Wednesday 18 September 2019

Cafe owner responds to social media outrage after offering a €3.50 water tasting menu

Patricia Murphy

The owner of a Dublin coffee shop has said the social media outrage surrounding his decision to charge €3.50 for a water-tasting menu has been one of the “least pleasant experiences” he’s had as a business owner.

Colin Harmon, owner of 3fe on Dublin’s Grand Canal Street, was the subject of much criticism yesterday following his decision to price a water-tasting experience at €3.50.

“Our goal was to draw attention to the massive impact water has on brewing coffee and when it came to pricing I naively priced the menu at €3.50. I just put the first number down that popped into my head but with hindsight I now greatly regret that decision,” he wrote in a blog posted on 3fe’s website.

Harmon revealed that more than 30 people have bought the water tasting experience since it was added to the menu two weeks ago and said many were impressed with it.

“The vast majority of people who have tried it have been impressed by it and its been a really nice conversation piece for the people who visit the shop,” he wrote.

Although Harmon believes the experience is “interesting and relevant” he has decided to donate all further proceeds from the menu to charity following the viral outrage yesterday.

“All proceeds from the water tasting including those already sold will be donated in full to Wells for Zoe, an Irish charity enabling people in Africa to access clean water. We'll also match that total with our own donation. At the end of the year we'll re-assess the situation,” he wrote.

The coffee entrepreneur admitted that the experience was one of the least pleasant he’s had throughout his time in business.

“What started out as a bit of fun has turned into what is probably the least pleasant experience I've had in the six years I've been running 3fe,” he said.

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