To sit and ponder in a heritage building always fascinates me. I find myself asking the typical questions: Who feel in love with who? Who was the most famous person to walk through those doors? What juicy gossip have these walls heard and seen? What secret plans were made? Where have all those years gone? Where will I be in the future? What does the future hold in store for us? Sitting in an old library just adds to the intrigue. Filled with knowledge libraries hold a special place in many people’s hearts.

The Bookshelf attempts to retain some of the history of old Cork City Library that once stood where this coffee shop resides. At first, you see a modern espresso machine pouring a river of coffee. As you look around, you start to notice wallpapered bookshelves and some wooden shelves sunk into the wall. Take a closer look at those wooden shelves.

What do you see? First, they are wooden. Actually, these wooden shelves are remnants of the old library. Second, you will see a collection of antiques: books, scales, a clock, and a few other relics. Those books actually came from the old Cork City Library. Third, you will notice that these shelves have not been preserved in any sort of way. The planks come from high quality wood.

Besides having high quality shelves the Bookshelf serves world class coffee: The Barn. This year, 2017, Barn Coffee won the ECT Award here in Europe. Each morning, at 5:30am, the staff at The Bookshelf comes in and prepares the day’s espresso and freshly baked scones. For the Espresso, the staff  pulls a number of espressos to find the desired weight, the appropriate amount of time, the most suitable temperature and per-infusion for the day.  Here the head barista and staff aim to serve a consistent high quality product.

Old habits are hard to break.  In Cork City, specialty coffee shops are starting to gain recognition and popularity. Big brand names in the coffee world have left their imprint on our taste buds. So, when we sample or taste something new we immediately believe that there is something wrong with the coffee. If you have never part-taken in a cupping event, please do. Some cupping events provide naturally processed beans and washed beans. As a consumer many of us are accustom to washed coffee. We expect a robust strong flavor. Where the naturally processed coffee comes across as being sweeter and not as strong.

Here at the Bookshelf, they have attempted to introduce naturally processed beans. However,  Cork was not prepared. Cork City rejected the naturally processed beans and requested their washed beans. Regardless, during Cork Coffee Week, the Bookshelf remains steadfast and true. They provide classes on how to brew coffee and provide filter coffee. In doing so, the Bookshelf attempts to bring about a certain amount of awareness and education about our black brew.