Saturday 12 December 2009

Third Floor Espresso (3fe)

If there's one thing I like more than going to a birthday party full of three year olds it's going out for coffee instead. So imagine my sense of joy when, this morning, my wife suggested that she would take our younger two kids to a party if I would take responsibility for our eldest.

Oh what could we do......?

Wait a minute! As it happened I needed to run into the city centre to pick up a couple of bags of coffee I ordered. (I'll tell you about that another time). The location for the pick-up was at a brand new cafe that I was excited to visit. Following the promise of sweets child A was just as excited too!

So I headed down to Third Floor Espresso, located at the Twisted Pepper on Middle Abbey St in the centre of Dublin. 3fe is a new venture (just open 6 days) of Colin Harmon - current Irish Barista Champion and fourth place finalist in the World Barista Championship. I knew I was in for a treat.

Before I talk about the coffee, let me start with the name of this great little place - and when I say little, I mean there was room for maybe a dozen people at a time at most. I really liked that. It meant that you were right there watching and participating in the crafting of the coffee. That said, I believe there is more room available for expansion as the business takes off. Anyway, the name: Third floor espresso is very conveniently located at street level! The 'third floor' comes from the history behind the genesis of this new cafe. You can read about it here. And as for 'espresso', yes of course that is served along with the usual additions of variously foamed milk (and latte art). But what is also great was the offer of filter coffee made using not-so-common methods. And so to the coffee:

Moments after walking in I was handed a cup of coffee that was just produced using a vac pot. I wish I had arrived a few minutes earlier as I've not seen one being used before. (Why did I promise to stop and buy those sweets!?) Soon after Colin brewed up another cup using a 'pour over' unit from Japan that made the preparation and brewing of the coffee almost ceremonial. And the result was a fantastic cup of coffee. Colin's friend, Dave, was on hand to talk me through this coffee and could confirm that what I was tasting had a big, fruity blackcurrant flavour to it. It was amazing!

By this time sweets and patience were starting to run out for my little girl. Just time for an espresso. Another great result! I didn't say what I was thinking in my head. (I've learned that making uninformed guesses can make you look a bit daft. I can admit now that when I first met the Bald Barista I asked if he put a chilli pepper in the coffee beans because it was so spicy!) The espresso blend is seasonal so every few months it will change which is very different from most other cafes.

All-in-all 3fe looks like a good place to get a great cup of coffee and learn a bit more about what goes in to making a perfect cup. A welcome addition to the Dublin coffee scene.


Snot Head said...

Sounds wonderful. A small atmosphere is probably the best way to start a new business. Also, I just love the word daft. I don't hear it used much in the states, and it always makes me grin.

Ali said...

So Cosmo, have you decided yet if you're going to do a coffee fueled 365 photo project?? Only a couple if days left to sign up

Cosmo said...

Oh, alright then...

Ali said...

Good on ye ;-)