Thursday, April 06, 2006

good cafes

So, for anyone thinking about travelling to Dublin, or anyone who lives here, I thought I'd put down a list of the few cafes in Dublin I think are worth checking out. Once I get my new camera I'll throw some pics in too, so if you're interested check back on this post in a week. in no particular order; Avoca Cafe. It has to be one of the nicest cafes in Dublin. They serve great food, fresh scones that are baked in house daily,and the coffee is excellent. However, sadly only when Arthur works. He just got a 3 group Linea in and a robur grinder which as far as I know he prefers to the battered Gaggia he used to have. Although the Gaggia always ran too hot he still managed to serve coffee well above the average quality, which in my mind is a testament to his skill as a barista. On Arthur's days off, the quality of coffee does drop which is a shame as I love everything else about the place. They have some of the best waiters in Dublin and I love the red and white interior and the wooden floors. One of the best spots great lunch and excellent espresso in town. It goes without saying that latte art is a given on every drink. Donnybrook Fair. Strangely I've only ever been here once. Its in Ballsbridge in Dublin which is a little off my daily path, but I do hope to get there more often. To me it has a more restaurant feel to it, with sleek interiors and a long bar incorporating the espresso bar and a cocktail bar. If my sources and one visit are anything to go by, you can expect to see great latte art on every visit and taste really good coffee. Also Buzz who runs the coffee over there is really good guy and a great Barista. Coffee Angel. It can get very annoying when you only have a select group of cafes that you can visit and get good coffee, so I was delighted when I found Coffee Angel before Christmas. I say 'found', but its been around for ages and I was just too lazy to go and check it out. Often when a barista from a certain cafe wins a competition, people talk about how the standard in the cafe is not the same as in the comp. Well, seeing as Karl Purdy, the current Irish Barista Champion, and owner of Coffee Angel has no other staff, its fair to say he's serving competition standard coffee all the time. The man is a bloody workhorse. You'll find him working off his mobile espresso bar down by the IFSC on the liffey every morning rain or shine. Although Karl runs a take away stand, and so serves in paper cups, ask nicely enough and I'm sure he'll serve you an espresso in a ceramic or heavy glass vessel. I'm confident he'll improve on the current Irish ranking. Great espresso despite the best efforts of the elements. Bewley's Cafe on Grafton Street. I sort of feel I shouldn't be including this one as , well I work there, and I'm responsible for all the in house training and barista supervision. I should mention that Deaton does this as well. I'm still not sure if its his job description or not but having a lot of training experience already, Deaton can't but set examples and educate whereever possible. The standards wouldn't be as high in the building if it wasn't for Deaton being there full time. (I work part time). I won't go into too much self promotion here but I believe the quality of espresso and the average skill level of our thirty or so barista's is very high . All the coffee is roasted in house as well so I believe we are serving a unique coffee offer in Dublin. Enough of that, here's some pics so you can decide for yourself. Neither Deaton or I made any of these drinks.


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