Tucked away in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, the Coffee Museum acts as something of an international embassy for lovers of caffeine, bringing cultures together over the love of a cup of java.
Chris Whiteoak, a photographer for The National, visited the site recently, capturing the complete sensory experience in a series of bold images. “When you come in, you just feel how important coffee is to the Arab and Emirati Culture,” Whiteoak says. “I wanted to photograph the museum to show how this simple bean unites so many different people and countries.” Several rooms within the space are dedicated to artefacts of coffee-making and consumption, with a focus on Middle Eastern practices.
Visitors can watch films about coffee, watch demonstrations about roasting and brewing, and learn about the drink’s history, beginning with the ancient Ethiopian legend of a goat eating unknown berries and becoming alert at night. Aromatic brews are available to try, and the cafe offers a range of coffee and snacks. The museum is open Saturday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, and entry is free. Villa 44, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, call 04 353 8777, www.coffeemuseum.ae