Roseleaf Cafe, at the back of Dubai Garden Centre
(just off Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, 10-minute walk from FGB Metro Station)
March, 2018. Tuesday, 11.45 am.
The flat white: 8. Looked too dark to not be bitter and it was a bit bitter, but still a nice coffee though. Although low on the scale of genuine world worries, I worry slightly that it was my first proper coffee for a few days so (slight) bitterness tolerance may have been raised by a foolhardy “yes” to airline coffee the day before.
Appropriateness of being called a flat white: 8. Bonus for a Tiffany-teal with gold cup and saucer. A classy rather than hip cup, a nice change.
The beans: I should have observed and cared but sometimes it’s just about the job in hand, which, about 15 hours after flying in to Dubai and after a spectacularly bad attempt at sleep, was all about a nice sit down and a restorative coffee. The bitter edge was more about the roast than the beans but the taste was good.
Other coffees of interest: Micro lot coffee, which I’ve never tried, but is basically beans from an area of a coffee plantation where the conditions are even better than for the rest of the coffee plants. These coffee cherries are then pampered, kept separate and, unsurprisingly, sold for more money, though not in the same league as those pooed out by whatever that furry creature is whose digestive system apparently makes the coffee taste better (Google tells me it’s civets).
“A little something to go with my coffee”: 9, based purely on aesthetics and smell. Definitely up from an 8 on the basis they sell hand made rose and pistachio marshmallows, which I have convinced myself must be healthy as well as delicious. Generous portion sizes of lunchy things, cakes and biscuits, all of which looked delicious and I could easily have spent ages deciding which to order. I had not long ago ransacked a hotel buffet breakfast, the only reason I didn’t order food.
Other customers: Laptoppers, small and large (ie six people) groups, readers, chatterers, mums with children, friends, colleagues; a mix of nationalities. Still a few tables and chairs vacant. It’s quite a big cafe area.
Staff: 7. Good service, minimally friendly/chatty.
Décor: 6. White, teal, industrial, light wood, red, black. No obvious theme but not mismatched enough for that to be the theme so not memorable to me. I’m being unfairly picky and not appreciating the benefits of reusing and recycling, I know, but I’m a bit over Lyle’s golden syrup tins being used for sugar sachets.
Ambiance: 6. Kind of three zones each with a slightly different feel, the conservatory, main cafe area and a smaller area on the other side of a sort of quiet walkway through the garden centre. A comfortable place to spend time but not as inspiring as I think it could have been.
Toilets: I didn’t see any but thought there would be one in a garden centre with a big cafe. So maybe there is one. Bit of a fail on my part for not finding out.
WiFi: Free code via the staff, fully functioning internet access.
Unique selling point: I can’t not mention rose and pistachio marshmallows again. And the fact it’s (A) in a garden centre, so surrounded by greenery, and (B) in a garden centre and not soggy sandwiches and sachet coffee.
What to do in a one-minute radius: Buy plants, look at plants, touch plants, smell plants, buy organic vegetables, buy garden stuff … yeah, you get the idea, it really is in a garden centre, a big one at that.
(Review by Bagpuss at Flat White & Black Coffee Reviews)
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Score scale out of 10
0 = “Excuse me, I ordered a coffee … oh, really, this is a coffee?”;
1 = too revolting to even swallow the first sip;
2-4 = amount of sips endured before having to abandon on grounds of offensive taste;
5 = bearable if you haven’t had a coffee in a week and need an emergency boost;
6-7 = acceptable but not a destination coffee;
8 = a proper flat white and a destination coffee;
9 = the coffee, the taste, the look, the cup – almost as good as it gets;
10 = the holy grail of flat whites has been discovered.