It had been 8 days in Marrakech and although I had brought along my aeropress, Hario electric grinder and some great Kenyan coffee to new in my hotel room, I was still craving specialty coffee brewed the espresso way. Having tried a couple of global chains in Marrakech (they didn’t exist two years ago), I knew there had to be more, so I returned to google search, which pulled up two reliable candidates, Bloom Coffee (which turned out to be specialty coffee roastery – next time I plan to visit insha’Allah) and Thirty5ive (that’s how they write it) cafe, which is where I headed after a long day working.

We finally arrived here at about 6pm and the cafe was empty except for me and the barista. Set in a residential street in fashionable Gueliz, as you enter, there are some high stool chairs to your right, which ends with two Technics SL1200 turntables (I used to DJ at university and these turntables for playing traditional records are like the goldmine of DJing) and after which you are greeted with at the brew bar, decked with a 2 group La Marzocco linea and two mahl konig grinders. The decor is trendy concrete industrial.

Brew bar

I was greeted by Khalid, who used to be the Moroccan latte art champion a few years back and is now the head barista here. I started off with a cortado as I was craving an espresso based milk drink.


Smooth taste with hints of milk chocolate and a dark berry. By smooth, I mean it was easy on the palate and the milk glided on to my tongue with ease. After shyly asking Khalid to take a pic of me as I sipped my coffee, I wandered around the shop, which is actually set on two levels. As you leave the main shop to your left, you’ll see what looks like a room for meetings, just before you head up the steep winding stairs to a little clove on top, decked with comfy floor level cushions and chairs too.

View from the top

Also on display was art from a local artist, using metal – impressive!

After my cortado had settled in my stomach… let’s say 5 minutes, I ordered a filter coffee together with a pistachio financier (classic french almond mini cake), as I hadn’t eaten all day. The financier was really delicious, melt in your mouth with Moroccan almonds I presume.


and the coffee….

Smelt like sweet spice and berries with medium acidity.

Their coffee is actually roasted in Amsterdam as the Moroccan owners used to live there.

In short, my top choice to visit for specialty coffee in Marrakech to date. I’m sure the morning and evening vibe will be different featuring the young and trendy from Marrakech listening to old school tunes, discussing art and life, plus more OR jamming to the DJs tunes on a Friday evening.

Thirty5ive is located at 3 Rue el Imam Malik, Gueliz, Marrakech.

A coffee portrait


I was at %Arabica Coffee, Marrakech

Craving specialty coffee during my recent trip to Marrakech i must confess I wasn’t that hopeful e when I google “specialty coffee Marrakech “ BUT I was pleasantly surprised to find that Japanese brand Arabica% had opened their second shop in Morocco ( I went to their first one in Casablanca last year).

The entrance

I must confess I thought I had heard about their new shop but wasn’t sure if it was in Marrakech. So, when an acquaintance asked to meet briefly before my first meeting, I suggested this spot.

Newly opened in the fancy Dubaiesque M AVENUE, a hub of new shops, hip restaurants and the CR7 Hotel by Cristiano Ronaldo, Arabica% is set to attract those needing an escape into specialty coffee.. in a country that still doesn’t have a Starbucks.

The chemex fountain

As usual, there’s a lot of expense and creativity in the decor with a #chemex fountain (above) wide spaces and an escapism feel, decked with two slayer espresso machines.

I opted for a #cappuccino using their Brazil and Ethiopia blend. Hints of milk chocolate and almonds.

Also on offer are filter brews too. So, if you visit the magical city of Marrakech this summer and want a hint of specialty coffee, pop over to Arabica% Marrakech

Can drinking coffee make you live longer?


In summary, the researchers analyzed demographic, lifestyle and dietary information collected from more than 170,000 people between the ages of 37 and 73 over a median follow-up period of 7 years.

As mentioned on my website (see bio) , coffee has a lot of #antioxidants, which can prevent or delay cell damage, as confirmed by Dr Goldberg. In the article, Beth Czerwony, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Human Nutrition in Ohio, added that #antioxidants can help break down free radicals that cause damage to cells. She added that

“Over time, a buildup of free radicals can increase inflammation in the body, which can cause plaque formation related to heart disease, she said, so dietitians recommend consuming foods and beverages that are rich in antioxidants.”

New York Times Article

The study mentions that the main threshold is 3-4 cups of coffee per day. I usually drink 3 cups, one per meal.

Obviously caramel lattes that contain a reportedly 25g of sugar don’t qualify 🥺 and I’d like to add that drinking good coffee well prepared would probably help too.

I’ve been trying to get my wife to drink coffee for 17 years and she recently started having one small cup a day when I launched my coffee escapecaffe now available here . Here’s to a longer healthier life with great #coffee God willing. 😊

Poll: My Coffee Brand

My cafe logo

Renaming my Brand: Readers Thoughts

First up, I’m grateful to my almost 100 subscribers to my blog and that’s why I’d like to invite you to participate in helping me choose my coffee brand.

So, I’ve been think a while about my coffee brand. Trust me it’s taking me several hours and I’ve been back and forth with the tried and tested and the newish.

Looking through how I think about coffee and communicate about coffee, three words come to me LOVE, PASSION, ESCAPE.

FOR LOVE, ❤️ this usually starts with infatuation, where you want to know more and justify your infatuation and whether it resides in LOVE. For coffee, this was the start of my journey. I wanted to know why my taste buds where experiencing this delight.

FOR PASSION, 🧡 this was the next phase as the organ of the word relates to suffering. It was the point of no compromise in getting the best coffee possible. First with buying the best gadgets and then with only visiting certain cafes and if you were pulled into a commercial chain to drink coffee, yes, I would prefer water rather than compromise and let my taste buds suffer.

For ESCAPE, ✈️ it was the drink of the escapist, as the drinker escapes from reality into the surreal of new taste experiences, evident on their tongues. THIS is why my first coffee shop 12 years ago, was called ESCAPE CAFFE. To escape with your taste buds required flight and I love wings but also pay homage to the Italians – hence CAFFE (coffee in Italian) and not CAFE (French) and also an espresso cup.

Dubai Coffee Faves 1: Typica

So, this is the final part of my series on my fave coffee spots in Dubai and I finish with a bang @typica.uae run by @coffee_limitless (aka Michaela) two times #uaebaristachampion (2018 and just last week 2021) not to mention she got into the semi finals of the recently held @specialtycoffeeassociation #wbc2021 in Milan 👍🏽 Sure, you can be served great #coffee sourced from very special farms across the world 🌍 and I usually opt for a special filter brew but if there’s one drink I’ll recommend, 😌 it’s the champion 🏆 aptly named as the winning drink Michaela served when she won the uae barista trophy in 2018. If you scroll to the second page of this post, one of her barista @hartgomezatienza explains the drink in detail but in short it’s a whirl of flavors in your mouth from pronounced orange to watermelon and a hint of coffee cream, literally a party 💃🏽 in my mouth.

If that’s not enough, as I was about to leave @jason_galinea . told me that they still have some of the beans (Mandela) used by Michaela at the WBC & I was like wow, 😮 I’m away but I pray upon my return Inshallah I’ll taste it before it runs 🏃🏾 out. My only competition are the Dubai based coffee geeks like @sanaveed90 reading this.

Thanks to the team for another wonderful experience.

dubaicoffee #coffeechampions #coffeeheroes #worldbaristachampionship2021 #specialtycoffee #filtercoffee #coffeevideos #coffeeexperience #coffeeexpert #coffeeblogs #lameenabdulmalik #worldofcoffee #coffeeintheemirates #worldbaristachampionship #coffeelover #coffeeaddict #coffeeshop #coffeedesign

My Coffee Dream: Part 2

Shehzeen of Sippy Beans

Part 2? You may be wondering what was Part 1. Well, part 1 was when I had my coffee shop, ESCAPE CAFFE in Cape Town from September 2010 until February 2012. That’s when I moved my whole family to another part of the world to set yup my ideal coffee shop.

Fast forward ⏩ to 2021 and….

Well, I believe that when you pursue your dreams, God puts people in your life to help you complete the journey.

So, when I first met Shehzeen and MD of @sippybeans, Dubai in October 2020 and she asked how can we collaborate after talking coffee for about one hour, I said “why don’t we release a coffee line together” and she said “why not” 🕺🏽 now, who said dreams don’t come true. 🎉

The filter blend

So far we’ve released 2 coffees, available exclusively on https://sippybeans.com/search?type=product&q=Lameen of course. Thanks once again sippy for believing in me and being part of my journey.

Looking forward to realizing our coffee dreams together and God willing more coffees 😌

Why a Filter Blend?

You may be asking why a Filter Blend ?

I recall when I was growing up and how my mum instilled in us the concept of never throwing food away.

Fast forward to 30+ years later and I’m a coffee geek. So when I get to the end of a coffee, do I throw it away or just mix it in with the new?

Hands up for this who guessed right – yes, I still can’t throw food items away, especially coffee – after all when you source great coffee weekly and can’t wait to brew it and enjoy it, how can I be so careless to throw some good beans away – I can’t

So, when I was thinking about the Filter version of my coffee, it was natural for me to think of a Filter Blend. Even the roaster asked me, “but why?” and I was like “why not?” – too scared to tell him my childhood fear, 🤷🏽‍♂️ Ha! I was also aware that square mile coffee have also recently started a filter blend for filter coffee.

So, here we are, the FILTER BLEND …. coming soon to your fave UAE based coffee platform, SIPPY and my partners and as a homage to Africa, it’s comprised of two special African coffees naturally.

Launching soon: my filter blend

It’s almost here…. The FILTER BLEND of my coffee line in collaboration with @sippybeans . We did the tasting two weeks ago and I presented it at an exclusive event recently.

The blend combines the bold flavours of berries, fruit and medium acidity with an unforgettable aroma that I search for when I prepare coffee daily using @hariov60 ..😋 I can’t wait to share it with you so that you can tell me what you think but it’ll soon be in the market.

Truly exciting I must say this coffee dream of mine. Dream big and be bold 😉

Do you know what movie inspired the name of my blog?

Sometimes we get so serious about what’s around us in the world BUT sometimes we need to escape into our pleasant thoughts.

For me looking back at precious moments from my childhood warms my heart ❤️ and I thank God for my parents and for growing up in Nigeria with my siblings, lots of family and friends.

I recall my favourite movies 🎥 as a child and if you can relate, you may be able to guess what movie inspired me to name my coffee blog FROM COFFEE WITH LOVE.

Try not to get distracted by my singing 🎤as my #coffee skills are much better.

What loving fun thoughts from your childhood still resonate with your journey through life at the moment?

#inspiration #motivation #life #love #adventure #gratitude #childhoodmemories

I was at The Espresso Lab, Dubai

A piccolo or cortado

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.

Brew bar at espresso lab

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!

Coffee menu

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.

Pouring my cortado

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.

Cute Carrot cake

Their menu is different and I plan to visit their newly opened roastery with another coffee nerd soon in order to learn more.

Coffee galore

So, when in Dubai, I highly recommend a visit to espresso lab, located in building 7, Dubai Design District.

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