ASITD 2023: Haute Coffee Roasters, Jonathan Wamala

Thursday, 12 October, 2023


NAME: Jonathan Wamala

When did your roastery start?

Haute coffee roastery started in 2020 with a vision of pursuing the production of the greatest coffee  production in the UAE with an aim of further enlarging specialty coffee using a 3rd wave roasting style.

How did you learn to roast coffee?  And what drew you to roasting as a profession?

Actually I was taught by the head roaster of Haute Coffee Roastery from the foundation of roasting all the way up. I have always wanted to be in an area of growth and when I saw a roasting opportunity in my very company I stood up and took the chance. But before I was a barista in this very company and was always curious about how green coffee is roasted with a specific profile and how the roaster determines whether the coffee is espresso based or filter based.

What do you love most about the roasting industry?

My favourite part in roasting is coffee profiling and encountering new coffees. Plus, the job its self. I only have the passion for it so I guess I find my work interesting and lovely.

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

All I can say is that roasting covers both aspects but to my opinion coffee roasting is more of art because in the long run I realized that I happen to encounter various origins and process from which I apply different roasting techniques but I realized that some coffees maybe of different process and origin but will share the same profile. So if you only follow science without the application of art then you stand high chances of failing to show forth the potential of the bean its self.

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

Actually my eyes opened after tasting PAPUA NEW GUINEA coffee in espresso. It’s a washed bean but the roasting profile I used brought results showing that a washed coffee will taste sweet without that overwhelming acidity. As we all know most washed coffees tend to have high acidity. But since I understood the art behind the roasting equipment I barely roast coffees with overwhelming acidity even when the coffee is a fully washed process. So when we roast we can determine what kind of ease we give the barista. 

What is your focus as a roastery? Wholesale to cafes? Or sell online or roast or for your café?

Our roastery focus on all the the above. We roast for our coffee shop. Online order. Wholesale to coffee shops.

May you tell us a bit about your team. who makes the wheels turn in your operation?

As a coffee roastery. We are a family and work as a team. So we all look at this company as our own business and we work tooth and nail to see the success. We all play a great role but in different positions. I am a roaster and we have baristas plus the sales team plus the packers. All I can say is that we are all responsible and work to the best of this very company.

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

I love roasting washed coffees because people tend to think that they are too acidic but with my roasting knowledge and technique they are surprised to see a sweet cup with a round heavy body. The overall point is to simplify the work of the barista. And avoid wasting a lot of beans when calibrating.

How have you ever seen coffee culture in your region grow in the las few years?

The coffee culture is on the rise and is actually still growing to greater heights. The love I see in the baristas and roasters trying to put the effort and making research on coffee is really amazing. 

Where are you located and can people come visit you?

We are located in the UAE in Abu Dhabi, in Mussafah MW4. Any one that’s a coffee lover is welcome at our roastery.

What makes your roastery stand out in a booming industry?

The consistency of produced coffees and a great sales team working together has kept us going pretty well.

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