Coffee Architecture: A Place That Feels Like Home
“Coffee has to go through a series of processes and changes to reveal its true identity. If we pay attention, we can taste decisions on species, variety, processing, milling, roasting and brewing. Every step – every set of hands – matters.”
– Simran Sethi –
The aroma of freshly brewed coffee stings my nose, as I open the door to Coffee Architecture. It is a bright space done in grey and brown tones, with splashes of colour against the wall in the form of artwork by local artists that are for sale. People cluster around small tables, deep in conversation. I greet Emmanuel, head barista, and slide onto a high chair at the bar area, where I can indulge in the dance of coffee-making, and slip into easy conversation with owner, Nooran.
I order their signature coffee. A cold brew, mixed with the pulp of red grapes, blitzed into a creamy consistency, and poured over an ice-cube, almost the size of a tennis ball. Decorated with a slice of dehydrated orange, it is a feast for the eyes. I am mesmerized as it slowly separates into different layers. Only then, do I take a long sip, and allow the liquid to cascade over my tongue. Slowly. My taste buds perk up. It is sufficiently complex to make it interesting, although words to describe it past smooth and fruity, fail me. I am no coffee expert, just someone who loves a well-brewed cup of coffee.
The knowledge, experience, skill, and creativity of a barista’s unique take on the humble coffee bean, is a joy to taste. Especially as there are so many different factors that influence the final product: the coarseness of the grind, the temperature of the extraction, the extraction time, the coffee-to-water ratio, the quality of the water, and the brewing method and technique. Not to mention the role milk plays, if a latte, cappuccino, or flat white is your preference.
Coffee Architecture is a place to retrain one’s taste buds, and explore new flavours and tastes, instead of blindly running after the Instagram pack chasing after the latest trend. You won’t find a Spanish Latte here. Or sugar, for that matter.
Nooran’s passion for coffee is tangible, and although her day job as an architect, keeps her busy, she still makes the time to refine her skills as a barista to participate in competitions. Her eyes sparkle with joy, when she talks about her business venture, and dreams for the future. She praises the skill and dedication of the team she has gathered around her, and together they make every person, who walks through the door, feel special and welcome. For them it is not just about brewing a good cup of coffee, but sharing their knowledge and passion.
Like the earliest coffee houses that sprung up in Europe around 1650, Coffee Architecture, is a place for intellectuals and creatives to meet, gather, and exchange ideas and stories. It has been built around two main ingredients; people and coffee – a social experience moulded around a shared cup of coffee. You will bump into me here, at least once a week, as, at last, I have a neighbourhood coffee shop that ticks all the right boxes, located in the same building I live. What a luck.
## Find Coffee Architecture in Abu Dhabi HERE.
Bread, Wine Chocolate – The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi (there is a whole section on coffee, and makes for a fascinating read)
# The following is perhaps the oldest printed advertisement for coffee, from 1652!
# A lighter roast is higher in caffeine.
# Roasted beans are best consumed 4-6 days after roasting, when they hit their peak.
# The ideal ratio between coffee and water is said to be 10 g of coffee to 200 ml of hot water.
** Click on the Coloured Words for built-in links to the respective websites.
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Remember to also sign up for our newly embarked adventure in Portugal, A Taste of Freedom, where we are in the process of rebuilding a ruin into a tiny house. All while we are still residing in the UAE. It is a long-term project, as we do not have unlimited resources, and only progress as fast as we can put money aside for the different steps required. We also have a Facebook page for it. So, please join us on this adventure of transforming a dream into a reality.