Founded by Emirati entrepreneur Ibrahim Al Mallouhi, The Espresso Lab is a Dubai born artisan company to the core.
Our passion goes into every cup of coffee we serve. We’re to the coffee world what artisan shoemakers are to the fashion world!
As part of our strategy, we introduce new initiatives and activities to be delivered by the latest technology in the speciality coffee industry, which will be based on innovation, adaption and rapid evolution that makes speciality coffee stand out from the commercial coffee.
Besides the regular menu, the Espresso Lab will be offering seasonal speciality coffee at certain times to entice the individual tastes and inclinations of our clients, which will no doubt make them more inquisitive and justify their demand for an extraordinary experience with our coffee.
At The Espresso Lab, we strive to inspire coffee enthusiasts and the general public with our speciality coffee and engage everyone to be part of a memorable experience with friends and family over a cup of coffee.
How It All Began
As a child, I used to sit next to my grandma while she roasted Arabic coffee. She always used green coffee beans and taught me the techniques for roasting them. She taught me how to listen to the sounds and cracks, look for the right roasting color, and the traditional methods for cooling the coffee beans and grinding them in the correct way.
My grandmother used to have a Majlis where a lot of influential people frequented, and I used to help her serve the coffee. It was there that we used to drink coffee together and she taught me how to identify coffee notes that helped develop my palate and that’s where my love for coffee started. Many coffee chains started opening in Dubai in the years that followed. I tried their coffee but was not impressed. I was looking for something better, something special that carried the essence of Arabic coffee which I found to be the best coffee in my opinion at that time.
In 2010 I was in New York, and I came across a tiny coffee shop that was really crowded with a long queue out the door. I had to try it, so I ordered a milk-based cup and it was the most amazing flavor experience, I could identify every flavor and tasting note! That experience became my first introduction to specialty coffee and I have never looked back.
Following that, I spent about 5 years traveling and visiting coffee shops around the world in my search for the best specialty coffee. I would sit for countless hours at coffee shops, taking notes on their coffee and the experience.
The next step for me was to apply to the Bellissimo Coffee Advisors in Oregon (previously American University Barista School) and I subsequently graduated with a diploma in coffee. I also got my membership from the Specialty Coffee Association and received my official barista certification. Thereafter, I traveled to Vietnam and Ethiopia where I visited coffee farms and worked closely with farmers to get a holistic insight into the trade of coffee. I concluded my last step by obtaining an executive MBA from CASS Business School London so that I could prepare myself for running a successful business.
At last, I knew I was ready. I made a three-year strategy and came up with a vision. I had already come up with the name, The Espresso Lab, and logo and had them trademarked, and so it all began.
- The Espresso Lab becomes a teaching academy and baristas who graduate with a certificate are highly sought after
- Even the competition would seek those certified by us
- This academy hosts the annual coffee award (Full featured testing experience, knowledge and creativity)
- An employer of choice for all baristas
- Highly sought after by Retail & Hospitality operators
- Has outlets that cover multiple locations, emirates and cities around the region
- And it’s star barista (Ibrahim) is a guest of choice on daytime, news and media outlets, for his expertise and entrepreneurial spirit (Inspiration for other Emiratis)
- Roast our own coffee
- Sell our own brand of filtered coffee (for home consumption)
- Own our own coffee plantation
- We become a touristic destination for quintessentially UAE Famous brands to visit
- We are sociable & friendly
- We are generous in substance, time and spirit
- We are unpredictable
- We are Honest & Natural
- We are lighthearted & high spirited
- We are creative
- We are committed
- We are discoverers
- We believe that coffee is sacred
- We believe that mis-preparing coffee is sacrilegious
- We believe that coffee is a journey and not a destination
- We believe that Arabs, the originators of coffee are still the best at preparing it and serving it given their appreciation of its social influence, features, benefits and life value
- We believe we are the messengers entrusted with the responsibility to spread excellent coffee to the community
- We believe that we have a duty to convey properly the labor of love that the specialty coffee farmers endure, through our meticulous preparation and presentation
- We believe that one should always make time for coffee
- We believe that the secrets of coffee should be entrusted to all and not be hidden
- We are first and foremost Cafeliers:
- We love coffee, we understand coffee and we write coffee poetry to our loved ones. We don’t employ baristas. Baristas are bartenders that serve from behind a bar , mixologists for the hipsters. We employee coffee chefs, experts in sourcing, roasting and serving the best specialty single origin coffee in the land.
- We source our coffee exclusively from Microlot farms who have been or are classified as Cup of Excellence
- We are the only Coffee Specialty House that have visited and verified our sources personally
- We are the only coffee specialty house that have access to highly sought after beans NOT available to anyone else (90 Plus) by invitation.
- We are the only coffee specialty house that is a member of Specialty Coffee association of America, Specialty Coffee association of Europe, The Roaster’s Guild, and member of Cup of Excellence,
- Ibrahim, the founder of The Espresso Lab, is the only Emarati who has been certified by the American Barista & Coffee School, Barista Guild of America, SCAA and SCAE
We endeavor to deliver the best experience possible for coffee lovers.
We are people and we believe that through this we can spread our love and knowledge of coffee. We do not put limitations on how much we share with others, whether our love for the bean or our portions. We like to surprise people with our creations and keep them on their toes. While we take our passion seriously, we like to keep our conversations light and humorous.
We are happy doing what we do and that happiness is visible in everything we do. We believe in experimentation and creating new ways to enjoy a good brew. After all, our journey of discovery and experimentation is what got us here.
We endeavor to deliver the best experience possible for coffee lovers. This means that we go out of our way to identify, sample, validate and reserve the right allocation of bean varieties from Microlots and ensure proper shipping and storage. We strive to roast our beans using the skills of our own master roasters that bring out the best results from every variety.
When we grind, we do so with the final customer order in mind, whether it’s an espresso, drip or cold brew. We recognize that we need to do justice to the labor of love of farmers who invest their precious time and livelihood to grow the best bean possible and hence we believe that our mission is to uphold the value of their precious crop by preserving it the best way we know how. Our way.