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Beyond Bailies: Finegan & Son

It's a miserable early August afternoon. The summer has begun to quickly fade away and the rain is pouring from the heavens. Luckily for us, we're sheltered from the grey clouds outside- staring out at passers-by rushing through the rain from the shelter and comfort of Finegan & Son- an unassuming yet, prime speciality coffee spot far from the bright lights and hype of Belfast.   From the outside, Finegan & Son looks like it could have been the inspiration for the shop fronts of Diagon Alley (that's one for you Harry Potter fans). Inside, the cafe is minimal, yet quaint- presented in an airy space, with wooden flooring, tables and chairs accompanied by giant windows that allow light to envelop...

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Sourcing Bailies: The Last Leg

Our third and final article signing off our 3-part sourcing series. So, hopping back across the border Jan prepped for his short four day stay in Kenya, a county still shaken from the events of that January when Somali militants stormed a luxury hotel compound in Nairobi. Just outside of the company’s capital is the town named Ruiru- the location of Bailies’ exporter Dorman’s coffee traders who would host the cuppings. Buyers must cup hundreds of coffees and narrow them down to their own preferences in a shortlist that's decided before the coffees then go to auction. This intense environment sees many buyers tasting hundreds of coffees in a condensed period of two days. The coffees being tasted were from...

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Beyond Bailies: Mini Maegden

Northern Ireland is very proud of it's famous North Coast- and it's no surprise as to why. It's got sun (not always guaranteed), sand and surf; coastlines, cliffs and castles; ‘Game of Thrones’, golf and... Yep, 'Grilled Cheese'. For our ‘Beyond Bailies’ blog post this month, we hit the road on a sunny July afternoon and traveled to visit a true gem of the North Coast: Mini Maegden. Maegden has been one of our valued Bailies customers since opening the hatch of their iconic and instagram favourite 1950s camper back in 2017- serving coffee, hot chocolates and mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwiches to the masses. Since then, the little van - powered by the passion and vision of owners Emma and Jo...

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Beyond Bailies: The MAC Belfast

Since opening in 2013, the MAC has become a cultural hub in the heart of Belfast’s increasingly trendy Cathedral Quarter. Home to a diverse range of workshops, music, art, dance and theatre, the award-winning venue has brought something extraordinary and special to our city. But, in all honestly the MAC theatre has never instantly come to mind when someone has asked me where I would like to grab breakfast, but we were in for a pleasant surprise when we stumbled in on a traditionally rainy Belfast summer’s day. Greeted by a beautifully designed open space, the interior cultivates a sense of creativity and drama, with dim lighting, intimate booths and imaginative wall design, it simply is just a cool place...

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Sourcing Bailies: Oh Snap

Picking up from where we left off, Jan had agreed to do some work with the African Fine Coffee Association (AFCA) for producers in Africa prior to the start of his trip. Founded in July 2000, the AFAC is a regional non-profit, non-political, member-driven association representing coffee sectors in 12 member countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Part of his trip also involved being part of an established annual high-end specialty coffee grading event which culminates from the different countries in the continent, with Jan agreeing to participate in the 2019 competition as a member of the Jury. However as the competition began to unfold, it quickly became clear that competition standards...

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