Dublin is a friendly place with lots of friendly faces and more coffee shops than it’s possible to visit in a weekend. There’s also a passion for specialty coffee in some more unusual places, where they’re not obliged to serve you anything exceptional or exiting. The service here might not be as dedicated as it is in say Japan, but it’s continually done with a smile and the relaxed and casual atmosphere makes it both enjoyable and approachable. There’s also plenty of good chocolate, cakes and breakfasts to be had too.
We started our tour at The Fumbally after landing into Dublin early in search of breakfast and coffee. Stepping in, you’re greeted by a wide open space that falls down a set of stairs into a below street level floor with quaint decor and a revamped warehouse feel.
We browsed the menu, then put our order in at the counter for some Fumbally eggs, avocado and two Rwandan filters from the Barn – more than reasonably priced – we settled in enjoying the spacious surroundings and pretty extra touches.
The coffee arrived shortly before the food, a Rwanda Mahembe from Huye Moutain, the region that featured heavily in ‘A Film About Coffee’, with aromas of wildflowers and spiced treacle sponge I took a sip and discovered some funky orange cake flavours with some sweet lemon peel and chocolate orange on the finish.
The Fumbally eggs come with Gubbeen a flavourful semi soft cheese from County Cork that we enjoyed throughout our trip and the avocado with some pickled red cabbage, both outrageously tasty. A great start to the Dublin scene with a lovely community feel, we finished up and headed off to the centre of town.
A faster paced city centre coffee shop, Kaph sits in amongst markets, homeware stores, restaurants and bars, serving Dublin shoppers and workers with mainly on-the-go coffee. As we entered, we couldn’t see any brewed options, but we did see plenty of brewing equipment. Enquiring as to whether they might be willing to brew us up some coffee, they excitedly offered to put us through a couple of aeropresses.
Using mainly 3Fe beans, we picked a natural Nicaraguan pacamara from Finca Limoncello from the options before heading upstairs to take advantage of some additional seating.
The coffee arrived with sweet chocolatey stonefruit aromas, to taste there was a bright yellow fruit acidity with flavours of pineapple, chocolate and even some green tomato. Watching passers by out the window while slurping up the last of the coffee, we had very little distance to go to our next destination next door.
31 Drury Street
Less than a metre door to door, we popped in to Cocoa Atelier, arguably Dublin’s best chocolate shop, where we began browsing their collection. With colourful macaroons, handmade chocolates and a selection of single origin chocolate bars we were spoilt for choice.
With all the pretty colours on display it was hard not to get too deeply lost in the chocolates, before selecting the best of the single origin bar selection. So I picked out three of their bars first, a Papua New Guinea, a Venezuelan and a Madagascan, before we set about selecting a few chocolates to eat on our travels and walks around Dublin.
Looking over the chocolates selection we picked out a few to take with us on our travels. Mixing up our selection between gin and salted caramels as well as some signature truffles. All delightfully enjoyed on a walking trip a few days later around Howth.
30 Drury Street
Having heard a rumour that Vice Coffee stocked Dublin Doughnut Co doughnuts on a Friday we made sure to time our visit to coincide with some Friday mid afternoon hunger. Arriving to the entrance we found Vice Coffee taking up a spot inside Wigwam, a long spacious corridor all rounder, serving food, drinks and entertainment, also featuring a downstairs barber.
Taking a look over the menu we found some more Rwanda Mahembe on offer, this time roasted by Roundhill Coffee and thought this was a great opportunity to see how this coffee changed over two different roasters. Ordering a cup, we picked up a couple of doughnuts to share alongside it.
Taking the doughnuts to the table we picked out a white chocolate and orange flavoured one to go with the key lime. Well balanced with a crisp exterior and a fluffy bounce to the dough, they were a nice introduction to the coffee that arrived with blood orange and madeira aromas. To taste the coffee had citrus and honeydew notes with a cleaner lighter body to the one we’d had earlier from The Barn.
Before leaving the staff came to chat to us about Dublin and recommended we check out a new shop in Stoneybatter called Love Supreme, not one to ignore a decent recommendation, we marked it on the map and set off to find it.
54 Abbey Street Middle
Taking up a suburban corner on the way out of the city, Love Supreme cuts a classical white figure against its stone brick neighbours. Stepping inside to hanging plants and caged light fittings this small neighbourhood spot didn’t seem to be pulling any punches. With a large selection of single origin chocolate for a coffee store and an inhouse bakery, this place seemed to be designed as if for me personally.
As if spoilt for choice, we asked what they had available for brewed coffee, given two options we opted for the Colombian El Desvalado from Roasted Brown brewed on V60. Not even hungry it was impossible to refuse the opportunity to pick up the last salted caramel and bee pollen croissant, before taking up seat on the bar by the wall.
The coffee arrived with nutty roasted aromas, which expressed themselves as a subtle and refined white grape acidity with a bittersweet nutty backbone and a smooth juicy mouthfeel. The croissant was top notch too with sweetened condensed milk flavours and a crisp texture with a honey crunch. As we sat and enjoyed the relaxed slow paced atmosphere I made my way back over to the chocolate collection, picking up two Casa Bosque flavoured bars all the way from Mexico and a Tanzanian bar from local chocolatiers Bean & Goose. I dare say that if Love Supreme was my local coffeeshop I might be in there on most of my days off getting caffeinated, while getting fat on the pickings from the bakery.
57 Manor St, Stoneybatter