Bear Market Coffee
19 Main Street Blackrock Co Dublin bearmarket.ie
The space at Bear Market is deceptive. These architects have managed to create length and height in a room with a relatively small floorspace, and it appears that there is no room for a kitchen. This means that bringing in culinary collaborators makes a lot of sense. They’ve curated an impressive spread of sweet treats, and haven’t limited themselves to one supplier, pulling in trusted bakers such as Love Supreme in Stoneybatter and Paleo Man Foods from Co Meath. There’s an emphasis on gluten-free and coeliac friendly, linking back to Husseys first project Pure Food.
I’m underwhelmed by the choices for a savoury lunch, though I notice gluten-free is well-catered for in a selection of sandwiches and salads pre-made by Urban Health, a healthy food cafe in Ranelagh. They’re perfectly fine, and my crunchy veggie wrap (¤6.50) is certainly above average in terms of freshness and vibrancy of ready-to-go wraps, but my appetite for something special or interesting for lunch to match the coffee goes unsatisfied. It just means I wouldn’t travel out of my way to come here for lunch, though the coffee may well be enough to draw visitors in.
Because Bear Market Coffee is clearly a coffee-focused spot, and it’s here where they excel. There’s a lovely menu behind the barista bar that is a kind of flow chart of coffees, laying out the connection between black, white and milky coffees. Has anyone else noticed cortados popping up on menus recently? I wonder if this is the influence of Aziz Ansari and his character in Master of None, and if so, I thank him for what he’s done for us. Previously, I’ve enjoyed cortados served in a 6oz cup because they have the smoothness of a flat white but they’re strong and short, so they’ve got added kick. At Bear Market, my cortado is in a tall espresso cup and it is stronger than I’m expecting. I move back towards my comfort zone with a flat white made from their house blend and it’s simply impeccable.
Deasy and Hussey work with Alan Andrews at Coffee Culture as their coffee partner. The beans are especially roasted in Dublin for Bear Market Coffee on a weekly basis, and you can buy those beans (and grind them in the shop yourself if needs be) alongside an array of tantalising coffee gadgets from olive wood tea presses to Japanese designed pour-over coffee makers. Their online shop is an excellent source of well-curated treats for coffee nerds, too.
The locals already love Bear Market Coffee and though I wouldn’t travel there with lunch on my mind, it’s certainly a destination spot for coffee lovers and worth getting on the DART for.