So how much do you love your #coffee dream? 🤔 Here’s a quick 🎥 #video, where I share my thoughts and daily routine when I had a cafe 11 years ago in Cape Town, South Africa.
In summary, when you have a dream, go for it as you might learn a few things about your life and aspirations and even lose weight – well I stood up for about 5-6 hours a day serving customers and chatting too. Plus, and I hesitate to add, I’m not a biologist BUT I think the excitement of running your cafe or chasing your dream might have a positive impact on your physical, mental and spiritual health too.
Before I go and perhaps I’m getting a bit philosophical here, I sincerely believe that when you chase your dreams, not forgetting the stress of getting customers, the enjoyment will out last the pain points. In fact 4 years after I sold my cafe I was still on a high of chasing my dreams. I’m not sure why BUT perhaps a study needs to be done. As I quest for another coffee dream, this euphoria feeling I must say is addictive but in a good way.
I’m so excited to let you know that on 2 March 2021 I launched my first ESPRESSO BLEND coffee in collaboration with Sippy Beans of Dubai, UAE. I always believe that if you are really passionate about something and try your best to persevere with faith and determination to live your dream, you will experience it in some way. This isn’t my first journey of living my dream as you know, because back in 2009, I moved to Cape Town to open up my first coffee shop, called Escape Caffe, which I eventually sold for multiple personal reasons in early 2013.
So, when in October 2020, upon just moving to Dubai, I met with Shehzeen of Sippy Beans (a Dubai based online coffee retailer) I was asked, after talking about coffee for hours, she asked how we could work together, I dared to say, because I had dreamt about it and wanted to articulate it for REAL, that “can we launch a coffee brand using From Coffee With Love”, she said YES almost immediately. Now, who said that dreams don’t come true.
You may be wondering why I have called the espresso blend the “drink of the escapist”, so check my video here to experience my excitement.
In short, we worked with one of Dubai’s premier coffee roasters and after having tasted about 10 different blends, I knew that just one sip of what would be become my first espresso blend was all I needed. It just hit the spot, it was so unusual for me and I knew it was a bit unconventional, like LOVE of course, something that cannot be easily explained.
As I usually drink my espresso based drinks with milk, you’ll find hints of chocolate, spicy vanilla, with medium/low acidity and a long lasting caramel taste – so you’ll be looking forward to your next cup.
I always believe that you should follow your passion and pursue your dreams with perseverance as you never know who God will place in your path to make that dream a reality.
Thanks to my wife and my kids for believing in me and being patient when I went to cafes and grilled baristas about their coffee preparation. Thanks to Sippy for putting their trust in launching this blend with me. Looking forward to developing the filter blend soon God willing.
The experience was even more exhilarating as I had my #dailycortado using #kenyancoffee
In honour of International coffee day on 1 October 2020, I decided to treat myself at one of Dubai’s iconic specialty coffee shops, The Espresso Lab, located at Dubai Design District. In fact this was my second visit, as I had visited them at the previous location in 2016, read here.
As you enter, you are greeted with a brew bar, featuring a Synesso espresso machine and many filter brew options ranging from cold drip, Hario V60, khalifa wave, etc and more, see pic below.
What was unusual for me, was the number of staff present. Let me explain; following the pandemic , I’ve noticed that most food and beverage establishments have cut down considerably on staff. I’ve always been in two minds about this because I always believe that this compromises on service delivery. Can you really provide the same level of quality customer experience ( I prefer this to service) with less people? Well, I don’t think so.
So, back to espresso lab. For me, with this amount of staff, it gave the impression that they were very focused on the customer and that each staff had clear guidelines on their job, so well done espresso lab.
Now, to the coffee. I love that they don’t serve espresso to go and don’t offer sugar, yay!
I knew I was craving espresso based coffee as I had to leave my espresso machine in Vienna until it is air freighted. On offer were 3 single origins; India, Yemen and Kenya. Now, if you know a bit about coffee origins and taste profiles, you’ll know that these choices are very unusual, especially for espresso. In case you are wondering, it’s very rare to brew Kenyan coffee on an espresso machine mainly because of the typical profile of bold, berry and citrus flavours. Although very uncommon at the moment, I must say since I’ve moved to Dubai, I’ve had close contact with Yemeni coffee, so, I decided to try the Kenya coffee. Check out the latte art pour by barista Wael below.
And wow! I wasn’t disappointed, as this was for me, one of the best milk based espresso drinks of 2020, a true treat, praise God. Well done to the barista Wael, who I quizzed endlessly before I placed my order. I salute his patience.
After that delightful experience, I knew I needed something sweet, so here comes the mini double layer carrot cake, topped with rose petals, another delicious treat. To compliment this experience I had a short black, americano with less water and discovered a book, “the monk of mokha“, which a friend mentioned to me a few years back, that I would like to buy and read.
Their menu is different and I plan to visit their newly opened roastery with another coffee nerd soon in order to learn more.
So, when in Dubai, I highly recommend a visit to espresso lab, located in building 7, Dubai Design District.
A few weeks back, Nick Baskett of bar talks contacted me to say that he really enjoyed my blog (yay!) and that he would love to do an interview with me. I found it very easy to talk with Nick and we really hit it off. After a couple of conversations, we decided that we needed to capture our chats about life and coffee for his bar talks podcast/ website.
We decided to name it Coffee and Philosophy as Nick is really into philosophy and I’m into coffee and life too. We had a really great chat and in fact the interview didn’t feel like an interview but like a great chat with a friend about life, coffee and more. So much so that we had to limit our time artificially because we know people get bored after about 30 minutes listening or watching an interview.
The full podcast is about 50 minutes and you can listen here whilst driving or commuting. Alternatively, here’s a summary of the highlights of my first ever podcast with Nick Baskett where we talk about my life story and how to find your purpose chasing your dreams and using ancient philosophies like stoicism and more.