

Cafe Rider is iconic, and the first roastery I visited made me realize how good coffee can be. That was almost ten years ago, and it’s still on this list of best coffee in Dubai. Talk about consistency.

Price for an Espresso: AED 21
Price for an Americano: AED 21
Price for a Latte: AED 24
Price for a Chemex: AED 30
Price for a V60 Pour Over: 32
See the full menu


Coffee Lab

Location: Port Rashid

Price for an Espresso: AED 20
Price for an Americano: AED 21
Price for a Latte: AED 26
Price for an Iced Filter V60: AED 30
See the full menu


Emirati Coffee

Location: Al Quoz

Funny story- at one time, the Tbreak office was located RIGHT NEXT to Emirati Coffee in Al Qouz and that almost immediately replaced my morning stop at Starbucks. I still visit them and love their coffee- easily a contender for the best coffee in Dubai.

Price for an Espresso: AED 17
Price for an Americano: AED 18
Price for a Latte: AED 24


Grandmother

Location: Al Quoz

Price for an Espresso: AED 22
Price for an Americano: AED 22
Price for a Latte: AED 33
See the full menu


Mokha 1450

Locations: Jumeirah, Palm Jumeirah

I discovered Mokha 1450 purely by accident, as my wife wanted to look for furniture at 2XL next to it. It was love at first sip- the coffee here is just so good.

Price for an Iced Americano: AED 16.83
Price for an Iced Latte: AED 22.15
Price for a V60: AED 29
Price for a Chemex: AED 73.50
See the full menu


Nightjar

Locations: Al Serkal Avenue, City Walk

Price for an Espresso: AED 18
Price for an Americano: AED 18
Price for a Latte: AED 22
Price for a V 60: AED 25
See the full menu


Raw Coffee

Location: Al Qouz

Price for an Espresso: AED 18
Price for an Americano: AED 18
Price for a Latte: AED 23
Price for a V60: AED 25
Price for a Chemex: AED 44
See the full menu


Sum of Us

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road

The owners of Tom & Serge are well known in Dubai, and The Sum of Us is one of their places, which not only serves one of the best coffee in Dubai but also excellent breakfast dishes.

Price for an Espresso: AED 16
Price for an Americano: AED 18
Price for a Latte: AED 19
Price for a V60: 21
Price for a Chemex: AED 24
See the full menu


What Defines a Good Coffee?

A good coffee starts with the quality of the beans, and there are specific characteristics that set exceptional beans apart. Factors such as the region of origin, the altitude at which the coffee is grown, and the variety of the coffee plant have a significant impact on the bean’s flavour profile.

You’ll often find that good quality beans have been sourced from regions known for their coffee production, like Ethiopia or Colombia, and come from farms that pay close attention to the cultivation process.

The method of processing and roasting the coffee beans further defines the quality of your coffee. Processing methods, whether washed, honey or natural, influence the final taste, as do the roasting time and temperature.

You may prefer a light, medium, or dark roast, each bringing out different nuances in flavour, from bright and acidic to rich and smoky. A good coffee roaster understands the delicate balance needed to enhance the bean’s best qualities without overshadowing its natural features.

Lastly, the preparation method plays a crucial role in how your coffee tastes. The grind size, water quality, temperature, and brewing time are all variables that, when correctly combined, create a fantastic cup of coffee.

Whether you favour an espresso machine or a French press, good coffee should always be pleasant to the palate, with a well-rounded body, perfect acidity, and delightful aroma that tantalises the senses—confirming that careful attention to each aspect of coffee production leads to that desirable cup.

Bean Type and Origin

The type of coffee bean, Arabica or Robusta, greatly affects flavour. Arabica beans are widely regarded for their smooth, complex taste and lower caffeine content, whereas Robusta beans tend to be stronger and more bitter. Origin also influences the bean’s flavour profile; beans from Ethiopia may have floral notes, while those from Colombia could have a nutty or fruity character.

  • Arabica: Smooth, less caffeine, higher acidity, diverse flavours.
  • Robusta: Strong, more caffeine, often harsher and nuttier.

Roast Profile

The roast profile determines the bean’s colour and taste, ranging from light to dark. A light roast preserves the bean’s original flavour nuances and acidity. In contrast, a dark roast may introduce a smoky, bitter flavour and reduce acidity.

  1. Light Roast: Higher acidity, original bean flavours.
  2. Medium Roast: Balanced flavour, less acidity.
  3. Dark Roast: Smoky, less original bean flavour, low acidity.

Grind Consistency

Your coffee’s taste can be significantly influenced by grind consistency. A uniform grind ensures even extraction during brewing, which is essential for optimal flavour. For example, a fine grind is suited to espresso, while a coarse grind is ideal for French press.

  • Fine Grind: Ideal for espresso; too fine can cause bitterness.
  • Coarse Grind: Ideal for French press; too coarse can lead to weak coffee.

Brewing Methods

The method you employ to brew your coffee significantly affects its flavour and strength. Mastery of these techniques can elevate your coffee experience.

Extraction Techniques

Your coffee’s taste hinges on the extraction process, the phase where water pulls flavours and oils from the coffee grounds. Common extraction techniques vary widely:

  • Espresso: A high-pressure method using fine grounds, yielding a concentrated shot.
  • French Press: Steeping coarse grounds in hot water before plunging.
  • Pour-over: Hot water is poured evenly over medium grounds in a filter.
  • Aeropress: A combination of steeping and pressure to extract flavour quickly.

Each of these techniques requires attention to grind size, contact time, and agitation.

Water Quality and Temperature

Quality brewing isn’t possible without considering the water used:

  • Water Quality: Use filtered water to avoid off-flavours from chlorine or other impurities.
  • Temperature: Optimal brewing temperatures range from 90°C to 96°C. Variations can lead to under-extraction (sour) or over-extraction (bitter) tastes.

Adjusting water quality and temperature can dramatically alter the profile of your coffee, so precise control is key.

You should seek beans that have a uniform appearance and a rich aroma that are sourced from a single origin. The best beans are typically hand-picked and processed with care to preserve their natural flavours.

Superior coffee beans often have a consistent size and shape, minimal defects, and a glossy surface. They come from reputable farms and are usually roasted to perfection to highlight their unique profile.

A complexity of flavour, balanced acidity, and a pleasant aftertaste distinguishes premium coffee. The body and mouthfeel also play significant roles in defining a high-end brew.

A coffee’s excellence is influenced by the bean’s origin, the altitude at which it was grown, and the care taken during harvesting and roasting. Excellence is evident in the depth and clarity of its flavour notes.

The benefits, such as antioxidant content and the presence of healthy compounds, correspond with quality. The methods of cultivation and processing directly impact the benefits you receive.

So there you have it- these are the contenders for the best coffee in Dubai. Have you tried any of them? Let me know in the comments below. And if you think there’s a coffee spot that deserves a spot on this list, don’t hesitate to share your recommendations.

Abbas Jaffar Ali
Abbas Jaffar Ali

Abbas has been covering tech for more than two decades- before phones became smart or clouds stored data. He brought publications like CNET, TechRadar and IGN to the Middle East.

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