About Us


Speciality Coffee has in recent times become a phenomenon within an increasingly growing circle. In Dubai alone, several establishments have already garnered a rooted foothold in the category. As much as it’s classified as a specialty, its reach has been quite mass and mainstream. 

Few, if not any, have ventured into a space which Dubai is well-known for globally - Its luxury capital status.

At Lionhead Beans, we’re braving and embracing this space. That’s only because our repertoire of coffee beans are of the highest quality. And by the highest we truly mean it’s at the top of the charts. As such, the volumes we trade are extremely limited as it’s determined by the harvest and by the availability of beans for that season. Because of this scarcity, we are able to cater only to the discerning few. 

It’s by choice as we aim to purvey the finest to our distinct clientele.

About Lionhead Beans

Lionhead Beans is the passionate child of Shirin Van Dort who is an SCA Sensory Skills Professional. Founded in Dubai, UAE in 2019, the business is focused on purveying only the highest quality single origin coffee beans which are roasted upon order and delivered fresh to ensure the quality of the coffee beans are second to none.

Shirin wears many hats as she is also an art enthusiast, budding writer, fashion connoisseur and a strong supporter of gender equality.


The term specialty coffee was first used in 1974 to describe beans of the highest quality that are produced in special microclimates. These beans are grown at the perfect altitude, at the right time of the year, in good soil and harvested with care. Because of the attention and care that they require, specialty coffees are sold at a premium and bought by roasters or coffee traders directly. 

Specialty coffees should not be confused with the term ‘gourmet coffee’ as there are no standards that gourmet coffee has to adhere to. To qualify as a specialty coffee, the beans have to be graded by certified coffee tasters known as Q graders.

Green coffee is graded on the basis of visual inspection and cupping after being roasted. Visual inspection involves taking a 350g sample of green coffee beans and counting defective beans; defects can be Primary (e.g. black beans, sour beans) or Secondary (e.g. broken beans). Coffee qualifies as ‘specialty’ when it has zero Primary defects and less than five Secondary defects. 

Cupping is a process that involves roasting the coffee and simply brewing it by adding hot water to the ground beans; specific scores for each of the attributes such as acidity, body, flavor and aroma- are assigned by certified Q graders. 

Once the beans are processed and delivered, roasters spend a considerable amount of time to understand the coffee and develop roast profiles. With better technology roasters are now able to connect the roasting machine to computers to monitor the temperature and record the different variables during the roast cycle. After trying different profiles and cupping roasters decide on one profile that brings out the best out of that particular bean. Specialty coffee is roasted in small batches to maintain freshness and monitor quality.

The Q Grade Score Sheet

Score Grade           Specialty                 Yes/No

90 - 100                   Outstanding              Yes

85 - 89.99                Excellent                   Yes

80 - 84.99                Very Good                 Yes

Below 80                 No grading                 No