It’s three years since we started this blog and the corresponding social media accounts… first things first, follow us if you aren’t already.
Birthdays cause me to stop and weigh up the future, even though those considerations tend to never last very long. I seriously thought about listing all of the ‘coffee ni ideas’ we have written down, got excited about and then not acted upon since 2014. That’s probably not a very productive thing to do so we will spare you all the laughs.
Truthfully though, I have not been the best blogger I could have been, opting instead to just post images to Instagram or share articles/info that others have worked hard on. I still firmly believe that coffee professionals should be writing/saying more about their industry. Elsewhere around the world they are doing just that… but, not so much here in Northern Ireland. Maybe that will change in the future but for now, people talking about coffee and starting blogs tend to be home enthusiasts like me. That’s ok as well I guess but, I think it curbs my enthusiasm a little and halts me from talking about certain things.
It is what it is…
So, the initial hype of “wow, we have speciality coffee in Northern Ireland” has settled down a bit now, even though people will continue to discover great coffee if the standard remains high in local shops… we hope. We think.
We are excited for the continuing development and growth of speciality coffee, excellent food and service in Northern Ireland.
Thanks to everyone who follows the Instagram feed – you can see it on the bottom of this page now.
Thanks to Bailies who still send us amazing coffee.
Most of all, thanks to the farmers, importers, exporters, roasters, coffee shop owners, chefs and baristas who have helped us enjoy food and coffee in new and exciting ways in the past three years.
If you work in coffee here in Northern Ireland and would like to share your story or have ideas for an article, please get in touch via social media or you can email me direct at: supersimbo[at]gmail[dot]com
We’d love to hear from you.
Over the Christmas and New Year holiday period we had plenty of time to re-charge and switch off from work. We enjoyed lots of delicious coffee and beautiful food too. We are super thankful for the great options we have on our doorstep for tasty food and coffee now. Here’s a glimpse of some coffee related highlights…
The always spectacular eggs benedict at Lost & Found…
Amazing Christmas gift of the World Aeropress Championship Annual. It’s really beautiful…
El Limoncillo from Hasbean… great this year again!!
And last but by no means least, the Christmas Blend from Bailies Coffee in Belfast.
And, like that… we are back!
EL Limonar farm is located in the mountains of Huehuetenango. The land was acquired by Rogelio Aguirre Gálvez in 1955 and he named the farm El Injerto. Today the farm is run by the third generation of the Aguirre family. Rogelio Junior was raised on the farm and taught how to take care of it and produce exceptional coffee. Bailies lot is called ‘El Comedor’ and it’s a Bourbon variety from the highest point of the farm. The name El Comedor, meaning the diner, comes from Rogelio’s childhood when his teacher would take him on educational walks through the farm. They would start around 5am and after reaching the top of the farm, they would have breakfast there on the same spot which has the best view and produces the best coffee. This lot won them 7th place in Cup of Excellence (CoE) 2013 and 12th place in national winners this year.
You know an apple pie that’s sweet but not too sweet… with enough tartness from the apples combined with the buttery crumbly crusty pastry. Delicious. Perfect on a cold October day and just the right amount of comfort as winter approaches.
That’s this coffee.
I didn’t taste any pineapple… ha. I felt cheated for a moment but damn. pineapple is for summer… how about that apple pie again!
You can pick up some of this coffee from Bailies here. You totally should.
– sketched/painted on the iPad Pro using the Apple pencil.
La Florencia, sister farm of Santo Tomás, was founded by Antonio Martínez and together they are the most recognized and productive farms in the whole region. He believed in growing Bourbon and Typica varieties because they produce the best taste profile if they are grown with care. But Martínez kept all knowledge of his techniques to himself, and so after he passed away the current owner Isaura had to learn everything for herself. For several years the farms suffered, but eventually Isaura learned how to grow the coffee with the care that the Bourbon and Typica require and restored the previous reputation of La Florencia and Santo Tomás farms. Across the two farms she now employs 15 people who are all committed and passionate about growing speciality coffee.
Farm: Finca La Florencia
Region: Opatoro, La Paz
Harvest Months: December – April
Coffee Varieties: Red bourbon, Typica
Processing Type: Washed
We opened this coffee on Sunday morning and wow-eeeeee, what a lovely Sunday morning mood it helped to kickstart. This smells so incredibly sweet, like syrup. Sticky sweet syrup. We can’t get enough of that experience when you open a new bag, smell, weigh, grind, smell…. oooh. Aaaah.
Then the cup. This was all sweetness at first… the tasting notes from Bailies said muscovado sugar. That’s about right we thought. Brown, dark, sweet with a little of that dark treacle goodness you expect in muscovado.
As the coffee cooled, we noticed it mellow out and evolve into a lighter fruity vibe. Lovely stuff.
You can pick up some from Bailies Coffee here.
On a side note, we know, we know. We haven’t blogged all summer but we were super thankful for the time off to refuel, re-think and re-charge. We definitely drank some great coffees this summer and were able to visit a few of the newer shops that have opened this year, as well as old favourites.
If you’re still following on social media, commenting, sharing and connecting with us we are really grateful. Thank you, thank you.
Sadly we won’t be heading to Dublin this week for World of Coffee and all the other events surrounding it. Sorry Dublin!
This is an absolutely huge event, the biggest in the coffee-world. It’s already in full swing and, a glance at social media is enough to show that so far, it looks amazing!
Here are a few links that we thought were helpful.
Established have created this brilliant guide for people visiting Ireland who may want to travel up north. It just about covers everything you need to know about coffee right now in Northern Ireland. And, if Mark or Bridgeen say it, then it’s good!!
3fe created a similar kind of guide for Dublin and the surrounding area to help people get the best info on where to go, stay, eat and party etc etc. See that here.
Want to watch the World Barista Championships on the livestream? Go here.
Also, if you keep an eye on the Bailies Coffee Twitter & Instagram accounts to see what a local roaster gets up to at an event like this.
See ya in August
We are on a bit of an extended summer break now until August and will dip in & out of social media from time to time so see ya then. Have a super July!