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Full Cir­cle Roast­ers

Ja­cobs Inn Hos­tel 21-28 Tal­bot Street Dublin1 face­ Roaster Head­ing into a hos­tel for a cof­fee doesn’t feel like the most nat­u­ral thing to do in your home­town, but a good cup of cof­fee is al­ways worth seek­ing out. When I heard Full Cir­cle Roast­ers had set up a cof­fee barin Ja­cobs Inn Hos­tel just off Tal­bot Street, I was cu­ri­ous about how a spe­cialty cof­fee bar would fit into a busy hos­tel.

Ja­cobs Inn, which is on one of the lanes that con­nects Busáras to Tal­bot Street, is a mod­ern hos­tel po­si­tion­ing it­self in the trendy youth hos­tel mar­ket. The decor is a mix of dark woods, loud or­anges and lime greens.

As I sip on a per­fect flat white and chat to Brian Birdy about his Full Cir­cle Roast­ers, a con­tin­u­ous flow of young trav­ellers mill through the lobby, while oth­ers sit on their suit­cases con­serv­ing en­ergy be­fore head­ing off to their next des­ti­na­tion.

Birdy and his busi­ness part­ner David Smyth, who also owns spe­cialty cof­fee shop Ebb & Flow in Clon­tarf, took the op­por­tu­nity to give Full Cir­cle Roast­ers a home by set­ting up a cof­fee bar in the lobby of the hos­tel.

They are right around the cor­ner from Laine, My Love, Fer­gus Brown’s new cof­fee spot, which means Tal­bot Street has gone from no de­cent cof­fee to two de­cent cof­fee mer­chants in a mat­ter of months.

One of Birdy’s baris­tas, Natalia, pre­pares my flat white us­ing sin­gle ori­gin beans from Al­tos de Era­puca in Hon­duras, roasted by Birdy him­self just a week ear­lier.

Birdy also tells me about Full Cir­cle Roast­ers’ in­ter­view­ing and train­ing process, which sounds nearly as com­plex as the lev­els of Google em­ployee in­ter­views.

Once Birdy and Smyth have had a chat with prospec­tive baris­tas, they send them train­ing videos of tech­niques to learn be­fore train­ing them on a one-to-one-ba­sis.

“We look for peo­ple with cu­rios­ity about cof­fee, and a will­ing­ness to learn,” says Birdy.

The busi­ness part­ner and en­thu­si­as­tic baris­tas aside, Full Cir­cle Roast­ers feels like Birdy’s baby. A few years back, in­spired by the new wave of cof­fee in Dublin be­ing spear headed by peo­ple such as Colin Har­mon at 3FE, he built a mi­cro-roast­ery in his par­ents’ garage back home in Car­rick­macross, Co Mon­aghan.

He now spends time com­mut­ing be­tween roast­ing beans in the roast­ery to brew­ing cof­fee in Dublin. He is the kind of crafts­man that you can’t help but learn some­thing from. Even through­out the course of a sim­ple conversation, Birdy will have taught you some­thing you didn’t know about cof­fee, and he does so in a gen­er­ous and un­pre­ten­tious way.

“Ev­ery­thing we know, other peo­ple know, ”he says about Full Cir­cle Roast­ers’ ap­proach to be­ing an open source for cof­fee knowl­edge. “We just want to trans­fer that knowl­edge to our cus­tomers. We want to bridge the gap be­tween geek­ery and ac­ces­si­ble cups of cof­fee.”

Cur­rently, Full Cir­cle Roast­ers at Ja­cobs Inn is just fo­cus­ing on cof­fee and cakes (check­out its cof­fee and cake deal for¤5) but it also plans to do sand­wiches in the com­ing weeks. Its cakes are from the fan­tas­tic Camerino bak­ery on Capel Street and its teas from Wall & Keogh on South Richmond Street, so there is no doubt the sand­wiches will re­flect the same care and at­ten­tion to de­tail in­terms of in­gre­di­ents and sourc­ing. Birdy also has plans to run “cup­ping” classes, oth­er­wise known as cof­fee-tast­ing classes, in the com­ing weeks.

The hos­tel guests may not re­alise that they have such a great barista at their dis­posal, and the sur­round­ing of­fice work­ers and com­muters may also not know what’s within their reach ei­ther.

The cof­fee bar is al­most di­rectly in front of you as you walk in the door and al­though there’s space to sit­down to en­joy your cof­fee, it feels bet­ter suited to a grab-and-go sit­u­a­tion. This is the ideal place to pick up a great cof­fee on your way to work or to take with you on your next bus jour­ney from Busáras.

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