Until a few weeks ago, I didn’t know this place existed. When I came across it after a visit to the City Square Shopping Centre, I knew I had discovered a good thing.
You see, I love coffee. I LOVE IT.
I was a barista for three years while in university. The café where I worked was owned by Canada’s first fair trade coffee company. We had the best beans (roasted just kilometres from the café), the best organic baked goods and the best barista training. The café itself was in a restored cinema which only played independent and foreign films & put on community events.
And I had so. much. fun. working there.
I got to know lots of other students, and nearly all of my professors were regulars (score: brownie points). I was on the student council and would bring coffee to each meeting. And the regular customers who weren’t affiliated with the university became good pals. Being a barista requires some skill with an espresso machine, but even more skill in talking. If you’re a talker, it’s a great job.
Enter Portico Coffee in downtown Waterford:
The first thing I noticed when I walked into the tiny (minuscule, even) space was that the two individuals already there were speaking with American accents. As it turns out, the café is affiliated with a church in Waterford and the entire staff work there on a voluntary basis – many coming from America.
The proceeds go towards their ministries, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be preached to while waiting for your coffee. In fact, if I hadn’t asked I don’t think I would have known there was any religious affiliation (although I’m sure they’re very proud of their church and faith) with the café.
And can we talk about the coffee for a minute? It’s all Badger & Dodo, a local coffee roastery in County Cork. In my opinion, Badger & Dodo make the best beans in the country. Many, I know, agree with me. But unless you have some mad barista skills, the beans you use don’t mean anything, and these guys have mad skills when it comes to pulling the perfect shot.
I am so picky when it comes to coffee. I really hate asking for a cup of coffee in a restaurant and receiving a watery americano instead. At Portico, if you want a straight up cuppa joe, they will make you an individually ground, pour-over cup with the beans of your choice. If you want an espresso they’ll hand-tamp the freshly ground espresso beans.
For this sleep-deprived mama, Portico Coffee has been a godsend (no pun intended) which makes it the first of my new Favourite Places series (I’ll be posting a new favourite place every month).
* My Favourite Places are written on an entirely voluntary basis. The aim is to promote local small businesses I visit regularly and who are doing amazing work in our community. I receive no incentive to write these posts and visit each place a minimum of three times before writing.