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One-stop coffee shop

Source:Food Bev Asia

Date Published:2/16/2017 07:02:12 PM

From coffee products and equipment to barista training courses, Boncafé has it all, writes ZAINAB MANSOOR

FROM Dubai, Boncafé Middle East provides its customers across the region with a complete “one-stop shop” experience, from shop design to complete beverage supply solutions, preventative maintenance programs, technical assistance and aftersales support and certified barista training courses.

Tony Billingham, Boncafé Group Executive Director, takes us through the steaming journey of coffee- making and the company’s growth prospects.

Tony Billingham, Boncafé Group Executive Director

Tony Billingham,  Executive Director, Boncafé Group

How strong is the coffee market regionally?

Coffee is extremely popular in the Middle East region. It is an answer to various purposes: coffee shops used to be a forum for political debates, having a cup of coffee with an elder family member is a sign of respect in certain family and if you have been working in the Middle East for long enough, you won’t deny its importance while conducting business and maintaining good relationships with customers and prospective clients. For example, the estimated mass market coffee market size for the MENA region is already at around AED 10 billion.

Where does Boncafé procure its raw materials?

Boncafé offers an extensive product range with, to name a few, the finest gourmet coffee blends, flavored syrups and sauces, the industry’s premium coffee machines and equipment brands, all in addition to the full Segafredo Zanetti portfolio.

We source our coffee beans from our plantations in Brazil, Hawaii, Costa Rica, Vietnam and Thailand. They are cultivated and picked with the most accurate controls at each stage, guaranteeing a superior, constant quality from the plant to the cup. We employ production techniques that are sustainable and environment friendly. Boncafé and Segafredo Zanetti coffee laboratories also assure stringent quality control and traceability of each single production batch in addition to modern packaging technology.

How do you ensure the quality of coffee?

Optimum roasting is critical to achieve the perfect coffee. Segafredo Zanetti achieves this thanks to its advance roasting facilities which reconcile tradition and innovation, thus producing the best coffee possible. It is also the only company in the coffee industry that directly controls the whole coffee production process. From the cultivation and selection of the raw material from its plantations in Brazil, Hawai, Costa Rica and Vietnam, to the art of the blending and roasting in modern premises, the result is arguably the most famous and appreciated Italian coffee worldwide. Each profile combination provides different bodies and flavors for a truly Italian espresso taste. Within Boncafé roasting facility in Italy, our blends follow strict and high level quality control production Boncafé coffees are roasted in Italy with blends created from combinations of high grade of Arabica and Robusta beans sourced from Central and South America, Africa and India and traceability options.

We also ensure quality level of coffee by maintaining a clean machine; regularly calibrating and continual staff operational training is the main important factor in maintaining the optimum coffee quality from any coffee machine.  We educate our clients providing complimentary and regular training courses from coffee knowledge, cleaning procedures and advanced Barista training.

Please tell us about the line of coffee machines.

We offer a wide range of coffee machines with the aim to answer the needs of all business sizes, from a small coffee shop or office to restaurants with high volume operations. For the traditional coffee machines, Boncafé Middle East is the exclusive distributor of the high-end brand La Marzocco and of La San Marco. La Marzocco is worldly renowned for making beautiful, high quality, hand crafted and uniquely designed espresso machines, with great attention to detail. La Marzocco developed and patented the first horizontal boiler in 1939, which is today an industry standard. Providing a range of traditional coffee machines with continuous innovations, La Marzocco is the dream brand everyone should have the chance to work with. Established in 1920 in Italy, La San Marco S.P.A is part of the Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group and is renowned for the performance of its products, developing with continuity the technology and performance of its coffee machines.

La San Marco is a brilliant Italian name that has successfully exported the great espresso tradition all over the world and is now positioned among the top ranks of the global espresso machines manufacturers. For the fully automatic coffee machines, Boncafé Middle East distributes: Thermoplan, WMF and Saeco. Thermoplan’s Black & White sets a reference in the market for the fully automatic machines. All models feature a modular assembly allowing fast and cost effective maintenance. Hot or cold, our best seller the Black&White3 CTMS2 makes preparing coffee or milk specialty beverages a success. It offers two separate grinders with two coffee bean hoppers and high capacity boiler for continuous unlimited steam and hot water supply. WMF is an easy-to-use and low maintenance coffee machine. It features a touch screen display and can be customized for any situation, from home use to office, to fast food service, to hotels. Options of specialty drinks include coffee and hot chocolate beverages, with the choice between water tank or direct water line connection. Saeco product lines were designed specifically for the B2B sector, and are equipped with revolutionary systems for the distribution of milk based beverages. They also have high capacity water and coffee canisters, a compact and innovative design and operating software that was custom-made for the reference market, for better credit-management for instance. Finally we work with Grind N’ Brew Series for filter and brewed coffee. Grind N’ Brew shuttle systems are the optimized solution to customers requiring fresh bulk brewed coffee.

Boncafe coffees

Boncafé coffees are roasted in Italy with blends created from combinations of high grade of Arabica and Robusta beans sourced from Central and South America, Africa and India

And your range of blenders?

Boncafé Middle East distributes the Vitamix blenders. Superior, heavy duty and high speed performance, they give the option to crush, puree, mix and so much more with no need to cut the ingredients into small pieces as the blender will do all the work for you. Vitamix blenders are consistent in performance and always guaranteed to achieve great results, with the ability to provide endless recipe creations. Our range encompasses The Quiet One, the Barboss Advance and T&G 2 Blending Station, which are specially designed for beverages and the Vitamix XL and Vita Prep 3 for the food preparations.

According to the needs and specifications of our coffee machines, Boncafé Middle East offers a set of accessories including barista tools, cleaning products and a water filter.

What are the main markets for your products?

Our major business is within the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries: Oman, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. We anticipate this to be developed immediately with our sub distributors and where necessary through the development of Boncafé branch offices. The operations in these countries will match the same standards, quality and service support as the ones here in the United Arab Emirates. 

Boncafé Middle East will also be paying attention to all the GCC and North African countries, mainly concentrating in Saudi Arabia where we have identified the potential to provide our high-quality range of products and unique after sales service and maintenance support for this hugely untapped market.

Who are the company’s customers? Do you have a target demographic?

We cater to five-star hotel properties, corporate houses, gas stations and international airlines between others. Thanks to our wide portfolio, we are able to answer the needs of a vast demographic target.

What can you say about today’s coffee drinkers?

Coffee drinkers are much more knowledgeable and increasingly interested in authentic high-quality products, leading to a stronger demand for premium coffee and equipment. At Boncafé Middle East, we answer the needs of all kind of consumers, including the health-conscious ones.

Is drinking coffee healthy?

Numerous studies seem to indicate so. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has revealed that there was “no proof drinking coffee cause’s cancer”. It may actually reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer. However (and surprisingly) scientists did identify “very hot” beverages as “probably carcinogenic”. The European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation declared that “drinking three cups of coffee a day was associated with a 21% reduction in the risk of mortality from heart disease”.


Tony Billingham

Company: Boncafé Group

Position: Executive director

A: Boncafé Middle East LLC- P.O.Box 74044, Dubai, U.A.E.

T: +971 4282 8742 

F: +971 4282 8743 

E: axelle.bouquet@Boncafé

W: www.Boncafé


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