Within the last couple of years, I discovered a new café in Jeddah, which has now become my favourite spot in town for the perfectly frothed cortado. The Caffeine Lab is serious about its mission to create the best possible coffee experience. Behind the cozy and stylish coffee shop, the founding team brings years of experience, training and skill in the coffee market.
Established in 2014 by a group of passionate coffee experts, the Caffeine Lab has been a full-service distributor of coffee, as well as equipment and accessories, operating in the Middle East. They have customers in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE.
So, not only can you order your cappuccino, espresso or latté at their location on Prince Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz street, but you can also purchase your own coffee-maker or accessories from their impressive selection. The friendly staff, all baristas, has remarkable knowledge, and they can help you make the right purchasing decision.
Want to simply learn how to operate a coffee machine? Or try your hand at perfecting the technique of achieving the ideal milk texture and velvety cream on top? No problem, you can even sign up for an on-site course in Latte Art.
That's right. Located on the second level, is a well equipped hands-on coffee lab equipped with coffee machines and tools in a classroom setting. Want to move beyond the basic Latte Art intro? Earn your chops through various brewing and sensory skills courses, or even go all out and commit to a full training program to become a professional barista.
Of course, you don't have to be an aspiring coffee ninja to enjoy the Caffeine lab. It's a chill place to relax in style. There's also a really nice meeting room with see-through walls that can be booked.
The crowd is young and hip. It's a great place to experience an authentic slice of Saudi life amid the many recent social transformations. When the photos on this post were originally taken, only men were allowed to sit on the main first level; and families (women or mixed groups) were required to enjoy their cup of java on the second floor.
In early December of 2019, a royal decree ended the long-established requirement for restaurants and cafes to have separate entrances and to segregate patrons by sex.
When I first arrived in Saudi Arabia in 2012, I was surprised to see segregated ordering lines at McDonald's, for example. In those early days, I also suddenly found myself sitting in the wrong section while enjoying lunch at IKEA. No one told me to move, but I quickly grabbed my tray and made my way to the singles section.
Seeing so many rapidly implemented social changes in the Kingdom over only the last couple of years has been quite an experience in my expat journey.
On my last visit to the Caffeine Lab, it was quite impressive to see the first floor being overwhelmingly occupied by women working away on their laptops or just having a good time over coffee with friends.
Prince Mohamed Bin Abdulaziz, 23322
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
+966 12 617 3577