Eight years in the UAE are all that were required for Brazilian coffee specialist Maria Eduarda Becker Pavani to establish a thriving roastery and bean business, supplying this country and beyond with South America’s delicious aromas adding to the already vibrant café scene. Tres Marias is the latest gourmet coffee brand sweeping the nation.
Maria’s first encounter with specialty coffee was working at Café Cultura, a leading special coffee house in Brazil which sparked a quest to gather more knowledge on the industry. A graduate of marketing, she has since furthered her education to become a Specialty Coffee Association Trainer, a sensory judge for barista championships and a Q Arabica Grader: a certification that only 10,000 people in the world hold.
Maria moved to Dubai in 2013 to work as a barista in a local five-star hotel and within three months was offered a job at the very first specialty coffee roastery in the region where she was exposed to the growing market of specialty coffee in the Middle East. Following this opportunity, she was offered a partnership deal where she set up and developed Tres Marias from scratch. We caught up with Maria to find out more.
How discerning do you find the UAE market when it comes to coffee?
It’s amazing to see how people here are passionate about their coffee, and will go above and beyond to find the perfect cup. It did cross my mind to set up in Europe, but Dubai is such an amazing city to live in.
How easy/difficult was it to set up the importation of beans from South America?
It is always a challenge to trade goods with countries in South America but with the help of my amazing team and the fact that I speak the language, we’ve been able to streamline the process. The major challenges however are the time difference and how fast paced it gets.
Your roastery is based in Jebel Ali?
Tres Marias Coffee is based out of the DMCC Coffee Centre, a beautiful and professional coffee facility with the best coffee equipment available. We store our green coffee inside the centre and utilise the roasting facilities to roast our beans, and the training room to run our Authorized Speciality Coffee Trainings. All our products are freshly roasted in the UAE and distributed from Jebel Ali.
What made you come up with the name Tres Marias?
As a Latina, I wanted to include an element of my origin in the name. Tres Marias in Portuguese or Spanish is the translation of the ‘Three Kings Stars’ on the constellation of Orion. I used this methaphor to believe that Tres Marias Coffee would be like the three stars: easy to recognise and distinguish.
Do you think people are becoming far more professional in their appreciation of coffee? How far is sustainability a core value of your company?
Definitely yes! One of the reasons Tres Marias Coffee is very focused on education is because we believe that the more educated our industry is, the easier it is for us to communicate the importance of good coffee. People worldwide are not only paying more attention to the coffee they drink, but also to who they give their money to. That’s why there is bigger support for local businesses. Since our inception, we’ve been paying close attention to sustainability. We started by selecting CO2 Neutral Packaging for our beans as well as compostable and biodegradable materials to our capsules and instant coffee.
Did you have any worry about branching into the instant coffee market?
When we started developing the product, I was 100 per cent focused on how we would become more accessible to speciality coffee lovers and simplifying the coffee making process. We created the product to solve a problem and we’ve been able to do that and stay true to our brand.
What are your plans for 2021?
We managed to create a solid system for our e-commerce, grow our team, expand our portfolio, operate our first retail space during the Ripe Markey (every Friday and Saturday in the Dubai Police Academy) and of course, keep ourselves healthy and well. We’re considering retail options and creating a wider range of productions for our clients.