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Perfecting the art of coffee roasting

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Sudipta DevDubai

Raw Coffee Company is a boutique roastery that was started about eight years ago in Dubai when the concept of coffee roasting was nascent in the emirate. The founders slowly built a customer base in the city. The main business is wholesale and Raw Coffee Company supplies to 90 different cafes within the region. “We are now trying to expand and go into retail. We are planning to open more cafes also,” said Drew Dennehy, operations manager, Raw Coffee Company.

The company imports coffee from 15 different countries, with 20-25 variants. “We want to provide Dubai with raw products that do not have any additives or chemicals, is 100 per cent organic and Fair Trade,” stated Dennehy.

The company understood the need to engage experts and professionals who have indepth knowledge of coffee roasting. “Coffee is not a stable product, it is changing all the time, the flavour profile subtly changes even in the roastery. Then there is the crops difference from year to year,” mentioned Dennehy.

He gives the example of Ethipian Sidamo coffee, which has flavour characteristics like dark chocolate and citrus notes, but those citrus notes can change from tangerine to lemon or lime. “It is necessary to have the knowledge of manipulating the roast profile to cook that bean,” he asserted.  Not surprisingly, constant training is the backbone of the business – both chemical and physical aspects of coffee.

Expats who are used to coffee culture are the main client segment, but Dennehy pointed out that lately their outlet has been attracting the locals as well. “We will be serving Turkish coffee but it will be our way of doing it, not the traditional way. In terms of popularising, Dubai is open to welcoming any thing Western – from design to food to brands, so to boost coffee culture  we need to educate expatriates as well as locals here why they would choose to drink Raw Coffee over a major brand like Starbucks,” he said.


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