DUBLIN

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS | EATING OUT -

Full Cir­cle Roast­ers Ja­cobs Inn Hos­tel 21-28 Tal­bot Street Dublin 1 face­book.com/fcroaster

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 bar in Ja­cobs Inn Hos­tel just off Tal­bot St, 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.

“Ev­ery­thing we know, other peo­ple know,” he says about Full Cir­cle Roast­ers’ ap­proach to be­ing an open source for cof­fee knowl­edge. “We just want to­trans­fer 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 (check out 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 in terms 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 sit down 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. AMcE

Gail­lot et Gray 59 Clan­bras­sil Street Lower Dublin 8 www.face­book.com/ Gail­lotGrayP 01-4547781

“If you have nice in­gre­di­ents and stay true to them, it’ll taste good,” Emma Gray tells me, as she foams the milk for my flat white in her French Bak­ery and Pizzeria on Clan­bras­sil St. She is one half of Gail­lot et Gray. Her part­ner is Gilles Gail­lot and to­gether they opened up their French-style, wood-fired pizzeria on Clan­bras­sil Street in Dublin 8 in March of this year.

Their evening trade (which runs from 4pm to 10pm, Tues­day through Satur­day) of take­away pizza has been thriv­ing, with my cur­rent favourite be­ing the chorizo and fresh chilli pizza (¤14). The in­te­ri­ors, de­signed by Gray, are sim­ple and in­dus­trial, with a large com­mu­nal ta­ble and a few other seats for those who want to eat-in. Once they had found their feet in the evenings, they ex­tended their open­ing hours to in­clude a French Bak­ery from 8am to 2pm from Tues­day through to Satur­day. There are huge crois­sants and caramel-coloured pain au

cho­co­late (¤1.50 each), dainty madeleine cakes (80c each or three for ¤2), and a brioche loaf (¤7.50 or ¤2.50 for a slice, toasted). Per­haps the most cov­eted (by me, any­way) is the tra­di­tional French boule loaves (¤4.50) that come fresh out of the pizza oven ev­ery day.

Gail­lot et Gray’s baker, Peter Lee, uses Gilles’ recipe for a tra­di­tional rus­tic boule which is made from a com­bi­na­tion of slow-fer­mented yeast and sour­dough starter, so it’s got a bit of a tang, but the con­sis­tency is a spongier treat than a crunchy sour­dough.

They use two types of flour in the bread, a plain white flour and a buck­wheat and lin­seed flour, giv­ing these loaves an ex­tra bite of flavour.

On Satur­days, they soon found that the pas­tries and bread were sell­ing out be­fore 10.30am, so they started of­fer­ing a se­lec­tion of yummy things on slices of their toasted boule or brioche, such as smashed avo­cado or but­ter­bean (4.50).

The cof­fee is from Baobab Roast­ers, a duo based in Cel­bridge, whose Brazil­ian blend is the house bean of choice at Gail­lot et Gray. Tea is by In­tel­li­gent Tea, an ex­cel­lent herbal tea made by Freda Wolfe from Ir­ish herbs at Wild Ir­ish Foods. At Gail­lot et Gray, the em­pha­sis is on thought­ful sim­plic­ity. For the cus­tomer, this trans­lates into a straight­for­ward yet spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ence. Tak­ing home a freshly baked loaf of rus­tic French bread and a well-made cof­fee, with your pock­ets stuffed with flaky crois­sants, is a pretty great start to any day. AMcE

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