x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Coffee beans on demand: from El Salvador to Dubai

Grade one coffee beans will be available to order from Coffee Planet – at a price.

DUBAI // Coffee Planet, the company that supplies weary motorists with reviving shots of caffeine at service stations, has launched an upmarket range that costs more than four times as much as its standard blends.

While a 250g packet of coffee bought from a supermarket costs Dh30, the same amount of the new Single Origin range is Dh140. Adding to the exclusivity, the beans in each packet are roasted to order and delivered to the customer's home.

"It's expensive because it's very high quality," said managing director Richard Jones at Gulfood, where the new range was launched. "Coffee is graded from one to five, and this will only ever be grade one, you can't get better coffee. It's roasted by hand in very, very small batches.

"I don't expect to sell a lot of this but I think there will always be a demand for high-quality coffee. There will be people who are real coffee lovers here who will recognise the importance of this and they'll want to have it at home."

The new coffees will be available only from an online store, coffeeplanetroastery.com, and each type will be made from beans harvested at a single farm. The initial offering includes beans from Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Malawi and El Salvador, though the countries featured will vary.

"We've gone to interesting farms around the world and brought back some great coffees," added Mr Jones. "We're going to continue to launch new, interesting coffees, so there'll only be limited supplies of each range. From El Salvador we might have 250 bags, and when that's done we'll go and find something from Peru, or Costa Rica, or whatever.

"We only serve it in whole beans because we want people to grind it and serve it. Once you grind coffee it begins to deteriorate."

The company produces between 17 and 20 tonnes of coffee per month at its roastery in Jebel Ali. The company has also launched a new type of vending machine at Gulfood which, unusually, uses fresh milk stored in a built-in fridge to produce cappuccinos, lattes and macchiatos.