In this instalment of our Meet the Makers series, we shine the spotlight on the Irish coffee roasters that are fuelling the country.

Like the grapes that create a good glass of wine, coffee needs to be grown and harvested with passion and knowledge. The bean must then be roasted to perfection to bring out the fragrant aromas that we all know and love.

Coffee making is an art form in its own right. We have all become accustomed to beautiful designs on our flat whites and cappuccinos, perhaps ignorant to how much skill this requires. Tamping coffee with the right pressure, grinding the beans at the correct speed, extracting the shot properly to unleash the coffee's distinctive flavour and steaming the milk to perfection are all integral elements in this craft. 

Anyone who would class themselves as a coffee lover should be familiar with Irish coffee roasters such as 3FE, Roasted Brown, McCabe's, Badger & Dodo. Today, we are looking at the slightly lesser known Irish coffee brands of Ireland.

Try making this Chocolate Coffee Mouse Cake this week.

Bell Lane Coffee Roastery, Mullingar, Westmeath

Owners Stephen, who worked in hospitality, and Denise Bell, a finance and marketing expert, named their business after stumbling onto Bell Lane while on a research trip to London. Their master roaster Paul Mooney is a veteran coffee roaster with over 25 years experience and his skills have helped to create the brand's award-winning blends. They pride themselves on hand-roasting small batches of single-origin coffee beans sourced from South America, Columbia, Brazil and Africa. You can order online or find out where to get a cup on their website.

Cloud Picker, Dublin 1

Cloud Picker was started back in 2013 by Frank Kavanagh and Peter Sztal after they made the bold move from corporate banking and graphic design to open their very own coffee roastery. Located on Sheriff Street, Cloud Picker was Dublin's first micro-roaster. Frank and Phil are hands-on in the business and travelled to South American and Brazil to see where their coffee is grown and how the workers are treated. In the next few weeks, they will be opening up their first cafe on Pearse Street, so keep an eye out.

West Cork Coffee, West Cork

Owner Tony Speight is an engineer whose passion for coffee grew from a hobby to a business. Having built his first coffee roaster by hand back in 2004, West Cork Coffee was the first micro-roastery in Cork in 2016 when Tony began supplying to local food businesses who were on the lookout for great coffee, the demand grew large enough for him to open his own business. Located in Innishannon, West Cork Coffee donate a percentage of their green bean cost to the World Coffee Research Organisation who fund research into sustainable coffee supplies, both long and short term, and help increase the standard of living for coffee producers.

The Golden Bean Coffee Roasters, Shanagarry, Cork

Located on the grounds of Ballymaloe House, The Golden Bean is owned by Marc Kingston. Now with two roasteries, Marc prides himself on trying to source ethically produced beans from all around the globe to maintain the standard of each batch of coffee. The Golden Bean can be found in great local markets around Cork, as well as being sold in Ballymaloe House. Their coffee not only tells us where the bean is from but, like a fine wine, also looks at the farm, variety, how many metres above sea level it was grown, the town and region of origin and even the family that grew and harvested the bean. 

Baobab Coffee Roasters, Celbridge, Kildare

Owners Alex and Luigi grew up in Kenya and knew the challenges that face Kenyan farmers from a young age, as they began roasting coffee with friends at the age of four. Their website shows you which coffee they are currently roasting and where it originated, so if you fancy a cup of Montecillos from Honduras or Espiriton Santo from Brazil, you can order just that.

Root & Branch Coffee, Belfast

After years of serving their coffee to festival-goers at events all across Ireland, owners Ben Craig and Simon Johnston wanted to find a place they could call home and roast their own coffee instead of having it hand-roasted for them. The pair now have a roastery and bar where they serve great food and their latest coffee. 

Two Spots Coffee, Dublin

Owners Sean Conville and Stuart Kelleher class themselves as 'normal folk who love great coffee', so they opened their own micro-roastery in Rathcoole to create their own quirky blends. We love the unique names for the different varieties of coffee including "Skin the Goat", "Jonny Forty Coats" and " Bang Bang". Their beans are sourced from South America, Australia and Africa, so you'll always get a unique and delicious cup of coffee here. 

ANAM Coffee, Clare

Located in the idyllic area of Clare in the heart of the Burren, ANAM coffee takes variety, the processing method and the altitude in which the bean is grown are taken into account when roasting. Each batch is hand-roasted to unlock the full flavour profile of each bean. Their goal at ANAM coffee is to showcase the many flavours within the raw coffee bean so that you can taste the soul of their coffee. 

The Old Barracks Coffee, Tipperary

This is one of the most beautiful cafes and coffee roasters in the county. Owner Alan Andrews roasts the coffee in a building that has been around for over 300 hundred years. The coffee shop is strictly over 18s so that you can take mindfulness classes and yoga in a truly peaceful sanctuary for adults. Each day in the Old Barracks Coffee there are 10 different coffees on offer at the bar, with their beans imported from countries including Rwanda and Guatemala.

Imbibe Coffee Roasters, Dublin

Located on the outskirts of Dublin city, Gary Grant behind Imbibe goes beyond his duties as a coffee roaster. Gary's approach to his work is admirable; he recently purchased a whole crop from a female-run co-op in Peru to ensure that the women were paid a livable wage. Along with this incredible ethos, the coffee produced by Imbibe is amongst the finest around. The roasted coffee gets decanted into reusable containers that are sent back for refilling once finished. Imbibe has perfected coffee roasting but as it supports the greater good in many ways, it is a truly unique company. 

Let us know what your favourite coffee is in the comments below.

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