About two weeks back a friend told me to check this new cafe out in Abu Dhabi and to be honest, I thought to myself “when am I going to go to Abu Dhabi next, let alone, a coffee shop there”. Literally the next day, I decided to take my wife al the way to Abu Dhabi airport, about an hour away from Dubai and guess what…. drum roll… the coffee shop he told me to check out was, can you believe it… 5 minutes drive away from the airport. It’s like God was saying “you’re going to that coffee shop”.
And here we are THINGS Specialty Coffee shop, owned by 2022 UAE Cup Tasters Champ and Q Grader, Sulaiman Khamis Alalawi and newly opened in March 2023. As you enter, there’s a filter brew bar to the right, together with sunglasses on display (the owner loves quirky sunglasses). The filter brew bar is decked with high chairs, a bar of course featuring filter brewing gear and low bar hanging lights. It’s like if you sit there, full attention will be given to you during the brewing process – a real specialty bar.
As you walk further in, you will notice the San Remo espresso machine on top an unusual looking brick style brew bar to your slight left. This is where the flat whites, cappuccinos, espresso are poured. There’s ample seating, more on the left hand side of the shop in a minimalist, fairly dark toned interior – I guess to promote intimacy with your cup of coffee and taste buds.
Place your orders next to brew bar and select your beans from top roasters as Things doesn’t have a dedicated roaster. When I visited, they had Vulcan from Qatar for espresso coffee and Glyph from Singapore for filter coffees – this is typical of Sulaiman, because if you follow him on Instagram, then you know he doesn’t follow convention BUT loves exploring. I guess he wants to give his clients a different experience and wants them to “drink like an escapist”.
After conversing with the head barista like a coffee geek, I ordered a cortado to start together with a delicious banana bread.
Smooth and well prepared.
My daughter ordered a mocha – hot chocolate with coffee and snapped away.
After we enjoyed the banana bread and our drinks, we were off for the filter brew bar experience.
And, this is where we spent most of our time. The barista was so helpful and loved brewing coffee that he made us two drinks. First was a special Central American coffee, roasted on their Roest small batch coffee roaster in the coffee shop, very clean and bright (as in acidity) as he described it. Served in these unusual glasses.
Second up, we had the Colombia Geisha natural processed coffee from Glyph, the guest roaster. It was more balanced in taste and not so bright and acidic but I must confess, having not eaten since breakfast, I couldn’t finish the coffee. Tasty though.
Indeed it was clean and bright – too bright for my daughter but refreshing in a sort of way.
In short, highly recommend not just for the coffee, but for the experience too and to top it off, really wonderful staff too, who couldn’t do enough for us and spoilt us. So, if you have to go to Abu Dhabi to catch a flight, I strongly recommend getting there earlier to stop over at Things and take your taste buds on a ride before you fly – doesn’t that rhyme ?