Coffee lovers: In search of the ideal spot for that first date
From new Gaelick writer, Jeanius
Queers and coffee are inextricably linked. The first customers to the original coffee shop were more than likely two gay ladies, the entire duration spent trying to figure out if they were on a first date, or just having coffee.
As an absolute coffee fiend, I adore this.
However, there are people who still consider Starbucks when suggesting a meet up with a girl. Starbucks. This burnt, dirty-bathwater attempt at “coffee” is an insult to the very name. Pairing this with my tendency to go to the same caffeine purveyor each and every time I am in Dublin city, and so needing to expand my horizons, I decided to go on the perfect first date café hunt.
I’m looking for truly great coffee and I will find it.
As an aside, when I say that I usually go to one place: I mean the one, the only 3fe.
This is where I’ll start: Where the hot chocolate is made from homemade ganache and the selection of treats beside the till, also homemade, are worth every calorie. Where the staff are only too desperate to discuss the cherry undertones, or the smokey aftertaste of the coffees on the regularly updated menu.
I may not know about bouquets of flavours, but I know that this is coffee as its best. The premises has booths, perfect for cuddling up or inching slowly away, however the date is going.
Also, the bar in the corner opens about 6pm, giving the ideal segue from coffee date into drinks. Again, depending on how the date is going, either to dull the torturous pain of bad small talk or to extend the time you get to spend with the new love of your life. 3fe is coffee and atmosphere at its very best.
Full marks – Beat that!
The Bald Barista
Firstly my intrepid companion and I, caffeine-deprived on a warm Saturday morning, headed to The Bald Barista. A bit of a trek from the city centre, but buoyed by impressive reviews, we arrived in good spirits and only a little sweaty.
Medium americano and soy latte in hand, we sat near the “Big Red Wall of Art”. One sip, and I was hooked. This coffee blasted through brain cobwebs at an impressive rate, the flavour and strength incredibly, irresistibly intense. About half way through, my heart was butterfly fluttering in my chest and yet I continued drinking.
I began to judge the first date compatibility: There were a couple of couches around the edges of the room, but the majority of the seating reminded me of a school canteen – solid, bland pine. Utilitarian and not romantic. The massive windows, although nice, did nothing for my complexion – I look better under artificial light. However, the mutual confusion over the meaning of the art gave us something to bond over and the coffee was utterly addictive.
Three out of five!
When we had just about recovered from the caffeine overload, a week later, next came Brother Hubbard.
We sat on oddly child sized stools at a table that my elbows took up most of, and ordered two americanos, a cinnamon and walnut roll and a vegan superseed slice.
The owners worked closely with 3fe to source the right equipment, coffee beans and staff, and it shows. Close my eyes, and I was enjoying an espresso in my usual cosy booth, down to the low, happy hubbub of conversation that accompanies fantastic coffee. I could not get enough of the flaky, sweet, doughy roll, licking the plate before I remembered I was supposed to be on a first date.
Reeling it back in, attempting to turn on the charm, I realised it was almost impossible to be smooth and graceful when I was as big as the table. I then noticed two people being asked to share with a couple; guaranteed to ruin any romantic mood.
The coffee and food is right up there with the greatest I’ve ever had, but for the lack of booths and awkward communal seating:
Four out of five
So, I came close, but didn’t find my 3fe substitute. The search continues! Where do you sip yours?
Jean writes at The Consumation, where you can provide comments, criticisms, and suggestions of other first date activities because, frankly, the heart palpitations are really getting worrying.
- 3fe, Twisted Pepper, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1
- The Bald Barista, 55 Aungier Street, Avalon House, Dublin 2
- Brother Hubbard, 153 Capel Street, Dublin 1