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Snow in Dingle & 5 Ways to Improve Coffee

Today, with quite a bit of work and stress, we managed to get the Dingle shop back open. It was an odd thing to open an ice cream shop with snow all about Dingle. What an impressive sight first thing in the morning, although the snow melted quickly everywhere except the mountains.

There are so many bits a pieces after four months of being closed, that you end up running around for days collecting, cleaning, buying.

However, it’s a great feeling to having the shop back in operation, and it’s a wonderful thing to have the espresso machine up and running. My day certainly improved with a double caffe moccha!

Now, please forgive a rant… What astonishes me is the dreadful quality of coffee most places in Ireland. So many of us have become coffee drinkers, but somehow quality hasn’t followed as quickly as I would have thought. We’re travelling to countries that serve decent coffee, and most Irish people know the difference between good and bad, so why aren’t more baristas about the place upping their game? It takes relatively little effort to make decent espressos etc., and I’m amazed that more people don’t do it.

Here are five ways to instantly improve coffee drinks:

1. Run an espresso shot to 1 oz. Anything longer will bring in a watery taste and bitterness.

2. If you’re making a latte or cappuccino, don’t overheat the milk! There is a reason that in Italy you will never burn your mouth on a latte. There is as reason that you’re supposed to simmer milk, not boil it. Over 65C, the milk proteins change and the fat separates out. We have such great milk in this country. Why ruin it?

3. Get the grind right. If it’s too fine and packed too tight, you will get a burned taste. If it’s too coarse, the shot will be watery. A good shot should have a head like a pint of porter without being burned.

4. Filter the water coming to the espresso machine.

5. Grind your beans fresh! It’s amazing how quickly ground coffee can taste stale.

There are lots of places to learn about coffee. Bellisimo is one of a million helpful sites.

Finally, I have to thank Pauline, one of our customers-who-have-become-friends, who rang to let us know that our ice cream was poorly displayed in Superquinn – Sundrive. It’s an amazing thing to have customers looking out for us, especially now that we’re selling through a distributor and have less contact with the shops than we used to. How can we thank them?

For now, just… Thanks!

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Kieran Murphy is a director of Murphys Ice Cream living in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland.

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Murphys Ice Cream

Murphys Ice Cream has shops in Dingle, Killarney and Dublin 2 (Wicklow Street).