ASITD ME 2023: Doppio Roasters, Jonalyn Dela Pena

Saturday, 30 September, 2023

Name of business owner: Marwan Alqassemi

Name of competing roaster: Jonalyn Dela Pena

When did your roastery start? And, as the owner, why a coffee roastery?

The roastery began on October 01, 2022. I have a passion for coffee. I love coffee and its different taste. Specialty makes every day an opportunity to learn about specialty coffee. I want to educate customers about specialty coffee and the farmers grow and process coffee beans.

Question for roaster: How did you learn to roast coffee? And what drew you to roasting as a profession?

I began my journey into coffee roasting in 2020 when I discovered the intriguing process of turning a simple seed into a rich and flavorful drink. The sheer alchemy of it fascinated me. Over time, my passion for this craft grew, leading me to study and obtain certifications to refine my skills. Roasting coffee has become more than a profession. 

What do you love most about the coffee roasting industry?

It provides a way for me to create something truly special and share it with others who appreciate the art and science of coffee roasting.

In your opinion, is roasting more science or more art?

In my opinion, it’s an intricate combination of science and craft that makes coffee roasting so interesting and rewarding.
Roasting coffee is a unique blend of both science and craft. The science aspect involves understanding the chemical reactions that occur during roasting, such as Maillard reactions and caramelization. It also involves controlling variables like temperature, time, and airflow to achieve consistent results. On the other hand, the craft of coffee roasting comes into play when making artistic decisions about roast profiles, developing unique flavor profiles, and adjusting for the nuances of different coffee beans. It’s about the roaster’s intuition, experience, and personal touch.

Was there a particular cup of coffee that changed the way you think about coffee?

Absolutely, there was a defining cup of coffee that altered my perspective on the entire world of coffee. It was a meticulously crafted pour-over of an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. The combination of its floral and fruity notes, along with the pristine clarity of the brew, was a revelation. This experience not only showcased the incredible diversity of flavors within coffee but also underscored the significance of bean origin, processing, and precise brewing methods. It ignited a deep fascination and a commitment to exploring the multifaceted nature of coffee, making me appreciate it as an art form and a sensory journey.

What is your focus as a roastery? Wholesale to cafes? Do you roast just for your own cafe? Sell online? 

As a roastery, our primary focus is on providing exceptional coffee to a variety of customers and channels. We have a multifaceted approach to sharing our coffee with enthusiasts:

1. Wholesale to Cafes: We collaborate with cafes, ensuring they have access to our premium coffee beans. We work closely with these partners to deliver consistently high-quality coffee to their customers.

2. Our Café: We also roast for our own café, offering a unique and curated coffee experience. This allows us to showcase our expertise and passion for coffee in a direct-to-consumer setting.
3. Online Sales: We understand the importance of reaching a wider audience. Therefore, we offer our coffee for online sales, making it accessible to coffee lovers worldwide. This allows us to share our coffee beyond our local community.

Our commitment is to deliver exceptional coffee across these different avenues, maintaining quality, ethics, and sustainability throughout our supply chain.

May you please tell us a bit about your team? 

Our team is passionate about making coffee too! We’re a group of individuals who share a common love for the art and science of coffee. We explore various aspects of coffee, from sourcing beans to perfecting roast profiles, all while appreciating the complexities and nuances of this delightful beverage. Our shared passion for coffee brings us together and drives us to continuously enhance our knowledge and skills in the world of coffee.

Who makes the wheels turn in your operation?

In my operation, it’s a team effort to keep things running smoothly. As the head roaster, your expertise and experience in coffee roasting play a crucial role in shaping the quality and flavor of the coffee. Working closely with the owner, who likely oversees the business aspects, ensures that the operation is well-rounded. It’s this synergy between coffee craftsmanship and business acumen that keeps everything in motion.

With all the different processing methods now available to roasters, is there a processing method that you enjoy working with? And why?

I share your enthusiasm for the wash and natural processing methods. Both methods offer distinct and authentic flavor profiles that can truly capture the essence of the coffee bean. The challenge and artistry in roasting a fermented process add an exciting dimension to the craft, making it a truly rewarding experience. It's the ability to highlight the unique characteristics of each coffee that makes these methods so enjoyable for me.

How have you seen coffee culture in your region grow over the last few years?

In the UAE, the coffee culture has experienced significant growth over the last few years. Coffee has become more than just a beverage; it’s a social and cultural experience. Specialty coffee shops and artisanal roasters have flourished, offering a diverse range of coffee beans and brewing methods.

People in the UAE have become increasingly discerning about their coffee, seeking high-quality, ethically sourced beans. This shift in consumer preferences has driven innovation in the industry, leading to a stronger emphasis on quality, origin, and sustainability. As a result, the UAE’s coffee culture has evolved into a vibrant and dynamic scene, attracting coffee enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

Where are you located, and can people come visit you?’

People are welcome to visit us at Doppio Roasters, Shop No 25 R1070 D4, Wasel Port Views, Madinat Dubai Almelaheyah, Dubai

What makes your roastery stand out in a booming industry?

Our roastery stands out in this thriving industry due to our unwavering commitment to quality and innovation. We source the finest beans from around the world, always prioritizing sustainability and ethical practices. Our team is deeply passionate and highly skilled, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of coffee roasting.  We differentiate ourselves by continually experimenting with different roast profiles and processing methods, aiming to uncover the most unique and flavorful aspects of each coffee. The quest for excellence is not just a mission but a daily practice for us. In a booming industry, it's this relentless pursuit of perfection that truly sets our roastery apart.

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