Anselm Godhino, managing director of International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E) which organised last month’s Middle East Tea and Coffee Convention, has said there needs to be much more competition in the UAE coffee sector to raise the standard of coffee offerings.
Speaking at the event, he said: “Coffee’s roots are in the Arabic world. They’ve always had a presence here. In terms of being a traded commodity, coffee comes second to oil in the world. However, it seems like it’s still relatively new in the UAE.
“It’s a shame that we do not have a coffee culture like in Europe, where you can go to an independent cafe and drink a really good cup. I hear a lot of people talking about where they get the best coffee, and it’s always in chains.
“I have people coming to me who want set up their own coffee business, asking where they can buy beans, where they can buy coffee machines, and how long the beans keep fresh for. There is nowhere they can go to find out these answers. That’s why we are holding seminars and setting up the UAE Coffee Review – a website where consumers can go and talk about everything coffee, and they can review and grade coffee shops.
“Hopefully it will create some competition between outlets and will raise the bar of coffee. It’s about educating the consumer. Once the consumer is educated then they’ll start demanding better quality.”