Dubai has long been home to a strong coffee culture complemented by bold and inspired settings. Residents and visitors however, were in for a real treat during the Dubai Food Festival (DFF). From 26 February to 14 March, leading global and local coffee shops pulled out all the stops to create unique brews and blends as part of the Limited Edition Coffee Series. Many coffee connoisseurs picked up a passport on their first visit, and after getting eight stamps – one for each limited edition creation they tried – were in with a chance to win AED1,000 worth of the aromatic brew.
Serving over 67 different coffee varieties from around the globe, the experience and atmosphere at Cafe Frei are unique. To celebrate the Dubai Food Festival, the cafe created a short-run antioxidant-rich coffee called Superfood Frappe, using beans sourced from shade-grown plantations. It was a flavourful blend prepared with fresh blueberries for a bright splash of colour, and crunchy pistachios – a local favourite.
Central Park Towers, Podium 3, DIFC
+971 4 422 1379
Regulars at Costa were excited for the franchise’s customised Spiced Toffee Capupccino, which was served across all of its 155 stores in the UAE exclusively for DFF. It featured a cup of espresso topped with a spiced toffee foam – ideal for a pick-me-up that packed in both sweet and heat, and the drink-of-choice for those who enjoyed strong caramel flavours.
Costa outlets across Dubai, including Sheikh Zayed Road
+971 4 304 0400
Combining culinary inspiration from both Latin America and Asia, Andes launched a new coffee creation for DFF – the Vietnamese Iced Latte. Visitors to the venue at One Central enjoyed the utterly delicious drink, made using speciality medium-dark roast coffee beans from South America and infused with condensed and fresh milk before being served hot or over ice.
One Central, Dubai
+971 4 338 9935
This popular Al Quoz coffee house created an ode to the region with their Ice Rose Crystal Coffee for DFF. Infused with rose petals and Boston Lane’s signature coffee jelly, it was a refreshing serving for those on the hunt for a sweet and fragrant drink. Boston Lane is one of the coolest coffee spots in town, and many a hipster was spotted sipping on this tasty thirst-quencher during the festival.
The Courtyard, 6A Street, Al Quoz 1
+971 58 517 2131
If everything organic floats your boat, this friendly neighbourhood spot has the menu for you. During DFF, Qiso Cafe brewed a novel coffee experience, and gave guests the opportunity to sample three different single-origin drinks. They could taste all three and select the one they liked the most. Participants then received a coffee card detailing the bean origins and taste profile along with a full glass of the final concoction of their choice.
Sunshine Residence, Dubai Silicon Oasis
+971 4 321 2127
All those looking for high-quality artisanal brews and bites will feel right at home at Drop Dubai. Coffee connoisseurs stopped by this third wave coffee company’s Downtown Dubai or Jumeirah location to sip on a Cold Brew Spritz during DFF. They also got to unwind and enjoy the concrete-meets-wood interiors of this trendy space while sipping on the Italian-inspired pre-summer drink.
Level Shoes, The Dubai Mall
+971 54 441 2523
Dar Wasl, Al Wasl
+971 54 441 2523
This homegrown company has a proud history in the region, tracing its origins back to the 1930s when the founder’s grandfather used to trade coffee beans throughout the Arabian Gulf. Those who appreciate the mastery of lesser-known coffee creations truly enjoyed Emirati Coffee’s DFF special – the Cascara Fizz, a cold drink made from the pulp or skin of the coffee cherry (also known as the ‘qishr’). A bonus fact for the trivia hungry – cascara has more antioxidant properties and less caffeine content than coffee seeds.
Emirati Coffee Store, Dar Wasl Mall
+971 56 888 6034
Emirati Coffee Roastery, 14 9B St, Building 1, Al Quoz Industrial Area 3
+971 50 828 3858
This fun and quirky cafe at Last Exit in Al Khawaneej joined in the coffee series by offering the Doh Oreo Latte – a limited edition Oreo cookie inspired drink. With a base of fresh coffee beans infused with chocolate, this ‘dohliciously’ creamy drink was just about right for an indulgent day out with family and friends.
Last Exit Al Khawaneej
+971 58 536 4823
Lighting up the coffee scene for Dubai’s Jumeirah crowd this DFF was Storm Cafe’s food truck at Boxpark. Visitors got their caffeine hit while unwinding and exploring the many boutiques at the quirky destination, built on repurposed shipping containers. They chose the signature Storm Latte, a unique speciality blend made from top-of-the-line coffee beans and sporting a distinctive Arabic taste.
Boxpark, Al Wasl Road
+971 50 944 9152
With locations all across Dubai, Cupagahwa has become one of the city’s favourite go-to coffee brands. The coffee hotspot jumped aboard the flavour train with its Falooda Latte. During DFF, foodies looking for a decadent brew savoured the creamy milk-based drink with traditional rose flavoured notes, and layered with Cupagahwa’s Italian coffee blend for a modern, energising twist.
Across Dubai, including La Mer, Dubai Silicon Oasis and JBR
+971 56 329 5455
Spill The Bean
Pioneering the third wave concept in the region, this speciality coffee shop is the place to go for single origin blends and clean eats. Their DFF special drink, the Bounty Brew, is a lip-smacking vegan, gluten-free pick-me-up for healthy foodies who enjoy coconut indulgences. It’s made with a cold Colombian brew and coconut milk, poured over coconut chocolate truffles, a raw chocolate brownie bite, mocha syrup and coffee-bean infused ice spheres.
Mira Town Centre and Shop #07, Block, The Sustainable City
+971 4 242 8671