Name of business owner: Nadya Alkaabi
Name of competing roaster: Adeola Peter Akingbade
When did your roastery start?
- Our journey began in 2023, and while I'm not the owner, I proudly serve as the Head of Coffee and Operations Manager. Our company's vision is to create a unique space that combines a coffee shop, in-house roasting, and daily fresh bakery offerings, all with a commitment to providing the best service and products possible
How did you learn to roast coffee?
- I embarked on my coffee roasting journey out of a deep love for the culinary arts and a desire to expand my knowledge. To achieve this, I enrolled in several courses, including those from SCA, Ally Coffee, and CQI. Additionally, I gained hands-on experience by working in a roasting machine factory and at several roasteries before joining this team. These experiences have shaped my expertise in the craft of coffee roasting.
And what drew you to roasting as a profession?
- What drew me to the roasting profession was a profound commitment to quality. I wanted to be more than just someone who pushes buttons on a roasting machine. I aimed to delve deep into the intricacies of coffee roasting to verify and understand theories that I had encountered in the past. This determination to learn "why" rather than simply roasting led me on this path of expertise and exploration.
What do you love most about the coffee roasting industry?
- What I love most about the coffee roasting industry is the opportunity to create and craft unique flavors in each batch of coffee beans. It's a fascinating blend of science and art that allows me to bring out the best in each bean. Additionally, I cherish the sense of community that surrounds the coffee industry, connecting people from all walks of life over a shared passion for exceptional coffee.
In your opinion, is roasting more science or more art?
- In my personal perspective, I lean more towards viewing roasting as a science, but I firmly believe that the artistry involved should be the driving force. It's the scientific precision that sets the foundation, but it's the creative and artistic touch that fuels the true magic of roasting.
Was there a particular cup of coffee that changed the way you think about coffee?
- There wasn't a specific cup of coffee that dramatically shifted my perspective. Instead, I find myself drawn to classic washed or natural coffees, and somehow, I believe that the past is the future of coffee.
What is your focus as a roastery? Wholesale to cafes? Do you roast just for your own cafe? Sell online?
- Our primary focus as a roastery is to roast for our cafe and retail outlets. While wholesale opportunities may come later, it's not our primary focus. Our main goal is to ensure we serve high-quality, delectable coffee at Laura's.
May you please tell us a bit about your team? Who makes the wheels turn in your operation?
- Certainly, our team is composed of incredibly talented individuals, a young and passionate group who work harmoniously together. We all share a strong mutual commitment to quality, which is the driving force behind our operations. It's a collective effort that makes the wheels turn and keeps our mission moving forward.
With all the different processing methods now available to roasters, is there a processing method that you enjoy working with? And why?
- I'm truly open to all processing methods available. For me, every method is a learning curve, and I'm always eager to discover how to roast and serve each with the utmost delicacy and deliciousness. This open-minded approach allows me to explore the nuances of each method and continuously expand my roasting skills.
How have you seen coffee culture in your region grow over the last few years?
- The coffee culture in our region has been evolving at a faster pace, becoming more challenging and competitive. It's inspiring to witness the dynamic growth and the heightened enthusiasm among coffee enthusiasts, both consumers and professionals alike. This growth presents new opportunities and keeps us on our toes, consistently striving for excellence.
Where are you located and can people come visit you?
- We are located in the vibrant community of Waters Edge on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. We extend a warm welcome to everyone, and we'd be delighted to have visitors. For more details and information about our location, you can check out our bio link on Instagram: @laurasmill.ae
What makes your roastery stand out in a booming industry?
- What sets our roastery apart in this thriving industry is our unwavering commitment to providing quality in both our services and products, all while maintaining a steadfast focus on consistency. It's this dedication to excellence that forms the cornerstone of our success in a competitive coffee landscape.