Ever since Louise Sowan of Sowan’s Organics put me on to Cork Coffee Roasters I’ve been a fan. Their full bodied Rebel City Espresso is a fixture in my kitchen and I rarely manage to go past their stall at the Mahon Point Farmer’s Market or events like the Mallow Food Festival without getting my hands on a caffeine fix. The Sister is even worse. She is luck enough to live around the corner from the Cork Coffee Roasters café. As a result, weekend phone calls between us are punctuated by her frequent stops at CCR to order yet another cappuccino. Meanwhile – especially since Urru Mallow closed down – I’m stuck in the sticks with nothing to comfort me except my stove top espresso maker.
While I was pregnant with Little Missy I suddenly, to my absolute horror, went right off coffee. I had to turn to hot chocolates (not too much of a problem if it’s from Urru or the Ó Conaill Chocolate café but horrible most other places) for my caffeine highs during those months. Cork visits were more likely to involve a trip to French Church Street for a dark cardamom at Ó Conaill Chocolate than a visit to CCR. Fortunately, not long after LM was introduced to the outside world, I was back on the black stuff with a vengeance.
Today’s trip to Cork made me realise, once again, how much I love Cork Coffee Roasters. Firstly, there’s the coffee which is dark and rich and tastes so good, even when I make it at home. CCR is owned by Master Coffee Roaster John Gowan who, after 20 years in Seattle, returned to his native Cork to specialise in hand-roasted small-batch coffee blends. Not content with producing the best coffee in Cork, John then opened the café on Bridge Street. It’s a simple set up – great coffee with a few good things to eat (courtesy of the Natural Foods Bakery) – but there’s a relaxed, friendly feeling about the place that adds up to far more than the sum of its parts.
If you’re not doing the dive-and-roll quick takeaway coffee, Cork Coffee Roasters is a great place to sit in while watching the world go by. Little Missy gives it the thumbs up too, having had her second breakfast there today, nursing away while myself and the Sister were downing our coffees. There’s also a changing table in the bathroom for any nappy emergencies. Now all I need to do is persuade John Gowan to open a CCR outpost in Mallow, Fermoy or Mitchelstown.