Foundry Coffee’s mantra is ‘great coffee, roasted properly’. Erin Lawlor sat down for a chat with Foundry’s owner, Lee, to talk beans and brewing.
Was it love at first coffee? Or was coffee something you grew into?
I’ve always enjoyed coffee in a general kind of way but I fell in love with it after an amazing brew in the Netherlands around twenty years ago. It was a real eye-opener and made me realise just how much better coffee could and should be. I can’t really remember anything about the coffee as I didn’t know back then that the origin or style of processing contributed to this amazing experience I was having. I often wonder what it was that I drank that day!
Do you have a go to ‘bean’ when you’re making coffee for yourself?
Coffee is seasonal in the sense that different countries harvest their coffee at different times of the year. Beans are so much better when they are fresh so we’re always aiming to make sure that we have the newest crops. Having said that, I personally love this particular time of year when we see the Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees starting to arrive. Kenyans for me are amazingly refreshing and zingy, so they work really well as breakfast coffees. Ethiopian beans on the other hand are much more genetically diverse so we see incredibly complex, exciting fruity and floral flavours coming through.
What inspired the move from simply roasting to opening a cafe?
We wanted to be able to show people what we do in a more direct way. Given that we source and roast our beans ourselves, it just made sense to complete the process by serving the coffee too. The cafe also gives us a unique opportunity to experiment and involve our customers in the process as well as being a location where we can show our wholesale customers what can be achieved when using the right equipment with the right level of training. Our hope is that the cafe will evolve into being a valued part of the local community – for some people, that may involve learning more about coffee, but for others it will just be about having an independent business that they can support whilst enjoying great food and drink in a welcoming environment.
How are you finding cafe life?
It’s hard! The hours are long and the list of things that need doing is never ending. We also have a busy roastery to maintain at the same time so there have been some late nights and some very early mornings! Getting to meet our customers is a real joy though and seeing the same faces popping in each day is really rewarding.
Any tips for those of us that love proper coffee at home?
Anyone can elevate their home coffee game just by buying good, freshly roasted beans, and grinding them just before making a brew. We’re always on hand to give advice and guidance where needed and seeing someone getting seriously into coffee is one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do.
Interview by Erin Lawlor