The Art of Coffee is an independent Dublin coffee house that prides itself on optimum quality without compromising time and convenience. Their flagship café is situated in Grand Canal Dock, complete with gorgeous views over the water; their second café is just off Harcourt Street, a haven for frazzled office suits. Totally Dublin chatted to the owner, Ruslan, about his plans to bring excellent coffee to office workers.
So, you’ve opened buildings around Grand Canal Dock and Harcourt Street, what are your future plans for The Art of Coffee?
We actually just opened a coffee kiosk in the Watermarque Building in Dublin 4, a self-sufficient unit with an espresso machine and professional baristas working on it. We make excellent coffee by using freshly roasted coffee beans; this is a far superior option to an office vending machine in terms of quality, but is just as convenient. We recognised a gap in the market, for office workers who appreciated quality coffee, but with demanding jobs and hours they couldn’t afford the time sacrifice.
And that’s where The Art of Coffee’s kiosk comes in…
Exactly! Before, the discerning coffee drinker working in an office needed to leave the block, to venture further afield to get their quality coffee fix; The Art of Coffee provides that in the very same building. The hidden costs of maintaining a coffee vending machine mean that having a professional barista onsite would in fact be similar in cost, but the quality is much better. A trend with American enterprises is to provide facilities to employees actually in the building, for greater convenience and to save time; that is something that Europe corporations are also starting to get on board.
A lot of cafes have been getting into coffee and latte art, is that something that The Art of Coffee is also exploring?
Well, the clue is in the name of the coffee house! I actually won the latte art championship – one of my colleagues at herewon second prize – and I’m also an award-winning Irish barista. We’re very committed to making coffee ‘art’, the presentation is important to us, however the most important thing of all of course is the taste. Having a delicious espresso is the key, that’s the foundation.
So you have substance but also style?
Yes, exactly. We are serious about the aesthetic of the latte art, but a blend of quality ingredients and great taste is far more important. We serve our own house blend, but customers can also try a single-origin option to experience a different taste – the alternative single-origin option changes every few months.
How do you think that the coffee scene in Dublin has changed over the last few years?
It’s absolutely booming. Ireland is really getting into the coffee scene; its not just about popularity, coffee-drinkers are getting much more discerning about quality. This is leading to greater competition, there are lots of fantastic coffee places on the market in Dublin, lots of talented baristas – but that competition is an excellent thing to have.
The Art of Coffee has cafes at: Unit 1, Altro Vetro, Grand Canal Dock, Block E, Iveagh Court, Harcourt Road and at the Watermarque Building, Bridge Street and South Lotts Road, Dublin 4.
Words: Laura Francis