Cork Coffee WeekendCuppa Joe’s On The Rise
|Jamie and multi-tasking Theresa|
The Dublin firm was established in 2013 by Frank Kavanagh & Peter Sztal. “Having worked in graphic design and corporate banking respectively, we took the leap and opened up our own coffee roastery. The name Cloud Picker came from our trip to Northern Thailand where we visited a coffee farm in the Doi Chaang area on the Thai / Burma border and where we went up through the clouds to see the coffee pickers!”
Cloud Picker is Dublin City’s first micro coffee roastery. We hand roast to order on the esteemed Giesen roaster. Borne from passion, curiosity and the quest to create a unique coffee product for the Irish market. While we roast on Sheriff Street, our café is in Science Gallery on Pearse Street. Feel free to pop in and say hello and grab a coffee. As well as the Science Gallery Café we also wholesale to cafés and restaurants around the city and nationwide. Ali’s Kitchen is their first outlet in Cork.
And yes, they know their farmers, have visited the places where their beans come from. Read more here.
Back now to Ali's Kitchen. While colleague Jamie was setting up his roaster in a corner of Ali’s, Theresa was making us cups galore on her V60. Among the samples handed out were a top end Veracruz from Columbia and her own Kenyan favourite. Thirty grammes of coffee with 500 mls of water was her recommended recipe and that should take two and a half to three minutes.
“Buy the beans as fresh as you can and of course buy your own grinder”. She got lots of backing in the audience for that, no shortage of confirmed coffee drinkers here, many of whom seem to love the ritual, particularly on Saturday mornings!.
Now the attention switched to Jamie who compared the roasting process to “baking bread” - Ali was all ears at this point! “There are different ways of processing coffee on the farms and there are many different varieties of bean”. We were moving from the bakery comparisons (despite the aromas coming from the roaster) to wine, even potato, comparisons.
Meanwhile beans of various types were handed around, some pre-roasting, and later we saw and smelt the roasted ones. The little roaster is one that Cloud Picker use themselves to evaluate the samples they get but it follows the same principles as the big ones! “The first crack comes about three quarters way through the roasting.” And yes indeed we began to hear the pops at about that time. “You need good temperature controls on your roaster”, said Jamie as he had to manage this model manually. But it all worked out well.
Just like with other grown produce, it is important to have a seasonal buying policy. “It pays off hugely,” he said. But there is some flexibility in the market as different producing countries have different harvest times. “Now, for instance, is the time to buy from East Africa.”
Jamie was enthusiastic about the rise in the interest of good coffee: “The standard is up immensely over the last ten years.” He got a lot of agreement from the group in Ali’s, most of whom were on their way to another coffee venue as part of the three day event.
Unit 5, Castleforbes Business Park,
Dublin 1, DO1 F8C2, Ireland.