50s to 90s Coffee Corner Kuwait

Nostalgia at the New Backburner Cafe

Backburner the coffeeshop quietly opened a new location last week in the old-school neighborhood of Souq Altujjar (the old traders market) across from the Grand Mosque and Seif Palace.

What’s very interesting about this location is they have a nostalgia room on their second floor. The room has shelves filled with a variety of old items from our childhood, some from the 80s, some much older. They have a Hungry Bunny section, a small Showbiz section, Sakhr (MSX), Ifta7 Ya Simsim and more items all from our past and all on display.

I actually sold them one of my very clean and copies of the 1955 Violet Dickson book “The Wild Flowers of Kuwait and Bahrain”. It’s a very rare book so if you’ve wanted to check it out, this is your chance.

If you want to check it out they open daily from 7AM to 10:30PM, and they’re located next to the Seif Palace roundabout in Block 4 of Souq Altujjar, the same block that has Starbucks. Google Maps

Coffee Corner

Coffee Machine Upgrade

Late last week I ended up upgrading my coffee machine and grinder from a Rocket Appartamento and Faustino grinder, to a La Marzocco Linea Mini with a Mahlkönig X54 grinder.

I’ll post a review once I spend a lot more time with the machine but for now, if you’re looking to upgrade your coffee machine, I’m selling my previous setup with some accessories. Here is the link to the classifieds page.

Coffee Corner Shopping

Profitec Coffee Machines in Kuwait

If you follow Whole Latte Love on YouTube you probably know they’re big fans of Profitec coffee machines and constantly give them high scores. So while window shopping for a new machine recently, I was surprised to find out we have a distributor for Profitec in Kuwait. Rawi Coffee is the local exclusive distributor and their prices are considerably lower than prices online even when compared to Whole Latte Love:

Profitec 700
Rawi Coffee: KD 880
Whole Latte Love: KD 736 (not including tax and shipping)

Profitec 600
Rawi Coffee: KD 680
Whole Latte Love: KD 914 (not including tax and shipping)

Profitec 500
Rawi Coffee: KD 580
Whole Latte Love: KD 613 (not including tax and shipping)

If you’re looking to get a new prosumer coffee machine you should probably consider checking out these Profitec ones. Link

Coffee Corner

24/7 Coffee Drive-Thru

I have no idea how people have coffee late in the evening and still manage to go to sleep let alone in the middle of the night. But, if you’re one of those people who enjoys having coffee at 2AM, Arabica is opening a 24-hour drive-thru starting tomorrow in their new Kuwait City location.

Coffee Corner Information

Local Guide to Coffee Roasters

I buy my beans from %Arabica just because that’s what I’m used to but there are a lot of other coffee bean roasters in Kuwait who also roast green beans in house for espresso. Below is a list compiled by radaaitor which I’ve arranged in alphabetical order:

48East Roastery
Air Roastery
AJ’s Roastery
Albadawi Coffee
Altitude Roasters
Bait Qahwa Co.
Black Horse Coffee
Coffee Choices
Coffee Jug Roastery
Coffee Masters
Collective Coffee Company
Earth Roastery
House Of Beans
Jumo Coffee
Methods Roastery
My Habit Roastery
Origin Roasters
ORU Roasters
Pause Coffee Roasters
Rawi Coffee
Richards Coffee Co.
Roots Roastery
Stockroom Coffee
United Coffee Roasters
Vol. 1 Roast Lab
Wjaar Roastery

If I missed a place let me know in the comments. Also if you could recommend your favorite beans/roaster that would be helpful for anyone looking to try new beans. Personally, I get the Arabica Blend beans from %Arabica because it’s the same blend they use for their in-store coffee. I like consistency and I know their blend will always be consistent because it’s what they use themselves.

Also, the photo on top isn’t my setup but a friends. Super cool coffee corner and he even imports his own green beans and roasts them himself at home using an Aillio Bullet R1.

Coffee Corner Food

GOODCUP Coffee Shop

I don’t post about coffee shops anymore because they’re just too many of them and too much of the same thing but GOODCUP has one cool thing going for it, the location. GOODCUP opened up a couple of weeks back and as soon as I saw photos of the space on social media I really wanted to pass by and check it out.

The coffee shop is located in an old building inside Souk Mubarakia and it’s pretty big with two floors. The coffee shop occupies one part of the ground floor and the rest is divided into smaller spaces that are available to rent to other businesses. As you can imagine and see from the photos, the coffee shop is very instagrammable so most of the people there were there to grab photos and leave since the seating is pretty limited.

Finding the location is easy, just find Freej Swaileh first in Mubarakia (Google Maps). Once you’re standing in front of Freej enter the souk on the right of it (Souk Al Hareem), and then around 20 meters in you’ll find GOODCUP on your right-hand side. They’re also on instagram @goodcupkw

Coffee Corner Shopping

Gaggia Coffee Machines

For people looking to get into making espresso coffee at home, the Gaggia Classic Pro machine is considered to be one of the best starter machines you can buy. It’s an affordable single boiler machine that allows you to pull an espresso shot and steam milk for your latte. Previously if you wanted a Gaggia the only option was to order it from abroad but now the brand is available locally at Xcite.

The Classic Pro machine is priced at 179KD in-store at Xcite but listed for 199KD on their website for some reason. On the Gaggia UK website, it sells for 177KD so 179KD is actually a great price for it.

So if you’re looking for a great affordable semi-automatic espresso machine you can now pick up a Gaggia in Kuwait.

Coffee Corner Shopping

Ceado Coffee Grinders

Ceado grinders are pretty popular with coffee geeks especially their single-dose grinders. I didn’t know they were available locally and I have a friend actually who ordered one online and paid a ton for shipping so figured I’d put this info out there in case anyone googles “Ceado Kuwait”.

Turns out Mabrook are the dealers for Ceado in Kuwait as well as Slayer coffee machines. They had a number of Ceado grinders on display, one of them, the “E6P Filter Burrs” model had a price of KD367 on it. Online the same model sells for KD330 so the local price isn’t that far off especially if they give discounts (which they generally do).

Mabrook doesn’t have any Ceado grinders listed on their website but they do mention them a few times on their Instagram account. If you’re looking for Ceado grinders check out their showroom here.

Coffee Corner Information Shopping

JURA Coffee Machines Now Available in Kuwait

Back when I was looking at automatic coffee machines, one of the brands that I was checking out was JURA. I hadn’t heard of them before since I hadn’t seen the brand in Kuwait but according to reviews online they had the best automatic coffee machines on the market. Automatic coffee machines are machines that make your coffee at a press of a button. They can grind your coffee, heat up and froth your milk and then mix it all together for you.

Al-Wazzan who carry the La Marzocco commercial grade coffee machines are now the dealers for JURA. Prices locally seem cheaper than Amazon UK. The JURA A1 for example costs 383KD on Amazon but 290KD locally while the JURA E8 costs 759KD and 550KD locally.

If you’re interested, they have a JURA display at their store in Shuwaikh as well as on their website.

Coffee Corner

Coffee Corner: A Beginners Guide to Third Wave Coffee (Part 1)

Third wave coffee shops are the meeting place of a diverse group of people. The early morning office goers, moms after the school drop off and lets not forget – hipsters! They all have one thing in common (apart from their love of coffee), that is they are unaware of many intricacies of the mysterious third wave coffee shop. Sometimes it can be difficult navigating these establishments – It’s early morning and as you walk in your attention is taken to the sound of coffee beans popping in the cooling pan, they have just reached first crack. The humidity increases as you near the POS, condensation is collecting on a snapchatters iPhone – the steam wands are certainly working. More than that, the aroma is unmistakable. It’s the smell of early mornings and late nights. It’s the smell of a pending deadlines and relaxed Saturday mornings. You mutter “one latte please” only because you heard the person before you say it.

3rd Wave Coffee
3rd wave (or specialty) coffee is treating coffee as an artisan foodstuff. It is when meticulous attention to detail is applied in the farming, processing, roasting and brewing aspects. Each single origin batch is treated uniquely and prepared differently to enhance its inherent characteristics. It is always fresh, always prepared according to the highest standards. In 3rd wave coffee shops, your barista is trained to vary pressure, water flow and temperature for each drink to make it truly unique and exceptional.

Roast Levels
Third wave coffee shops pioneered the art of lightly roasted coffee. This does a couple of things, it burns off less caffeine so you have a stronger cup. It also maintains many of the inherent, delicate flavors of the coffee to give you a much more rounded experience. Next thing is to talk about the names of these roast levels, because gone are the days when everything was “dark, medium or light” roast – we have become a lot more specific now.

Cinnamon: The lightest roast is called cinnamon roast. No, there is no cinnamon in it and it won’t necessarily taste of cinnamon, the name comes from the color of the ground coffee when roasted at this level.

City: City is the next roast level. Here the bean has achieved something called “first crack”. This first crack happens as a result of moisture vapors expanding with heat and eventually forcing their way out of the bean – This crack happens at around 205C and this is likely the most common roast level you consume at third wave coffee stores. Shortly after this level we achieve City+ which is a slightly darker version of City. (The name “City” comes from the fact that this roast was most commonly used in the eastern cities of the USA)

Full City: This is the stage where the beans start undergoing the cracking process for a second time, and again there is a slightly darker version called Full City+. These roasts will have lower acidity than the aforementioned (because the darker you roast, the lower the acidity) and also higher solubility, meaning you will have more coffee in the water after extraction. As a result, one tends to achieve more robust flavor and creamier body from these roasts.

Continental: Here we have old school coffee. This is coffee that has been roasted to such a point that the essential oils begin to reach the surface of the coffee bean. This can also lead to excessive smoke creation inside the roasting drum with negative effect on the flavour. The names of continental roasts include: Vienna, Italian, French and Spanish.

Single Origins vs Blends
By now you have been offered a single origin as opposed to the standard blend, so what exactly is this? Single origins are coffee beans from a single farm or lot in a specific region/province in a certain country that has been processed in a uniform method and consists of one variety of coffee plant. To try put this simply, the beans are all the same as one another. Blends on the other hand can be a mixture of two or more single origins.

Ever heard of someone ask for an extra dry cappuccino? How about a ristretto or lungo? Some coffee aficionados will even ask for a high yield espresso. What exactly are these:

Dry: This is when extra air is purposefully added to the milk when steaming. It creates a large layer of foam atop the coffee.

Ristretto: This is a shorter stronger version of an espresso. This “espresso” will be sweeter and more acidic than its regular counterpart.

Lungo: A longer, often nuttier tasting version of an espresso – overdo the extraction and it will start to taste of wood.

Portafilter: The “portable filter” that locks into the espresso machine

Dose: The amount of coffee that one puts into the portafilter

Yield: The net weight of the espresso once extracted

Pour Over: Fresh filter coffee made by hand. Filter coffee has received a bad rep because of the poor quality coffee used to make it, as well as the fact that it would often be left to stand for hours before being served. Truth is, freshly filtered coffee is one of the best experiences you can have.

Keep sipping!

Post by Grant Mouton
Self–proclaimed coffee guru, coffee education addict, SCAA/SCAE accredited.
Brand manager at % Arabica.