Imagine hiking for miles and miles, due west until your feet meet the sea, and there where the mountains embrace the waves sits a little blue café; a coffee oasis at the edge of the world.
At the extremity of Europe’s outstretching hand, in the most westerly town of Ireland, there, too, is good coffee.
Before I introduce this charming cafe, I have a little travelling advice for whomever wishes to venture around Ireland: for first-time travelers in search of a good time, staying in Dublin would be your safest bet, maybe even visiting Cork or Galway if you’re feeling extra adventurous; but for the seasoned traveler, take a bold step past the big cities and continue west, towards the prettiest peninsula in the world. Here, hidden behind the mountains, is where you will find a little harbour-front town: Dingle, Ireland’s best-kept secret. Once there, you will finally understand why people around the world gush about Ireland’s exquisite beauty… and I don’t just mean the people.
Like any best-kept secret, naturally everyone knows about it and henceforth, Dingle has become captive to the comings and goings of tourists, and thus has adopted two inevitable seasons of tourism: bustling summers & dead winters. During the bustling summer of 2017, Steven & Amy decided to throw themselves completely into the deep end. While most first-time entrepreneurs tend to dip a single pinky toe in the business pool to test the water, this young Irish duo thought, “It’s now or never,” and so, nestled among the centuries-old pubs and brightly painted shops of Dingle, lies their chic little café: My Boy Blue, opened June 2017 amid the swarming public.
Quality of Service:
Once inside the café, there’s no denying that #TeamMyBoyBlue is top notch. Warmth radiates from the front of house while energy permeates the back of house. Amy’s smile draws you into the cafe and lights up the entire room, and Steven’s expertly poured, rosetta-topped cappuccinos warm your soul and brightens your day. Meanwhile in the kitchen, mischief is managed by co-chefs Jack and Dave, where mischief comes in the form of I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E. finger-lickin’ American inspired food, of course, with a tip of the hat to Irish cuisine. It goes without saying, these four make up an unforgettable team.
After visiting plenty of 3rd wave cafes over the past year, I was at the point where seeing yet another avocado toast on the menu in front of me would have brought me to tears. The menu of MBB brought me to tears… of absolute relief, reassuring me that café food can indeed be inventive and exciting, but more on that later.
Quality of Product:
To give you an idea of what My Boy Blue has to offer your belly, several locals that I chatted with refer to this café as “the place with the best pancakes ever” and MBB’s Instagram seems to backup this ode to flapjacks. I could kick myself because I didn’t get a chance to try these best pancakes ever, but their cranberry brie grilled cheese and their potato leek soup were divine. Both entrées were paired with fresh artisanal bread from a scratch bakery a few doors down: Bácús Bakery. Created in reference to whichever locally sourced seasonal products are on hand, their menu has something for everyone, including incredible cauliflower tacos for vegetarians and delectable baked goods for gluten-free diets. There are also succulent lamb burgers, spicy huevos rancheros, and scrumptious chocolate brownies for the unrestricted appetite.
Enough about baked goods; let’s chat about baked beans! MBB gets their hand-roasted coffee from Dublin-based stand-alone café: 3fe. At the time of my visit, their espresso was 3fe’s Momentum Blend: a smooth, chocolatey recipe of 50% Nicaragua Finca El Encanto and 50% Honduras Finca Cerro Azul pulled on a Nuova Simonelli Aurelia II V. Not only is MBB all about supporting local businesses, they also care about the environment. Alongside take-home sacs of 3fe beans, AeroPresses and Chemexes, this café has stocked up on Keep Cups: a reusable espresso cup. As an added incentive, every time you bring in your Keep Cup, MBB donates 20% of the cup’s purchase price to Friends of the Earth Ireland: the world’s largest network of environmental activists whom enable countless initiatives that campaign for environmental justice and sustainability.
Quality of Atmosphere:
Unlike [my boy,] Blue from Old School (a personal favorite film of owner, Steven), My Boy Blue is brand-spanking-new. Every corner of the café is in tip-top shape; the blue walls are scuff-free and the blue dishes are scratch-free. Steven et al. has turned this previous computer store into a bright blue oasis. Colour psychologist say that blue is the colour of tranquility and needless to say, MBB is the perfect place to find tranquility during your stay on the Dingle Peninsula.
P.S. Check out the wallpaper in the bathroom! It is MARVEL… wait for it… OUS!!!
So for all the travelers who take that bold step past Dublin and Galway, and find themselves on the prettiest peninsula in the world, sit back, relax, and soak in the warmth and energy of My Boy Blue. Oh and don’t forget to try the best pancakes ever. I most certainly must return to see if they really are as good as they’re famed to be.
Helpful Coffee Tips:
Tea versus Coffee: Is One Better Than the Other?
- Tea has less caffeine than coffee, but coffee gives you that quick jolt of energy
- Tea contains anti-oxidants, but coffee contains potassium and magnesium
- Tea lowers the risk of some cancers, but coffee lowers the risk Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Type II diabetes
- Tea decreases inflammation, but coffee protects the liver
- Tea improves insulin sensitivity, but coffee helps with depression
Neither is better nor worse for you, but take your caffeine with a cup of moderation.
Now go out and impress people with your random coffee knowledge.
It’s now or never!