Showing posts with label Coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Coffee. Show all posts

Friday, March 25, 2022

Love or Loathe Coffee? APC wants you on their Coffee Study

Love or Loathe Coffee? 

APC wants you on their Coffee Study


Coffee is the very first thought of the day for many people waking up all over the world. At APC Microbiome Ireland, a world leading SFI Research Centre headquartered in University College Cork (UCC) researchers are thinking about coffee all day every day. Dr Serena Boscaini and Nurse Caroline O’Leary are leading a study investigating how coffee consumption affects the brain and gut microbiota of healthy adults between 30 and 50 years-old.


Dr Serena Boscaini, PhD Postdoctoral Researcher and Caroline O’Leary, Clinical Research Support Officer

Moderate coffee drinkers who drink three to five cups of coffee per day, living near and in Cork city are needed to take part in the study. This study involves four in person visits to University College Cork over approximately six weeks. APC researchers are also seeking non-coffee drinkers both in Cork and in the rest of Ireland. For non-coffee drinkers the study involves two visits to University College Cork, for those living outside Cork the first visit can be done online. 

Dr Serena Boscaini, Postdoctoral Researcher at APC Microbiome Ireland  says “It is known that coffee consumption has a positive effect on human health. In particular, moderate consumption of coffee is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, liver diseases, Type II diabetes, cognitive decline, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. This is not surprising since coffee contains several phytochemicals that are beneficial for human health, including different kinds of polyphenols. A large number of polyphenols are metabolized and modified by the microbes in our gut. It is also known that a number of microbes-derived molecules are affecting the health of other organs, such as the brain. To this end, this study aims to explore in detail what is the effect of coffee consumption on the gut microbiota, stress and cognition. At the moment, the effect of coffee on the gut microbiota and on the communication pathways between the brain and the gut is still largely unexplored.”

Caroline O’Leary, Clinical Research Nurse at APC Microbiome Ireland says “People are incredibly passionate about coffee and we believe that this is a wonderful opportunity for coffee lovers, and haters, to play an important part in research that will tell us more about how coffee benefits our microbes and our brain.”

To find out more please email Caroline O’Leary at or Dr. Serena Boscaini at or visit

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Taste of the Week. Golden Bean's Capim Branco

Taste of the Week.

Golden Bean's Capim Branco

Lots of new coffee roasters on the block these days but our current Taste of the Week comes from one of the longest standing, the Golden Bean who are based at Ballymaloe.

Bought a bag of the beans from Bradleys (North Main Street) last week and was immediately struck by the excellent quality of this relatively sweet and fruity Brazilian variety Yellow Catuai (not that I know much at all about the different varieties). 

But I can rely on the judgement of Golden Bean owner/roaster Marc Kingston whose "goal has always been to source, roast and supply the most ethically produced beans from around the world". Well worth a try!

Pic via Golden Bean.

For the Geek!

Varietal: 100% Yellow Catuai

Processing: Natural and dried on Patios

Owner: Andrade Brothers (Ismael & Eduardo Andrade)

Altitude: 1,100 metres above sea level

Town / City: Carmo do Paranaiba

Region: Cerrado Mineiro

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Porter, IPA and Artisan Coffee in Eight Degrees Christmas Pack

A Quart of Ale± #25A

Moving on over to craft with Eight Degrees at Christmastime

Porter, IPA and Artisan Coffee in Eight Degrees Christmas Pack 

All six of the Munro series

Eight Degrees The Black Road Campfire Porter 6.5%

Not too long ago, I used to frequent a bar where there were three stouts on offer. It really had to be a Cork bar. And it was. The good old boys, and some not so old, had a certain skill. 

The barman was always ahead of the thirsty posse, filling pints and lining them up. Which was the Guinness? Murphy’s? Beamish? Some fellows could tell by the colour. Others by tapping the full pint with a fingernail. I was always impressed. But I think those good old boys would be lost today with the variety of the black stuff, both stout and porter, available, thanks to the rise of craft beer producers.

Just got one of the most recent in my hands, the Black Road Campfire Porter by Mitchelstown’s Eight Degrees. It, along with Fort of the Fianna Belgian IPA, both form part of the Mitchelstown’s brewery’s Irish Munro series and each features in their widely available Christmas special, the pack completed by a bag of superb coffee from Badger & Dodo, the local roaster.

Initial signs from the porter are good, the classic mahogany/black with a coffee coloured head. Aromas are smoky, coffee. The palate is smooth, complex, caramel and that smoke trace again; chocolate and coffee and sweet caramel take me home.

The Eight Degree folks are naturally adventurous. Who wouldn’t be if you live in the vicinity of their beloved Galtymore. Irish Munros are peaks over 3,000 ft. Many of these peaks belong to the MacGillycuddy Reeks in Kerry, one is in Wicklow, and then, towering over the Mitchelstown brewery, is Galtymore. 

The Galtees are not just decorative. “These mountains are also key to us producing world class beers, producing wonderfully soft water via its red sandstone ridges. The Black Road is the hillwalker route up Galtybeg and onto the higher Galtymore for magical views across the countryside. Inspired by the mountains, we’ve brewed a porter using Belgian and German malts that impart beech- and oak-smoked flavours along with coffee notes.”


Malt: Irish pale ale malt, beech smoked malt, oak smoked wheat, café malt, CaraAroma, chocolate malt.
Hops: A light bittering of Nugget.
ABV: 6.5%
IBUs: 12

I just love Eight Degrees. They tell good yarns, make great beers and are always game for a laugh. And always come up with Food Pairings. In this case: This smooth sipper is eminently suited to campfire foods: bonfire bangers, or sausages, cooked on sticks over a woodfire, potatoes slow roasted in the embers and bubbling pots of homemade baked beans with lots of smoked paprika. 


Eight Degrees “Fort of the Fianna” Belgian IPA 5.4%

Clear and gold in the glass, this September issue in the Eight Degrees Irish Munro series takes you to the summit. Whether mountain high or just atop a bar stool, this Belgian IPA is one to enjoy.

The short-lived head doesn't last as a long as a foggy cap on the head of Kerry’s Caher, which just about qualifies as an Irish Munro. The flavour though, strong and hoppy, is long-lived, a bit like the legendary Fianna who, with leader Fionn MacCumhaill, enjoyed their adventures across the Irish mountains long before the invention of those para-glider things. Sorry, Mr Kiwi!

But big congrats to all at Eight Degrees for yet another superb beer in this series. Excellent citrus and floral notes here, smooth and soft and a dry and bitter finish. A very satisfying taste adventure whether mountain high or just atop a bar stool.

They say: We added our current favourite hop Loral into the whirlpool for this Belgian IPA, followed by dry hopping with the elite new experimental HBC 522, which has strong citrus and floral notes. Singing above all this is our Belgian yeast strain of choice: BE256 is a quick attenuator producing a clean beer with hints of spice, clove and banana. Raise a glass to the Fianna.


Style: Belgian IPA
Malt: Irish pilsner malt, wheat.
Hops: Loral, dry hopped with HBC 522.
Yeast: BE256
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 44

Food advice: The delicious bitter flavour of this beer will play happily with a big serving of the best Belgian-style frites and mayo. Add a side of Glenbeigh moules for extra glory, but hold the lemon. You’ve all the bitterness you need in the glass. Try with a Moroccan butternut squash casserole to cut through the sweet veg and play happily with those spices. For the ultimate pairing, get a slice of pumpkin pie; the fruit and floral flavours of the beer will enhance the savoury-sweetness of this quintessential autumn desert.

Get social: #FiannaBelgianIPA

And more news from Eight Degrees: We've also released the final beer in our IRISH MUNRO Series; Devil's Ladder Belgian Tripel aged in sherry casks. This is the pinnacle of our 2020 series, a beautiful beast of a beer which can straddle both sides of the Christmas meal. Chill and serve in small sherry glasses to start, with a selection of tapas-style nibbles: good olives, smoky roasted almonds, salty anchovies. For a sweet ending, serve it at room temperature in a brandy snifter to offer a delicious counterpoint to Christmas pudding, chocolate Bûche de Noël, or even a creamy stilton.  

Think I'll keep that one until the big day itself!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Eight Degrees Brewing Up A Black Christmas With Badger & Dodo

press release

Christmas 2019 with Eight Degrees Brewing

  • Beer and coffee gift pack: Eight Degrees Brewing with Badger & Dodo
  •  RACK 'EM UP Series: #8 Black Ball Metric Stout aged in Jameson whiskey barrels
For Christmas 2019, Eight Degrees Brewing have teamed up with local coffee roasters Badger & Dodo to release a limited edition beer and coffee pack. People who love great beer also love great coffee so we’re bringing two of our favourite things together for you in one gorgeous gift box.

The branded box contains  2 x 440ml cans of Eight Degrees beer from the RACK EM’ UP Series - #7 Maroon Ball Kveik IPA + #8 Black Ball Metric Stout - along with 1 x 250g bag of Badger & Dodo speciality coffee.
More information:

#8 Black Ball Metric Stout aged in Jameson whiskey barrels, is the culmination of our 2019 RACK ‘EM UP Series. This is a big bold stout. There’s a touch of sweet vanilla in there from the oak and lots of cocoa and dark chocolate to combine with smooth, spicy whiskey notes. Pair it with some funky goat cheese, Christmas pudding, or a box of your favourite chocolates. Deep, dark, rich and rewarding, celebrate sinking a Black Ball this winter. 

From the gift pack box:
If you are holding this box we can say with confidence that you are one of two things: either keenly aware of the decadence that you are about to consume, or just about to find out.  

Chances are you will have tasted one, or both, of these iconic Irish brands in a café, a pub, or even at home. Badger & Dodo and Eight Degrees have had similar journeys over the past decade, blazing trails in two parallel movements in Ireland: speciality coffee and craft beer. By concentrating on quality and innovation, we have found ways to take small, everyday moments - an everyday cup of coffee, a simple glass of beer - and turn them into something exciting and memorable. 

We are all based in North Cork and are familiar with each other's products. So, when the opportunity came for us to collaborate, we jumped at the chance. The first release of this partnership was in early 2019. Beer #2 in Eight Degrees’ RACK 'EM UP series, which celebrates eight years in business, was a collaboration with Badger & Dodo, who had just celebrated 10 years of roasting coffee beans in Ireland. We couldn't resist taking it a step further.
Enough words. It’s time for you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Brew. Sip. Repeat. 

About the beer:
Eight Degrees Brewing celebrated eight years of brewing with a series of exciting and innovative beers for the RACK EM’ UP Series. This pack features two of those beers: #7 Maroon Ball Kveik Double IPA and #8 Black Ball Metric Stout. 
RACK ‘EM UP Series: #7 Maroon Ball Kveik Double IPA with WHC Lab
There's nothing bigger or more modern than a double IPA with Kveik and Philip Woodnut from WHC Lab in Wicklow has been developing a new strain of Kveik called Valkyrie from an isolate that comes from Norway’s Ebbegarden region. This tropical fruit-forward ale has lots of tutti frutti flavours, which we've further accentuated by dry hopping with the dynamic Enigma. Kveik it out.
RACK 'EM UP Series: #8 Black Ball Metric Stout aged in Jameson whiskey barrels
The culmination of our RACK 'EM UP Series, this is a big bold stout. There's a touch of sweet vanilla in there from the oak and lots of cocoa and dark chocolate to combine with smooth, spicy whiskey notes. Deep, dark, rich and rewarding, celebrate sinking a Black Ball this winter.
About the coffee: Available in ground or wholebean.
Blackwater Blend: This is Badger & Dodo’s most popular national blend of Arabica coffees from Colombia, Brazil & Guatemala presenting Chocolate, Praline & Orange in the cup.
Jam Jar: Badger & Dodo’s premium sweet blend of Colombia, Brazil & Ethiopia. Dark Chocolate, Cherry & Butterscotch in the cup.
Guatemala Buena Suerte: Caturra, Catuai & Bourbon farm blend Arabica. Washed Process. Notes of Almond, Orange & Chocolate in the cup.
Peru El Palto: Caturra & Typica farm blend Arabicas. Washed Process. Notes of Apple, Honey, Lemon in the cup.
Brazil Yamava: Yellow Catuai single variety Arabica. Naturally processed. Cocoa Nibs, Red Apple & Hazelnut in the cup. 
About Badger & Dodo
Australian Brock Lewin is the Badger in Badger & Dodo, Broc being Irish for badger. Brock first pulled a shot of coffee in 1993 while at Uni in Sydney but really came to terms with speciality coffee while living in Melbourne from 2005-08. He relocated to Fermoy, Co Cork, with his wife Claire and they established their roastery Badger & Dodo on Claire’s parents’ farm in July 2008. Dodo is the father-in-law! 
About Eight Degrees Brewing
Eight Degrees is an award-winning Irish microbrewery renowned for its innovation and experimentation. It was established in 2010 at the foot of the majestic Galtee mountains by Kiwi Scott and Aussie Cam, who were lured to Ireland by two Irish cailíns. The crew at Eight Degrees Brewing are passionate about producing exciting and adventurous beers using only natural ingredients. Sláinte! 
More information:
Get social: Twitter: 8degreesbrewing  ¦ Facebook: eightdegreesbrewing  ¦ Instagram: eightdegreesbrewing 

Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Tasty Morning With Karen Coakley On Kenmare Foodies Tour.

A Tasty Morning With Karen Coakley
On Kenmare Foodies Tour.
Enthusiastic Emma at Maison Gourmet
Henry Street is abuzz this sunny mid-May morning. Shoppers out and about, drivers trying to find parking. All kinds of small shops here, cafés and bars too. But we’re in a back lane watching bakers at work. We’re privileged because we’re with Karen Coakley, the Kenmare Foodie herself, and her Kenmare Foodie Tour takes you to places you won’t get to on your own, allows you see what goes on behind the scenes (away from the bustling street and the busy counters) and in most places you get to chat with the person or persons who started the food (or drink) business.

Margaret of Kenmare Ice Cream is one of those protagonists. Rose also plays a key role but she has to leave on business and it is Margaret that tells us the story. Both are Ballymaloe trained and were looking to start something in 2007. A gourmet deli was the first aim and they did much work on that before a discouraging coffee stop in Adare put them off. By the time they got back to Kenmare the ice cream idea was born but not yet taken seriously!

Margaret at Kenmare Ice Cream
But after research, it quickly gathered momentum and they got some equipment. How do we sell? They bought a tricycle, added three planks, and Margaret went off selling while Rose made the ice-cream. By the end of that summer, with over 11,000 scoops sold, they knew they were on to something.

Soon they had to scale up. They found “proper equipment” , including a 24 flavour cabinet, and a UK expert came over to give them two days training. They had  started making French style ice cream but now switched to the Italian style. “Because it’s all about flavour,” said Margaret. “More so than the richer (egg based) French style. Raspberry Ripple was our first flavour, and still my favourite. We stay as clean and green as we can. Four years ago, we started making whipped ice cream and that is now a big success. We do high quality but at a good price.”

Their Bia Bia is a full scale cafe, including ice-cream of course, in Railway Street while Kenmare Ice Cream, where we visited, can be found on Henry Street (open 11.00am to 11.00pm in season when Margaret and Rose have 22 people employed). Oh yes, you may still see that tricycle around Kenmare on special occasions but their famous cow, Moodini, is parked up for a while, awaiting a suitable grazing spot!
Patrick and Emma talk sourdough
If you’re arriving in Kenmare from the West Cork side, you’ll spot Maison Gourmet on top of Henry Street on your left. It was here, on the terrace at the rear that we joined up with Karen and her group. Soon, we met Emma, the French lady behind the bakery/café. And she took us out the back, to the lane where the bakery is and where we got our hands on the dough and fashioned our little baguettes (which we would collect, nicely baked, at the end of the tour).

Here they use a rather special butter, the Isigny AOC (now AOP). They can’t use Irish butter. It is good but it doesn’t have the same elasticity as the Isigny. Emma, having been part of large bakeries in Carcassonne and Toulouse, is delighted to be in Kenmare and you can see that Kenmare is delighted to have her and her bakery. Amazing too how many French visitors find their way to Maison Gourmet. Maybe it's that tempting smell of the breads, cakes and Java coffee.

Thirty years ago, she met Patrick who was already a baker, fell in love with the baking and the baker. Emma has “flirted” with Ireland since she came here as an au pair when she was twenty. Then, 3 years ago, she and husband Patrick “took the path of our dream and we opened a bakery in Kenmare. That was the best idea that we ever had.”
Beara Gin truffles at Lorge

Their butter and flour may be imported from France but they also use lots of high quality Irish produce in the busy café. But it is the breads (including sourdough) and pastries that attract me, all those classics from butter croissants to pain au chocolat (again the very best of chocolate is used) to Macarons to Mille Feuille, strawberry tartlets and more.
Olivier (On the Wild Side)

More chocolate down the street where’ll you find the Lorge shop. Hard to believe he started making chocolate by accident. His “factory” at nearby Bonane is housed in the old post office and is now a thriving business. Karen told us he is currently working with Beara Gin and indeed we sampled some of those delicious white chocolate truffles and, later, bought some bars and a bag of his marshmallow.
Alain knows his wines

Soon we found ourselves down by the town park where the weekly market was in progress. As we walked, Karen was dispensing food and recipe ideas, lots of tips all the way through the morning. 

At the market, we sampled the cured meats (including a beetroot and pork saucisson and a delicious chorizo) by Olivier of On the Wild Side. Later we called back to get some of his paté and also those Merguez Lamb Sausages. Cheese samples then, including Milleens and Coolea, from Christian’s cheese stall where he had many choices for his customers.

“How about a glass of wine?,” said Karen. Oh yes was the answer. We headed for the Vanilla Grape, a wine and card shop owned by Alain and Christine. “We are here 15 years now,” said Christine. “though those shelves are over 100 years old.” Frenchman Alain is always on the lookout to give his customers wine at a good price, not easy though considering we “had two tax hikes since the recession”.

But he did have just the job for us, a Cà Vittoria apassimento style, not from the Veneto but from Puglia, and well priced at €19.50. As we sipped the Nero D’Avola, we discussed serving temperatures with Alain saying the fridge is not a friend of wine. Had another chat with him later in the afternoon and bought myself a bottle of Chateau Vincen from Cahors much to the delight of Alain who himself is from the area (Figeac).
Making coffee with the Syphon

Alexa and Dave are the duo behind Babors Beans at the Brewhouse in the Square. Here they are serving top quality coffees, sharing bites, monstrous burgers and zesty cocktails to brighten up your day. But we’re here for the coffee that they roast themselves.

Dave told me they have eight single origins and five blends. He has to keep an eye on the price. “You have to watch the market as the price changes every day. It is too expensive to buy from the individual farmers. I get mine from Inter America Company. 

He is, of course a passionate enthusiast. “You can drink 10 to 15 cups a day and it’ll do no harm if you drink a lot of water as well!” He showed us two ways of making coffee, with the Syphon (which I preferred) and with the Chemex. We also enjoyed an espresso. By the way, not alone can you buy 250 grm bags of the various coffees here but you can also get the implements including the Syphon and Chemex. The new roastery is close to being ready and then he’ll be doing classes and demos and no doubt Karen will have that on her tours as well!

After all that, it was back up to Maison Gourmet to collect our loaves and say goodbye to one another. The tour takes about three hours but it was so enjoyable, with so many different and informative chats, that the time flew.
Christian and his cheeses

Get all the info on Kenmare Foodie Tours here.   Karen is always working on varying the tour and soon there’ll be a fish call.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Casanova on George’s Quay. Gelato. And So Much More!

Casanova on George’s Quay.
Gelato. And So Much More!

On Barry’s corner on George’s Quay, in a clothes shop once run by the Barry sisters (here you could buy elastic for your knickers or, if you were flush, new knickers and more), you can now indulge in the most amazing Gelato.

Long after the Barry’s closed their shop, a twelve year old Italian girl so much enjoyed a two week holiday in Ireland that she got it extended to two months. And then promised herself she would come back. 

Many years later, Barbara did just that. Barbara and her husband Andrea (also with a love of Ireland) set up their shop on George's Quay in August 2016 so that now you can enjoy a real taste of Italy in Casanova Gelato.

We did that just last week. There is an amazing display cabinet with over a dozen gelatos to tempt you. Not the same selection every day, by the way. Andrea doesn't want the gelato lying around so he makes small batches that move quickly and you’ll see different varieties from day to day.

It is one of the best displays I've seen anywhere and that includes San Gimignano, the ice-cream capital of the world, or at least the home of the World Champion when I visited. 
Couldn't wait to get cracking on the Gelatos of George’s Quay. I think Andrea spotted that and soon we each had a bowl with three samples: Hazelnut, Rocher, Chocolate, Chocolate and hazelnut, Mascarpone cheese and strawberry, and Spiruli.

Spiruli? I hear you ask. The blue colouring that so many kids like comes from the natural pigment of Spirulina. Spirulina algae is rich in essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals making Spiruli Gelato healthy for children and adults alike. Aztec warriors considered it “the food of the gods” and the 1974 UN World Food Conference designated it a “food of the future”. 

It certainly goes down well with the kids and Andrea told me adults like it very much in their Affogato dessert where the colour changes when you add the expresso! So yes you may have coffee and gelato together.

But we were invited in to test-taste their forthcoming Bubble Waffle! Barbara was busy getting that ready and soon presented us with two of them, CL getting the one with the strawberry fruit and sauce while mine had banana and chocolate sauce. A cup of their delicious Agust organic coffee was also provided.

We were up to the challenge! Well, the combination is delicious, all wrapped up in this bubble waffle. It is still a work in progress though, with Barbara tweaking it so that is not too sweet. Her work got a vote of confidence from us and it will be officially launched in the very near future.

There are dozens of Gelato flavours and these may be used in their waffles as well. Ours was a Special of course with fresh fruit, one sauce and a one topping. A simple waffle and a fruit waffle are also available and you may also have Gelato Waffle (without the fruit). Anyone for a Croffle? Think Croissant and Waffle.

So lots of tasty variety. And I haven't yet mentioned their crepes, their sundaes, some special Gelato drinks such as the Casanova Shake and others such as Marilyn Monroe (flavoured Italian style Latte Macchiato made with organic coffee and milk topped with fresh cream). 

They also have a special range for those with Vegan and those with Dairy intolerances. All their Gelato is suitable for Vegetarian; no gelatine is used. There is so much going on in this small place. 

“All our ingredients are carefully chosen to give to our customers the best experience possible. We use only Irish Organic Milk, Real Fruit, Belgian Chocolate, the best Italian Piemonte IGP Hazelnut and Italian Pistachio 100% Pure Paste. All our product are made without Palm Oil, Artificial Flavouring and Colourants, all proven to be dangerous for human health.”

The reaction has been good and they are pleased with their first year on the banks of the Lee. Barbara told me they enjoy the vibrancy of the city, the amount of festivals and events. “In my city in Italy, a similar size to Cork, they would organise maybe one a year.” But here there is one nearly every week, most recently the Jazz festival (and that was good for Casanova). 

And the couple are contributing to the festivals themselves. During the recent Taste Cork Week they joined in and held a Gelato Workshop; the 3.5 hours lesson cost €55.00, a lot less than the former World Champion’s €400.00 fee for a 2-hour course!

But you don’t need a festival to visit Casanova and treat yourself. It may not be exactly in the city centre but is just a couple of minutes from the South Mall. And you get a good view too. Andrea told me he loves the river and the Holy Trinity Church church on the other bank, another plus when you’re enjoying your Gelato along with the kids or the grandkids. Or maybe by yourself!

  • If you can’t stay, they do a take-away box!

Casanova Gelato

Twitter: @casanovagelato

Monday, February 13, 2017

Cork Indie Coffee Trail. A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan

Cork Indie Coffee Trail
A Guide by Dermot O’Sullivan
So (seems to be the word to start with these days), you’re in Cork, looking for a cup of real coffee. You know there are some terrific indie cafés around the city. But do you know where they are? Where is ORSO? Where is Nectar Coffee?

Just mentioned this pair as they feature in the first page of the Indie Coffee Trail, a new guide (with directions) by local chef Dermot O’Sullivan, perhaps best known to many of you as @GasMarkSeven on Twitter. ORSO, by the way, is in Pembroke Street, close to the GPO while Nectar sits on the junction of Maylor Street and Parnell Place.

Dermot’s selection showcases “the best of what Cork city’s coffee scene has to offer”.  The cafés have added “another element to the cultural dimension of the city, forgotten buildings have been brought back to life… All the while, locals and visitors alike are becoming more knowledgeable and discerning with their coffee of choice”.

Other coffee haunts listed by Dermot included Dukes Coffeehouse, Filter Espresso & Brew Bar and its new little sister Portafilter, Union Grind, The Bookshelf, Idaho, Warren Allen, Alchemy, Cork Coffee Roasters (at two venues), Ali’s Kitchen, Rocket Man and Rocket Man East, Farmgate, Three Fools and Café Gusto (also two locations)

And there is a map of the city centre indicating where each can be found. A brief description of each café and the type of coffee available and also opening hours is included in the handy pocket sized booklet. And you are also told whether Wifi is available!

What are you waiting for? Hit the streets and discover Cork City’s coffee with Dermot’s help. You can get his guide in all tourist spots like tourist offices, hotels, most cafes listed, art galleries including UCC. Student centres too.

For further info, contact Dermot at Follow him on Twitter @gas_mark_seven. Check his blog www.gasmarkseven.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Coffees Stars

Coffees Stars
From Hancock & Abberton

Dublin based Hancock & Abberton were celebrating on the double at the recent Great Taste Awards when two of their coffees won gold stars. Their Really Good Organic Coffee, two stars this time, had won before and great to see a repeat but the surprise was perhaps the performance of their Decaf Coffee that was awarded one star, “indistinguishable from regular coffees in the blind tasting”.
I got the opportunity to sample both winners recently and yes that Decaf, made from 100% Arabica beans, is a pleasant surprise, all the elements of a good coffee, particularly those delicate floral notes, without the caffeine. Here’s what the Great Tastes judges said: ”a deep satisfying flavour, with good length. Well balanced bitterness and acidity with a refreshing aftertaste. …, gentle on the palate but nevertheless has depth. An excellent coffee of its type”.
Guy Hancock and Anne Abberton, who co founded the firm in 2004 (initially known as Café de Cuba) were naturally delighted to announce their Two Gold Stars and One Gold Star at the Great Taste Awards, the world’s most coveted blind-tasted food awards , which celebrates the very best in food and drink . “This win for our decaf coffee is also an testament that great tasting coffee need not be compromised by decaffeination.”
Really Good Organic Coffee has previously won two Gold Stars in the Great Taste Awards 2012 and repeated that feat.  It has been described by the judges as a coffee with “a lovely roasted aroma, clean citrus taste and rewarding aftertaste and mouth feel, the whole experience is well balanced between bitterness and acidity and complexity”. It is indeed another excellent coffee made from dark beans with a distinctive shine; it is rich and strong, well balanced and satisfying, especially earlier in the day!
Judged by over 500 of the most demanding palates, belonging to food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs and producers as well as a whole host of food writers and journalists, Great Taste is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation scheme for artisan and speciality food producers. So quite a pat on the back for Hancock and Abberton.
As well as a badge of honour, the unmistakeable black and gold Great Taste label is a signpost to a wonderful tasting product, which has been discovered through hours and hours of blind-tasting by hundreds of judges.
There were 10,000 Great Taste entries this year and the panel of judges included; TV chef and author, Valentine Warner, MasterChef judge and restaurant critic, Charles Campion, fifth generation baker, Tom Herbert from Hobbs House Bakery, and Great British Bake Off winner, Frances Quinn; food buyers from Harrods, Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols and Waitrose and chefs including, James Golding, chef director of THE PIG Hotels, and Kevin Gratton, chef director of HIX Restaurants.
These two coffees now join the company’s other Great Taste Award winning brands including Café de Cuba Santiago (Great Taste Award Winner 2014 and Fixx Coffee (Great Taste Winner 2013 and 2009).
Hancock & Abberton supply to:­-
Trade customers such as cafes, hotels, restaurants, offices, showrooms and speciality retail outlets;
Coffee and Tea drinkers who frequent our trade customers’ outlets;
Coffee and Tea drinkers at home via the on line store