International or World Coffee Day might have just passed but that does not mean we have to stop talking about it! On a recent trip to Dubai, coincidentally close to International Coffee Day, we decided to visit the famous Coffee Museum at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Dubai. If glass exteriors and tiled floors are the first images that your mind conjures, you are going to be proved wrong, just like we were. Nestled between old buildings is this gem of a place that is a paradise for any coffee connoisseur.
Spread across two floors, the museum had multiple rooms that housed various coffee-related equipment from all across the globe. We sat in the waiting area, till Khalid Al Mulla, owner of the museum arrived and thus began our tour. We started on the ground floor, which had tools from various countries used for roasting and brewing. Other antique items like coffee grinders, roasters, kettles, pots, sorters, weighing scales, bowls and lots more are also showcased. One of the most interesting rooms on the ground floor was the Majlis room — a sitting room used for special gatherings by various administrative, social and religious groups. The room had carpets, dallahs and pillows and offered a glimpse into the traditional Emirati style of drinking coffee. We also had a cup of Ethiopian coffee, as one of the corners of the room had a set up, where a lady dressed in traditional clothes, served coffee to visitors. The coffee was paired surprisingly with popcorn. The strong coffee also ensured that sleep was a distant dream that night.
We then made our way to the first floor, which featured the literary section. They had a wide range of books on coffee and maps dating back to the 18th century, which showcased the global history of coffee and coffee plantation workers. We were able to learn about the bean selection, roasting and brewing techniques in various coffee cultures, followed by more coffee, just in case the insomnia was already ascertained. We ended the tour with, you guessed right, one more cup of coffee and finally called it a day! We’d suggest this museum to anyone who has even the remotest interest in this humble bean with a multi-billion dollar industry now tethered to it.
₹300 onwards. 9 am to 5 pm. At Al Fahidi, Dubai.