In a nutshell:
-two cafes in Dublin: one in the city centre; one in their roastery in Ballycoolin
-one of the first speciality coffee roasters in Ireland
-a carbon neutral company – award-winning for their ecological and sustainable solutions
Coming to Dublin, the choice of coffee shops is somewhat overwhelming. With the independent specialty coffee scene having only risen here in the last 10 years, there is such a buzz you’d be mistaken for thinking it has been part of the fabric of Irish culture for decades. For this reason, Dublin is one of the most exciting places I’ve been to lately – things are happening on fast-forward mode and new ventures seems to crop out of nowhere.
…if we’re talking revolutionising and creating positive change, then this is the company to focus on…
With all that mind, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate coffee shop to write about for this city’s blog post: Java Republic. A pioneer in the Irish coffee scene movement, having been one of the original roasters when it all began 20 years ago. If we’re talking revolutionising and creating positive change, then this is the company to focus on: it has played a large part in getting the Irish coffee scene to where it is today, thanks to its foresight 20 years ago, and its educational strand to train and help other companies serve great coffee.
Java Republic has two flagship coffee shops in Dublin: one on Molesworth Street in the city centre, and the Roastery Cafe in Ballycoolin just outside the city centre (doable via public transport – taxis are pricey here). I went to the Roastery Cafe in Ballycoolin, and the travel is worth it. I know a lot of cafes incorporate their roasteries into the coffee shop floor, but this place does it properly. First and foremost, this is a roastery, so stepping into the cafe feels rather like you have been given a ticket into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. This is not for show; this is a real working roastery, generating coffee beans and tea for 1200+ venues and for 100,000 people to enjoy every day. All this happens, miraculously, from one room which is surrounded by floor to ceilings windows, so you can watch the magic unfold as you nibble on your buffet lunch and sip on your perfectly made coffee.
“A bottomless pantry that serves to suit your tastebuds. Delicious”
Lunch here is no ordinary fare. It’s a bit like a school lunch but in a utopian dream. They put on a daily giant buffet and the friendly staff conjure up anything you want from what’s on offer. Choose from a range of salad options, to hot options, or choose any of that to put into a sandwich. Toasted? In a wrap? What kind of bread? It was like a bottomless pantry that served to suit your taste buds. Delicious.
Then the coffee. Superb. Of course all the staff here will be trained in the training room just a few metres away (this training room is used to train up external companies too, and so the training is SCA accredited). And for the tea lovers, look to the picture below to see their incredible range of teas, which have all been packaged up just a few metres away beyond that pane of glass.
All in All:
Original, pioneering, educational and completely authentic – visiting the Roastery cafe in Ballycoolin makes for a great day out for coffee and tea lovers. Best with a car, but if not possible, the public transport options are great. After all that, I was then lucky enough to be granted a tour round the Roastery. Click here to read my write up on it and delve further into the company (and to also see me wearing a fetching hairnet).
Things to know:
-good for solo-working; group working; social catch ups. A flexible space that’s easy-going
-breakfast, lunch, snacks
-huge range of coffee/tea-related products available, from tea leaves to coffee beans, to keep cups and coffee makers
-Opening times: Mon-Fri 7-4pm (seating and deli close at 3pm)
Recommended things to do nearby:
–Bord Gais Theatre (spend an afternoon in the area by the canal – a tranquil escape from the bustle of the main city centre)
-Visit the Guinness storehouse (and learn that Guinness and prosecco is actually a thing)
–Dublin Castle (right in the heart of the city)
–O’Donoghues – a famous pub with traditional live music. Check times before you go.
-Visit Java Republic’s Molesworth Cafe in the city centre, Dublin 2 (open Mon-Fri 7-5pm)