Dublin is hosting its first dedicated Coffee and Tea Festival this weekend in the RDS, which is the true indication that we’ve become caffination nation. Not a month goes by without a new must-try spot opening in the capital and home brunch brews are as sophisticated as the ones in cafés. Why the obsession with coffee all of a sudden? The “Third Wave’ of coffee started in the early noughties (although its origins could be traced back to 1980’s), elevating coffee to an artisanal food product rather than just a crude commodity. Ireland may have caught the coffee bug later than the rest of the globe, but folks around the whole island are doing some truly remarkable things with coffee in the true spirit of the “Third Wave’. The fact that Dublin in hosting the World Barista Championships in 2016 speaks volumes of Ireland’s commitment to excellence in coffee.
What is your top tip for brewing a perfect cup of joe at home?
1. Freshness of beans
2. Grind it yourself just before use
3. Google your chosen method of brewing and try to apply a few tips or techniques that you learn
4. Have fun, enjoy yourself and relax.
Any must-have equipment?
Get a decent grinder and grind your coffee yourself. Does not have to cost a bomb. You can get a solid hand grinder for 40-50 bucks.
‘Coffee hacking’ seems to be becoming a bit of a trend – personalising brews to reflect tastes and personalities, in other words. Are there any unusual flavour combinations/surprising ingredients you’ve come across that are worth a try?
Check out a version of so called Bullet Proof coffee – Awesome brewed coffee, unsalted grass-fed butter, MCT Oil or Coconut Oil. Sounds odd, but it is quite tasty and is great breakfast on the go. Health-nuts and top athletes swear by it.
Mate of Joe’s working his magic
What can visitors expect? What will Joe’s be showcasing at the festival?
A really fun atmosphere! Come on down and try a Joe’s flat white and sated-caramel brownie. We’ll also be offering really fresh coffee beans and excellent home brewing kit.
The festival features a home barista competition. What do you think the judges will be looking out for?
Focus on the basic, coffee freshness, brewing technique, knowledge of their coffee and most importantly taste in the cup. What makes a top barista? Commitment to excellence in delivering consistently great coffee with a smile.
Roark Cassidy is director of Joe’s, the artisan coffee shop in Arnotts. They run free brewing master classes in store, every Thursday evening.
Joe’s is taking part in the Dublin Coffee & Tea Festival (dublincoffeefestival.com) at the RDS, 12-14 September.