by SALIM AL AFIFI
A morning without a cup of espresso is not a morning to look forward to, at least in my book. The earthy, nutty aroma of ground coffee, followed by a crisp, bright flavour with subtle hints of cream goodness serves an unbeatable taste that’s perfect to start your engine for the day. Having said that, the place where I get that precious brewed cup is fundamental, so this week I decided to take you to five of my absolute favourite places in town for a perfect cup of coffee.
Let’s start with the best. This Italian brand produces some of the world’s most refined espresso coffees. Their blends are among the best, serving sweet, velvety drinks with notes of fruit, toast, caramel, and chocolate, as well as floral accents with honey, almond and other fragrant aromas. Make sure to try their almond coffee, it’s quite a delight, cup after cup.
Location: Oman Avenues Mall, Bousher, Muscat; Al Araimi Boulevard, Al Khoudh, Seeb, Muscat
Contact: +968 9889 0456
I came across this homegrown boutique cafe earlier this month and it immediately became one of my favourites stops for coffee. The place serves rustic, semi-industrial ambience that reminds me of lifestyle coffee shops from abroad. Their coffees are delicious, especially if you enjoy strong espresso. I usually order my iced latte with low-carb almond milk, which is lovely, but nothing beats the rose latte. Especiale offers its space for artists to exhibit their work as well, making it a great stop to admire art while sipping on your coffee.
Location: Azaiba, Bousher, Muscat
This Kuwaiti cafe brought in quite the hype when they first launched, and it was all true: Their coffees are quite an indulgence. The extensive menu might be a bit overwhelming at first but once you find your favourite coffee, you will religiously be stopping by for a quick fix. I fell in love with the salted caramel flavoured coffee and the red velvet sip. And, if you are as much of a sucker for coffee as I am, then grab their massive Dose bottled coffees — a must-try.
Location: The Walk, Al Mouj Muscat, Al Hail North, Seeb, Muscat
Contact: +968 7968 9896
This cosy place is situated in Al Khoudh neighbourhood of Seeb and is becoming a popular spot for a cup of coffee. What caught my attention was their Omani-inspired coffees that have date syrup and Omani honey varieties. And, you get a free glass of water with every order; to wash down that bitter taste we love (and probably order another cup). How cool is that?
Location: Al Khoudh 6 (Mazoon Street), Seeb, Muscat
Okay, listen. Starbucks will always and forever be one of the top choices for coffee, at least for me. Their mild iced Americano is about the best. Now, I will let you in on a secret ingredient that spices up your coffee experience, and that is a couple of tablespoons of heavy whipped cream (preferably in liquid form). It’s a drink that tops all your favourite coffee and dairy combinations. The drink is not on the menu, so make sure to ask the barista to customise it for you.
Location: Multiple locations around Muscat including Oman Avenues Mall, Mall of Muscat and Al Muzn Mall.