Once upon a time not that long ago, coffee in Dublin meant one of two things- Bewley’s of Grafton Street or a jar of Nescafé (instant coffee). Thankfully, the bad old days are gone and contemporary Dublin even played host to the 2016 World Barista Championship. Bewley’s, the solitary source of quality coffee for so many years, has sadly closed. However, a range of interesting options now exists in its place. These cafés retail single estate coffees and top quality food.
3FE heralded this revolution when it started retailing single estate beans in 2008. Despite some years of harsh economic conditions, the coffee scene in the city hasn’t looked back since. Also, where Bewley’s once symbolised the economic predominance of Dublin’s Southside, today many of Dublin’s more fashionable coffeehouses are on the Northside. Here are some of the cooler cafés that the discerning coffee drinker might seek out on a trip to the ‘Fair City’.
Similar to nearby Proper Order in its use of simple colours, Love Supreme makes a dramatic statement in black and white. Stoneybatter has arrived and plays host to one of Dublin’s best coffee shops. This is indeed an address that coffee and chocolate connoisseurs should seek out. Black coffees here cost €2.80, milk coffees €3.10, the daily brew (filter coffee brewed by the litre) also €3.10 and freshly brewed filter coffees prepared using a V60 cost €4.50. On my visit, I opted for the latter, which was a choice between a tea-like Ethiopian or an intense Kenyan. Apart from the great coffee, Love Supreme also stocks speciality chocolate from around the world. This is the perfect accompaniment for their high-end coffees. Although it may be a little out of the way, Love Supreme is more than worth a trip.
57 Manor Street, Stoneybatter
Smithfield, home to Proper Order, symbolises the progress made on Dublin’s northside. Formerly more likely to be known for urban horses, today its cobblestones are the proud home of hipster shops and cafés. This cafe, with its sleek minimalist look of white walls and laminate flooring, is well worth a stop on a trip to Dublin.
It stocks coffees from UK-based roasters, Square Mile, as well as The Barn from Berlin. Espressos and americanos are €2.50 while milk-based drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos are €3.
7 Haymarket, Smithfield
On my visit, I detected Portuguese at the table beside me, a loud conversation in Italian behind me and a few random conversations being spoken in Dublin accents in the midst of this Northside Tower of Babel. What brings so many people from different backgrounds to Brother Hubbard?
I discovered the answer to this question when I ordered a carafe of freshly brewed Kenyan coffee and a frangipane served with natural yogurt. Not only was the coffee full of flavour, but the cake was divine (smooth, silky, succulent). People were sitting on benches outside waiting for admittance and I knew why. Check it out…
153 Capel Street
Monday, Tuesday 7:30–17:30pm
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday 7:30–17:30 18–22
Vice @ Wigwam
In the same location as the original 3fe coffeeshop, Vice offers one of the coolest coffee experiences in the city- coffee tasting. Using a range of coffees to prepare a variety of drinks such as espresso, latte, filter coffees and Irish coffee, this coffee experience costs €30. However, it is money well spent if you are a coffee lover. I tried Guatemalan, Ethiopian, and Costa Rican coffees and I chose to bring home a bag of Costa Rican coffee at the end of the 90-minute extravaganza. With its central location, this café should be ‘to do’/ ‘to visit’ list of any coffee drinker passing through the city.
54 Middle Abbey Street
Close to the Irish Financial Services Centre, this café has thrived on the passing trade from bankers and financiers. In addition to the usual lattes and americanos, it also offers high-quality brews using Chemex, Aeropress and pour over methods. On my visit, I chose a Colombian prepared in a V60. The coffee was tangy with a smooth aftertaste and I loved everything, apart from the fact that it was served in a paper cup. Despite this, Seven Wonders serves great coffee and it is worth stopping by. The Irish Diaspora Museum, also known as Epic Ireland, in the same building.
CHQ Building, Excise Walk
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