Latte Art Championships at CATEX 2023

Latte Art Championships 2023 –

The 2023 SCA Irish Latte Art Championship is an exhilarating competition showcasing pouring perfection. Each competitor will showcase their latte art skills in pouring matching pairs of drinks, with the most complex and visually appealing designs possible.

The World Finals for Latte Art taking place in Seoul – South Korea, in November2023

Competitors entry – The link for the competitors and prices will be updated in December 2022.

Sustainability Spotlight

Sustainabilty Spotlight invites businesses within the SCA Ireland community to describe what sustainability looks like in their coffee space. In this, our first Sustainability Spotlight, we talked to Stephen, of McCabe’s Coffee.

Stephen McCabe is MD of McCabe’s Coffee, a family roasting business started by his father, Clive, in 1995.

As a business that spans two generations, McCabe’s has seen many changes since the mid 90s. “The amount of coffee roasters, the amount of cafes, the interest in quality, the interest in presentation with latte art, it really has changed in so many ways”. Now situated in Newtownmountkennedy in Co. Wicklow, Stephen talked to us about how sustainability issues are prioritized at McCabe’s, and the practices in place at McCabe’s to minimise waste and reduce the carbon footprint across the entire business.

“If we take it right back to the farm, we’re looking for certified coffees, we’re looking for Fairtrade, Organic”. Looking at the farm as one of the ‘hotspots’ of harmful environmental impact [the other being the importing-country end of the industry], Stephen sees sourcing organic coffee as crucial to reducing the harmful impacts of using chemical fertilisers, and protecting biodiversity. To be able to see close up how the farms they buy operate, environmentally and socially, McCabe’s visit the farms they buy coffee from. “We like to meet the farmers to establish that relationship, so we know what’s behind the coffee, the people behind the coffee, how they’re dealing with water treatment on these farms, and how they are treating their workers, how much they’re being paid, and really building that relationship so we know it’s a sustainable product we’re getting”. Stephen describes how these close relationships allow them to look at a checklist before doing any trade, that includes looking at what the conditions are for the workers, wages, accommodation, health provisions and making sure there are no underage workers on the farm. “Over the years now we’ve built up some wonderful relationships going out to visit these farms, in Kenya, Costa Rica, India, and some have some really sustainable community solutions”. While these relationships are established with a farm visit, Stephen maintains the relationships and keeps his travel emissions down using the virtual tools of email and Zoom! McCabe’s have supported a co-op in Sumatra by paying for ten diesel pulpers, to reduce the amount of time spent and distance walked by workers during harvest.

Once the coffee comes into the country, there are opportunities to look at reducing harmful environmental impacts, and Stephen tells us that biogas, instead of natural gas is a change that McCabe’s are looking at for the future. Packaging is another point where they take the opportunity to reduce harmful impact. McCabe’s are, like every other roaster in Ireland, challenged by the limitations of Ireland’s waste management. “Unfortunately, the soft packaging can’t be recycled here, it’s incinerated. We came up with a solution where we teamed up with a company called Terracycle, and they recycle the plastic in the bags, they shred it down and remould it into plant pots and watering cans …long life plastic products so it gives them a new life”. The bags are collected and brought back to be baled and sent to Terracycle. Retail customers can also participate in this, McCabe;s, on request, send out zero-waste boxes that can be sent back once full, to be sent with the other pastic waste for recycling/upcycling by Terracycle.

a bale of packaging ready to go to Terracycle

Stephen told us about a project for using the chaff that is a waste byproduct of the roasting process, whereby the local county council take the chaff and use it to create a natural compost that they use in parks in the area. The council also take the coffee sacks and wrap them round the base of trees to keep weeds at bay, instead of using poisonous weedkiller.

Coffee sacks as weed control

Chaff being collected for use as compost

Offsetting is also a measure McCabe’s have in place, with Tree Nation, a project which plants trees in the tropics where the coffees are grown and where there is a lot of deforestation and loss of biodiversity. “We’re planting upwards of 2000 trees per year now to offset our carbon emissions and we want to increase that as time goes by.

Trees planted as offsets in coffee growing countries

Looking to the future, Stephen thinks we will see more interest in sustainability issues in coffee, “This is what the customer wants, this is what the cafe wants, this is what the business wants. I think we’re going to see a more in-depth approach with sustainable coffee, over the next thirty years”.

Huge thanks to Stephen and the team at McCabe’s for their time! Watch the video interview on @sca_ireland on instagram

Coffee Club Ireland MRSC #CCI2020

Multi Roaster Subscription Companies

Multi Roaster Subscription Companies


And 25% off first boxes with ‘SUPPORTIRISH

Roisin set up Brew Box Coffee, Ireland’s first multi-roaster coffee subscription box. Having worked as a barista for years in Dublin and the USA Roisin always wanted to start something that was hers! Having created all these relationships with people in the industry she saw the chance to create something new for what is still a very young specialty coffee scene in Ireland. She prides herself on the customer service she can give through the subscription, always free to answer all the questions, and create new ideas!
Fresh Coffee Delivered Every Month

The idea for Bean Delivered started back in 2018 for James, when he was drinking lots of different coffees roasted by Irish roasters. He wanted to help others, like him, acquire different Irish roasted coffee and have them delivered to the customer’s door each month. After a trip to Colombia at the start of 2019, the plans were set and Bean Delivered was born! It was officially launched in June 2019. Since the start, their mission has been to spread the good word about coffee being roasted in Ireland while supporting Irish and local businesses like themselves. Their great work will continue to support into the future.

Irish Cup Tasters 2019 – Meet our Sponsors

Without our fantastic sponsors, we would never be able to run such successful events and competitions. 

Cloud Picker Coffee Roastery

Cloud Picker was established in 2013 by Frank Kavanagh & Peter Sztal. Having worked in graphic design and corporate banking respectively, they decided to take the leap and open up their own coffee roastery. The name Cloud Picker came from a trip to Northern Thailand where they visited a coffee farm in the Doi Chang area on the Thai / Burma border and went up through the clouds to see the coffee pickers!

Cloud Picker is Dublin City’s first micro coffee roastery, located on Sheriff Street. Here they hand roast their coffee to order on the esteemed Giesen roaster. Borne from passion, curiosity and the quest to create a unique coffee product for the Irish market. Their café is in Science Gallery on Pearse Street and also wholesale to cafés and restaurants around the city and nationwide. Cloud Picker are uber excited to be opening the door of their first high street cafe on Pearse before Easter and hope you’ll all come visit!
For Cloud Picker, it’s very important for them to know where their coffee is grown, the conditions of the farms and how the coffee pickers are treated. To do this, they travelled to origin and in 2013 went to Brazil and met with Felipe & Marcos Croce of FAF Coffees and in 2014 we went to El Salvador, Nicaragua and Guatemala. Here they met with farmers such as Emilio Lopez of Cuatro M cafés. Since this, they have been importing from their farms. It is through this work that Cloud Picker aim for build longterm relationships while also further ensuring they receive top quality green coffee.

This is the second National competition that we’ve worked with Cloud Picker on, and many of you will remember what a great weekend was had there at the 2016 Irish Brewers Cup Championship. For the Irish Cup Tasters 2019, Cloud Picker have opened the doors of their roastery and provided us with their beautiful space, their resources, enthusiasm and energy to host the competition. They have also sourced and roasted all of the competition coffee our competitors will be slurping on Saturday.  We are so thrilled to partner with them in this years competition.
Visit Cloud Picker’s Website
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Marco Beverage Systems

Marco Beverage Systems Ltd are one of the leading hot water delivery companies in the world. This Irish company specialises in providing hot water systems, coffee brewers and tea brewers for savvy brew enthusiasts around the globe and theres no doubt you will have seen them in use in many of your favourite cafes throughout Ireland, because of their consistency and reliability when working in a busy environment.

We are delighted to have Marco as one of the sponsors of  the Irish Cup Tasters 2019. Marco provide all of the brewing equipment and hot water systems for the competition each year, and on the day will be behind the scenes, brewing up all of the competition coffee.
Visit Marco’s Website
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In the ’60s, Heinz Hankammer founded the company BRITA, inspired by his daughter’s name. The idea behind it: to optimise tap water and in 1970, Brita launched the first water filter jug. As any good barista will know that the secret to a great coffee is using great water, with the standard cup of cup is made up of between 90 – 98 percent water, making it the most important ingredient in brewing. Elements in water can influence your coffee’s taste, consistency and appearance. Brita now produce an entire range of filters, specifically for use in coffee shops and for brewing coffee.The result: water that tastes cleaner and fresher and aids in the brewing process.

We are delighted to have Brita as one of our sponsors for the Irish Cup Tasters 2019.
Visit Britas Website
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Urnex Brands, LLC, originally the Royal Urn Bag Company, was founded in 1936 to help the roasters and brewers in Manhattan deliver delicious coffee to demanding customers.

Urnex has come a long way since then, but their products have always represented the highest standards of quality, consistency, and effectiveness. Urnex pride themselves on their long history as a manufacturing organisation and the close relationships of trust and communication they have built with their customers around the world. Creating products based on proprietary formulas developed through an intimate understanding of coffee equipment allows Urnex to offer a solution for every brewing need.

We are delighted to have Urnex as one of our sponsors for the Irish Cup Tasters 2019.
Visit Urnex’s Website
Visit Urnex’s Instagram
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Irish Cup Tasters 2019 – March 23rd 2019

We are delighted to announce that the Irish Cup Tasters 2019 will be taking place on 
Saturday 23.03.19 in Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters, kicking off at 10.00am and running until about 5.00pm.

Join us for a day packed full of amazing competitors, each of whom will be battling it out with the hopes of being crowned the winner of the 2019 Irish Cup Tasters Champion! The winner of the competition will go on to represent Ireland in the 2019 World Cup Tasters Championship.

Registration for this competition is now closed. 

Attendance tickets are free of charge, but pre-booking is essential, so click here to register your place and come along to cheer on your favourite competitor!

We are also on the look out for a few volunteers to assist with the running of the competition on the day. If you are interested in volunteering, please register here and we will be in contact shortly.

With thanks to our amazing sponsors, Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters, Marco Beverage Systems, Brita and Urnex.

CATEX 2019 – Members Brew Bar

CATEX 2019  is just one week away! Apart from all of the Barista and Latte Art Championship fun, this year we have decided to introduce a new Members Brew Bar. The stand will run every day from 10:00am until 5:00pm beside the competition stage.

Here, you will be able to chat to three different Irish SCA Members each day, who will be brewing up their coffee and giving out samples for you to taste while you cheer on your favourite competitors!


Tuesday 26th February

Silverskin Coffee Roasters – Dublin (10:00am – 12:00pm)

Silverskin Coffee Roasters is an award winning coffee roasting company based in Dublin. It was founded by Brian Kenny who has 20 years experience in the coffee industry.Brian represented Ireland in the World Cupping Championships 2006 and in the following years Brian filled a barista training and quality management role.

Silverskin Coffee Roasters recently opened their new state of the art roastery at Blackwater Road, Dublin Industrial Estate, Glasnevin, where they roast and wholesale coffee throughout Ireland.

The Art of Coffee – Carrick-On-Shannon  (12:30pm – 14:30pm)

Art Of Coffee was founded in 2010 by Georgia and Gabor  who were later joined by roaster Gerry.We love coffee, not just its fabulous taste but everything about it, its history, cultivation, processing, grading, roasting, blending and preparing the final drink.  All the coffees we served are roasted here. The smoke of roasting coffee often filled up the café, and green beans in jute bags were trying to hide between tables and chairs. As our freshly roasted coffees became more and more popular roasting in our café became difficult and we created our coffee roastery and our brand Art Of Coffee.

Choose a coffee from our coffee selection (and maybe a few accessories) and we’ll make sure you’ll get the best coffee, freshly roasted, quickly delivered.

Cloud Picker Coffee Roasters – Dublin (15:00pm – 17:00pm)

Established in 2013 by Frank Kavanagh & Peter Sztal. Cloud Picker is Dublin City’s first micro coffee roastery, located on Sherrif Street, where they hand roast to order on the esteemed Giesen roaster.

Cloud Picker also have their own café in the Science Gallery, which is located on Pearse Street,  as well as wholesaling to cafés and restaurants around the city and nationwide.

Wednesday 27th February

Urbanity – Dublin (10:00am – 12:00pm)

Located just off Dublin’s largest public square, Urbanity is a small-batch roaster, speciality café, and all-day dining venue. They opened our doors in February 2016 and roast all of their single origin green coffee in store, which they use for their own cafe, as well as for wholesale.

Urbanity’s focus is the use of great quality, locally sourced ingredients to create wholesome, interesting, and delicious dishes.

Three Fools Coffee – Cork  (12:30pm – 2:30pm)

Three Fools Coffee is a specialty cafe that opened its doors to the public in late November 2015. Their cafe is located within a glass pod on The Grand Parade.

They also source and roast coffee from around the world, as well as offering a wholesale coffee service to a vast array of businesses including cafés, restaurants and offices, as well as barista and brew bar training and equipment.


Creed Coffee Roasters – Kildare (15:00pm – 17:00pm)

Creed Coffee Roasters and a speciality coffee roaster and cafe based in Celbridge, Kildare. They first opened their doors in 2016.

Apart from running their cafe, they also offer a wholesale coffee service, as well as running Barista Training.

Thursday 28th February

Ponaire Coffee – Tipperary (10:00am – 12:00pm)

Ponaire (Irish for Bean) was established in 2006 by Tommy and Jennifer Ryan. Their roastery is located in Newport, Co. Tipperary customers can be served delicious coffees, as well as purchase a wide selection of coffees that they roast themselves onsite.

Ponaire  roast and package in our custom designed premises, as well as supply coffee to specialty food shops, cafes, hotels, restaurants and many other establishments that serve good quality coffee.


Coffee Culture – Dublin (12:30pm – 14:30pm)

Coffee Culture, opened by Alan Andrews, are a company that source premium, speciality coffees from around the world, as well as offering a wide range of barista training and cafe consultancy.

Coffee Culture opened their second location last year, The Old Barracks in Co. Tipperary, from where they roast their coffee, as well as offer wholesale services throughout Ireland.


Badger & Dodo – Cork (15:00pm – 17:00pm)

Badger & Dodo is a Cork based roastery, owned by Brock Lewin. From here they source and roast an array of single origin, estate, micro lot and also world exclusive coffees, as well as wholesaling their coffee throughout Ireland.

In October 2014 they opened their first Coffee House in Galway, and can also be seen in their coffee carts at markets throughout Cork.

CATEX 2019 – What is CATEX?

Well, it’s that time of year again – CATEX, Ireland’s largest foodservice trade event, is upon us and we are very excited! CATEX allows Ireland’s biggest players and membership organisations in foodservice and hospitality to come under one roof for three days from 26th – 28th February 2019 at the RDS, Simmonscourt.

CATEX will be returning to the RDS, Dublin in just two weeks, providing thousands of visitors with products, services and solutions that meet today’s demands for operators in the foodservice and hospitality sectors. Taking place every two years, the 2019 event has everything from Artisan Food Producers​, to Coffee suppliers and everything in between, providing visitors with a vast programme that identifies key trends that will drive the future of the industry.

Apart from the Irish Barista Championship and Latte Art Championships, the 2019 Irish Cocktail Championship will also be taking place, where Ireland’s leading mixologists will put their skills to the test in this intensive cocktail challenge. as well as The Chef Network Hub, which brings together chefs from all sectors and stages of their careers, to communicate, collaborate, share and innovate, The Chef Ireland Culinary Championships 2019, an innovative challenging Cold Salon and Live Hot Theatre competition program for senior and junior chefs, culinary art students and apprentices from all aspects of the Irish hospitality industry, there will be a Panel of Chefs of Ireland presenting culinary demonstrations and the Chef Network will be running Chef Network Masterclasses throughout the exhibition.

Entry is free, but all guests need to register for their free tickets here.

See you there!