A Recap - The Week Of World Of Coffee Dubai 2024

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World of Coffee (WOC) Dubai has been a fun and fulfilling check-in at how, from our humble beginnings some five years ago, Archers has grown to significantly pitch into our industry’s vigor and growth by meeting members of our community where they are, in more ways than one. 

This is an achievement that could only be possible, and which we will constantly strive to build upon, with the steadfast support of our friends from across the specialty coffee value chain, including every coffee drinker who chooses to fill their cup with Archers coffee and helps us spread the joy of it to the ones they care most about.

World of Coffee Warm-up

At our roastery in Sharjah, WOC week began early, with our production team’s preparations behind the scenes, to make sure our Roasters Village stand would be spiffy and our brew bar and retail shelves would be well stocked throughout the exhibition’s three day-duration, from January 21 to January 23, 2024.

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Archers Prod Team WOC Prep


A couple of days before the official start of WOC, Michael de Renouard, one of only three Loring Roastmasters in the world, returned to Archers Academy for what had been a well-attended, relevant, and absorbing second cohort of the Loring Roastmaster Workshop in the UAE, in collaboration with The Coffee Roasting Company led by Torsten Hvas.

Loring Roastmaster Workshop 

It was from January 19 to 20, 2024, that we had the privilege of once more witnessing what makes the renowned Copenhagen Loring Roastmaster Workshop a surefire hit among our diligent and goal-driven roaster friends.

That is Michael de Renouard’s experience and expertise, coupled with the good-natured banter and apparent rapport he fosters between himself and each one of his students as he conducted the course — facilitated by a handful of delectable Danish sweets.

This run was attended by roasters working in the GCC, who are either already or will soon be using a Loring roaster, alongside those who will continue working with more traditional machines. 

By the end of the class, they all came away equipped with keener roast analysis acumen giving rise to more adaptable and responsive roasting decision-making skills, allowing them to fine-tune their current techniques and as a result create better-balanced coffees that can express their most desirable sensory attributes (resulting from variety, terroir, and process), which comprise an integral part of every standout specialty coffee experience.

Some important questions the workshop addressed include: How do you truly make a great green bean shine, and do it consistently for an entire crop? How do you make a good coffee out of greens that have started to show some weakness? And, even, how do you really roast decaf?

Welcoming Michael and his collaborator Torsten this second time has been our happy privilege here at Archers. We can't help but look forward to the next, and hope to see more of our roaster friends then.

Rousing Up Roasters Village 

WOC Dubai Days 1-3 at Roasters Village saw us enjoying cups upon cups of coffee with an unprecedented number of new and old coffee friends who took the time to taste the broad selection we showcased on filter and espresso. Many of them had sought out our stand and stayed a while longer to meet and speak with our producing partners in the spotlight.

All three days, it was a pleasure to have Meticulous Espresso’s co-founder Matthew Jung-Quillen pulling spros from the future as he walked espresso enthusiasts through the cutting-edge, aesthetic, and compact Meticulous machine, which combines the tactile delight of traditional lever machines with the ease of intuitive automation. 


On Day 1, taking turns behind the bar, Brazil’s Luiz Paulo Pereira of Carmo Coffees, the Best of Panama’s Kai Janson of Janson Coffee and Wilford Lamastus Sr. and Wilford Lamastus Jr. of the Lamastus Family Estates, Rwanda’s Emma Rusatira of Baho Coffee, and Raul Rodas of Paradigma Coffee from Guatemala, made for memorable full-circle moments.

They reminded us of the long and arduous journey each of our favorite coffees necessarily takes before they can end up in our cups and express the tastes and flavors we can't help but crave. They made us appreciate specialty coffee and the work that happens every step of the way behind the cup even more.

Overheard at the slow bar, Luiz Paulo shared that the Santuario Sul Laurina he brought as a surprise to brew for us was from their first-ever production of just a scant 50 KG. Father and son Wilford Sr. and Wilford Jr., meanwhile, explained the distinction between the El Burro and Elida terroir to visibly engaged coffee lovers.

At the end of Day 1, our team turned in energized by the crowd who made time to chat over the finest specialty coffees with us. We were absolutely delighted to see new and familiar faces enjoying the pour-overs and espresso on rotation, and also majorly pleased that so many stopped by to browse our retail curation of souvenir-sized higher-end micro-lots and Competition Series coffees.



WOC Day 2 affirmed that in our world of coffee, thanks to our coffee friends, every fresh day is never just more of the same, but comes with the potential to bring more of what’s good and chances for better.

We had India’s Ashok Patre of Ratnagiri Estate, Best of Panama’s Jose Luttrell of Abu Coffee Panama, Colombia’s Jorge Castro of Inmaculada Coffee Farms, and Ethiopia’s Eliyas Dukamo of Elto Coffee take over. While coffee hero Jamison Savage was not present, we did cap that day with his masterworks, Finca Deborah Nirvana and Savage Coffees Spectrum brewed by our David Disuanco, 2021 UAE National Brewers Cup Champion and 2022 World Brewers Cup Rank 7.

We noticed, and it meant a lot to us, that several roastery and Archers Academy regulars swung by, not just on their own, but introducing us to their family and friends as well, ​​whether it was to engage with our featured producing partners, to savor the day’s espresso and filter selection, witness the Meticulous machine in action, browse our retail curation, have casual catch-up sessions, or kindle new connections. 

Amid the bustle of our busiest WOC Dubai day until then, with Archers Customer Relations team, Wilden Pretorius and Ahmed Elsayed helping out our friends, Oatly and Victoria Arduino, behind their respective bars, all of us were also holding our breath in anticipation of the National Barista Championship Round finalists’ announcement.

And when it did come, there was only gratitude and elation, that our very own Kemal Risyad made the final three alongside Nooran Albannay and Michaela Ruazol.

On Day 3, the last day of WOC Dubai, we had geared up for limited hours but unlimited fun, and heartily took up the organizers’ call to extend our stay (until 6 pm instead of 4) because it meant a wider window to still spark enduring encounters while enjoying the finest specialty coffees.

We greeted that morning with Yemen’s Abdulrahman Hayel Saeed of Mokha Not Mocha who brewed the sweetest fruits of the Ibb and Sana’a coffee farmers’ unwavering efforts. The ensuing lunch hour revolved around our annually awaited Sidama Bensa roastery rockstars, Hamasho and Bombe from Daye Bensa Coffee crafted by 2022 Ethiopia Cup of Excellence Winner Kenean Dukamo

Time definitely flew by because we were having fun, especially as Best of Panama’s vibrant Kai Janson — whom we look to as the ambassador of raising the energy around coffee — did an encore, treating us to more distinctive and delicate cups of the darling Panama Geisha before we had to part ways.

2024 UAE National Barista Championship

WOC Day 3 had also been exhilarating and consequential because our Kemal Risyad, Co-founder and Head Roaster, won the Silver trophy at the 2024 UAE National Barista Championship.

True to Archers form, his performance demonstrated the dogged persistence of pulling out all the stops in striving for excellence —without any guarantees of a prize or widely recognized accomplishment — the power of heartfelt teamwork by core coaching and support group, Jane Espante of Behind the Cup, Romeo PerelloKaren Tayag, Frederick Bejo, Dave Peralta, and Windu Alifart, and the beautiful outcomes of generous mentorship embodied by Mikael Jasin.

By introducing the concept of “sensory baseline calibration” in his routine featuring an Abu Coffee double-phased anaerobic Panama Geisha, Kemal contributed a new way of possibly improving the consistency and uniformity of taste and flavor perception across our community, which influence how coffee is experienced, valued, and rewarded. 

Beyond being a testament to his talent and tenacity, this hard-earned trophy and his participation in every competition thus far have been his tribute to every trailblazer in the UAE coffee competition scene and our growing community thanks to the rallying leadership of SCA UAE.

That’s because they comprise the whetstone enabling and ceaselessly honing our sharpest and most dedicated peers toward showcasing their best selves through coffee. And each of them has done so, to the extent that the global community has recognized the UAE as a significant nexus of specialty coffee opportunities, evinced by the monumental success of WOC Dubai in its third year.

Noteworthy mentions are pioneering women in coffee and returning competitors, 2024 UAE National Barista Champion Michaela Ruazol of Typica Coffee and 2nd runner-up Nooran Albannay of Coffee Architecture and Section Coffee Roasters.

This day proved we have every reason to be grateful and proud to be where we are in the world of coffee, and to keep moving forward, cultivating a culture of excellence.  

Producers’ Lunch: Larger Celebration, Deeper Connection

While twice arguably does not yet make tradition, it sets sound foundations for it. 

Winding down the WOC Dubai festivities, more of our friends gathered at the sun-dappled grounds of Al Zubair, the family farm of Behind the Cup’s Abdalla Almulla in Sharjah, for a bountiful lunchtime picnic organized with The Espresso Lab and SCA UAE in celebration of our producing partners coming to the UAE.

This time around, in addition to our partners, we also had the pleasure of being in the company of SCA UAE head and Coffee Museum founder Khalid Al Mulla, The Espresso Lab founder Ibrahim Al Mallouhi and his team, as well as Brewing Gadgets founder and director, Goutham Kumbargeri.

It was truly heartening that our industry friends embraced and took part in Archers’ efforts to honor our producing partners — whose amazing coffees make it possible for us to take the UAE’s specialty coffee scene to the next level every year — by warmly sending them on their way home, or onto the next leg of their travels.

While we were acquainted with a host of new faces, this gathering was no less intimate, and there were certainly no strangers — each one being a kindred spirit in our shared passion and the desire to co-create more reasons to smile, by way of coffee.

Just like last year, it was an idyllic desert winter afternoon of light-hearted conversations around, or taking off from, coffee, that tapered off into long goodbyes, well-wishes, and hopes to meet again.

As Abdalla mused, "There are a few legacies that loom larger over the specialty coffee industry” and it is because of them that “we are able to pursue our passion with purpose.” Having walked with our producing partners and engaging in intentional conversation with them, he further recounted, “Unlike every other year, this joyful afternoon sure deepened what it means to cultivate connection through craft coffee.”

We can only hope the next gathering will be in the near future — be it in the UAE or elsewhere.

Sustaining the WOC Spirit All Year Long

Back at our roastery in Sharjah, that world of coffee vibe will never really fully wear off.

We believe so, considering our current coffee collection, which now features 14 single origins;  increasingly frequent visits of friends from all over; the CQI Q Arabica Grader with Melbourne’s Craig Simon (three-time Australian National Barista Champion, accredited World Coffee Competition Judge, and Australia’s first qualified Q Grading Instructor, and Criteria Coffee founder) just having wrapped up; and a full calendar of SCA and CQI courses for the next two months. 

Whether you missed WOC Dubai entirely — or are just missing it already — we have the next best thing on Maleha Rd. Ind Area 18, right here in smiling Sharjah. Swing by soon!

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