Thursday 19 September 2019

Indy Power discovers Ireland's smallest coffee roastery

Indy Power

Indy Power

Driving through the breathtaking Burren countryside to Anam Coffee was a highlight of my SEAT road trip.

Apart from a short cattle traffic jam, I barely passed another car on the road and as I pulled up the hill to Brian and Alan’s house I could smell the unmistakably delicious smell of just-roasted coffee through my open window.

It didn’t hurt that I was greeted by their gorgeous rescue dog, Charley, and that the sun was just starting to set, but walking into their secluded roastery felt pretty idyllic.

It’s always a delight to chat to someone who loves what they do, but I don’t think I’ve ever talked to someone more passionate or excited about their work than Brian.

He told his story of how a lifetime love of coffee, an inspirational trip to Melbourne and his supportive husband, Alan, gave him the push to leave his corporate London life and set up shop back in the Burren, where his family are from. He trained at the prestigious London School of Coffee, before coming home to start Anam Coffee, Ireland’s smallest coffee roastery.

Experiencing the rich aroma of Anam's roasted coffee

Brian is not just passionate about how coffee is roasted and prepared, he cares deeply about every part of the process, from bean to cup. One of Anam’s main priorities is that the coffee farmers that they buy from are paid fairly (substantially more even than Fair Trade prices). They only work with merchants that share this ethos and all of their coffee beans are fully traceable back to their origin and grown with care for the environment.

I’ve become really passionate about sustainability and plastic reduction so you can imagine how happy I was when Brian explained that every part of their packaging (the bags, the stickers, the cups) is completely biodegradable, a task that took them months to source. Even the traditional bags that the coffee beans arrive in (which are beautiful by the way) are sent to Dublin to be upcycled.

Brian taught me all about the roasting process and how it affects the flavour profile of the beans, describing the importance of ensuring that each batch of coffee is roasted bespoke to its origin, taking into account the varietal, the altitude it’s grown at and how it’s harvested.

He roasts all of the coffee by hand in small batches to unlock incredible flavour and you can really taste the passion in each sip. With a long drive home ahead of me, Brian filled up my KeepCup with an espresso made with his Apaneca blend and I set off with a whole new appreciation for coffee, and for following your passion.

For now, Anam coffee is only available locally in Clare but you can buy it online at

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