For the Easter weekend Anette and I went over to Dublin to hang out with Stephen Morrissey and his girlfriend Jenny.
We were staying at his house and for the occasion he had blagged a Dalla Corte Mini to add to his coffee corner, as well as a Mazzer Mini E. Inevitably, what ensued was childish one-upmanship in the presence of a D-SLR. It was fun to spend some time messing around with latte art with someone who is not only very good, but has a totally different style to you.
I was quite pleased with some of the mid pour shots:
Stephen’s art in espresso cups (I am sorry but I just cannot stand the term “macchiarti”) was much better than mine, and it looks like he could have had space for a double in that Kontra cup:
If I am honest we probably didn’t spend enough time pulling shots and tasting espresso, but I think we were just in the mood to mess about. It is amazing how messy espresso in the home can be though it is nice to pull shots right next to a sink. The Dalla Corte was interesting to play with though the temp dial seems a very odd addition, I wasn’t really sure what was going on there…
On the Saturday we did a little coffee tour of Dublin. First stop was the little farmer’s market where Ariosa coffee have a stall. Michael, the owner and roaster, was working flat out pulling shots and selling his whole bean coffee. Stephen tipped him off and before we’d even got to the front of the queue we were presented with two espressos. They were really good, lovely and nutty on the nose and in the cup and quite sweet. Easily the best coffee we had that day, and one of the best “commerical” shots I’ve had in the UK. This photo makes me laugh – Michael smiles as Anette and I bury our faces in the cups, clearly unable to enjoy espresso like normal people!
We bought a little of his espresso blend and some of his Guatemalan, the latter of which was consumed in vast quantities far too late at night because it tasted really good!
From there we popped into Fallon and Byrne who also use Ariosa but they weren’t up to the same standard as the guy roasting it, which seemed a bit of a shame. The concept is great though – almost a little indoor market, loads of different deli style goods and a few counters and downstairs a bar with all the wine they have on offer. Definitely worth popping into if you are in Dublin.
After that it was up to the Bewleys cafe on Grafton street. The espresso was ok, well brewed but just not my kind of cup. It was nice to see them roasting away on the Probat in the window as we sat there.
Dublin, or at least the carefully chosen parts we saw, has a lovely feel mostly down to the lack of chain cafes. We walked past dozens of independents and I love that – lots of different styles and more of an old school cafe culture. It was a sunny day and loads of people were sat outside having a coffee. I do like Dublin.
Overall a great weekend, and thanks again to Stephen and Jen for the hospitality. Look forward to going back again.