A Conversation with Emirati Coffee Expert, Mohammed Al Ameeri

As we embark on our conversations in the year 2024, we delve into the experiences of one of the pioneers in the coffee industry in the UAE. We explore his journey and review his expertise, considering him as one of the prominent figures in the Emirati coffee scene,UAE champion in 2021 and the first Emirati Aeropress champion. From his humble beginnings to groundbreaking achievements, Mohammed Al Ameeri shares his insights on his journey, passion, and the transformative power of coffee culture in the United Arab Emirates.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you ventured into the world of barista competitions?”

Mohammed recounts his initiation into crafting coffee at home due to a lack of quality brews. His journey began in 2017, winning third place in the UAE Barista Championship, an eye-opener to the scarcity of locals in the field. Determined to change this, he embarked on a mission to introduce and nurture coffee preparation skills among Emiratis.

“Winning the AeroPress Championship as the first Emirati was a significant achievement. Can you describe the emotions and thoughts when you became the first Emirati to win?”

Mohammed expresses pride in breaking barriers, proving that Emiratis can compete and win. Simultaneously, he felt a profound responsibility to share his experience, molding future champions and fostering a coffee culture among his compatriots.

“How did winning the championship affect your career and personal life?”

The victory boosted Mohammed’s self-confidence, transforming him into a trusted coffee consultant. Post-win, he initiated training courses, workshops, and collaborations with government entities, all aimed at spreading and enhancing coffee culture among Arabs and Emiratis.

“Your Instagram posts highlighted enjoyable moments and fantastic partnerships in 2023. Can you elaborate on these collaborations?”

Mohammed dives into several partnerships, notably with “Coffee Desk,” becoming the first Emirati ambassador for AeroPress. His collaborations extend to various local companies, focusing on mutual cooperation and support.

“In your perspective, how important is it to connect with fellow Emirati coffee experts, whom you describe as ‘remarkable’? How has belonging to the coffee community impacted your journey?”

Mohammed emphasizes the significance of sharing experiences, building trust, and forming friendships with accomplished individuals. The robust Emirati coffee community accelerates coffee market development in the UAE.

“Joining the Brewers Cup and securing the fifth position among the UAE’s top coffee experts is an impressive feat. What challenges did you face during the competition, and how did you overcome them?”

He details the time and resource challenges, balancing competition preparation with studies and work. Despite limited resources, Mohammed’s coffee expertise prevailed, turning the experience into a proud accomplishment and a testament to resilience.

“How did participating in the Brewers Cup contribute to your growth as a coffee artisan?”

The competition expanded Mohammed’s knowledge and awareness, motivating him to pursue continuous learning and self-improvement in the dynamic world of coffee.

“You mentioned no longer competing to win in AeroPress but to enjoy the event and support your colleagues. Can you clarify the shift in your approach and mindset toward competitions?”

Mohammed decided to make way for others, allowing fellow Emiratis to participate and win, given the limited slots for each nationality. Competitions served as a platform for development and experience, and now, Mohammed focuses on imparting knowledge and exploring new avenues.

“How vital is supporting the barista community and uplifting it for you?”

Supporting baristas is a means to elevate the UAE’s coffee community, a pivotal goal for Mohammed. In 2023, he successfully reached a vast audience, contributing to the awareness and appreciation of specialty coffee.

“What ignited your passion for coffee, and how has it evolved over the years?”

Mohammed’s passion stems from the uniqueness and constant evolution of coffee. Changes in coffee trends over the years intensified his desire to experiment with various brews, embracing each experience wholeheartedly.

“For aspiring coffee professionals, especially those contemplating entering competitions, what advice would you offer based on your experiences?”

Mohammed’s advice is simple yet profound: “Keep learning, stay humble, and share your knowledge.”

“How crucial is continuous learning and staying updated on the latest coffee trends for a barista’s career?”

Continuous learning and ongoing experimentation are paramount in the ever-changing world of coffee, ensuring a barista stays ahead of dramatic industry shifts.

“What are your goals and future aspirations as a barista?”

Currently, Mohammed dedicates himself to educating baristas and fostering a correct coffee culture within the community. His focus revolves around offering advanced training for baristas and general courses for coffee enthusiasts.

“Are there any upcoming projects or competitions you’re looking forward to?”

Mohammed’s primary focus this year revolves around the Brewers Cup Championship. He plans to fully immerse himself, assembling a professional team and coach to compete at the highest level.

“Is there anything else you’d like to share about your journey, the barista community, or coffee culture in the UAE?”

In Mohammed’s view, the coffee market in the UAE stands among the strongest globally, diverse and dynamic. He hopes local cafes prioritize selecting local products meticulously, enhancing their quality, and supporting the thriving Emirati coffee market.

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