You gotta love a place that’s serious about its coffee. Stomping Grounds is a recent entrant into Dubai’s specialty coffee space which is taking Jumeirah 1 by storm.
Stomping Grounds is located off the main road in a villa with two separate terraces, indoor seating, and a training space upstairs. The atmosphere is relaxed and easygoing, with unfinished wood tables and urban industrial decor. Apart from the view of the Burj Khalifa off in the distance, you could almost forget you’re in Dubai.
The owner himself is a master coffee roaster and coffee aficionado. And as to be expected, all coffees at Stomping Grounds are made with precision and care using the latest technology from around the world and premium coffee beans roasted in-house.
The concept is similar to The Espresso Lab, where baristas treat coffee-making like a science. They expertly weigh, pour and measure – with intense concentration and eagle-eyed precision – in order to brew the perfect cup of coffee.
Some of the contraptions the baristas use here look like they are straight out of the chemistry lab such as the cold brew drip coffee machine (which takes 7 hours to brew a pot of coffee at a rate of 1 drip every 4 seconds – say what?) and the Alpha Dominche Steampunk craft brewing tea machine which is powered by an app and separate CPU. (There are only 3 in Dubai – the 2 at Stomping Grounds and one owned by Sheikh Hamdan.)
These serious coffee folk speak about their coffee like a fine wine. Do you prefer your coffee with grapefruit and caramel undertones or full-bodied and scented with rhubarb and herbs?
You have the option of choosing your beans based on the body, acidity, aroma and terroir (displayed on a board). Today’s beans hailed from Africa, Indonesia, and South America.
You also have the choice of the type of brew – whether extracted from the good ol’ espresso machine or filter-brewed using your choice of pour-over coffee maker – each of which yields a slightly different flavour profile.
Getting my coffee fix, with a Chemex filtered coffee and two lattes.
What differentiates Stomping Grounds is that it is also a restaurant with a full kitchen and menu offering breakfast, lunch and light bites. In fact, their head chef is formerly of Roberto’s DIFC. The breakfast menu only launched recently with items such as the Load o’ Croque (croque monsieur) served with a side salad and three fried quail eggs.
This breakfast bun is a hollowed out brioche filled with eggs, mushroom, sundried tomatoes and melted cheese.
Let’s finish off with a high-tech Steampunk tea, shall we?
Verdict: Respect. The baristas are passionate and focused, the waiters are friendly and well-versed, the ambiance is relaxed, and the coffees and teas are superb. This is my new favourite specialty coffee place.
Note to self: If you need to impress, study up on the coffee lingo so you know what to order. A fruity Ethiopian Aricha microlot filter-brewed in the Kalita, please.
Villa 98, Street 12 D
Corner 51 Street
Tel: 04 344 4451
Chow for now!