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

CALL TO ACTION #contactlesscoffee


SCA Ireland are partnering with Conscious Cup Campaign, to encourage and promote an already-existing initiative, called  #contactlesscoffee. Cloud Picker published a video widely seen in the media, of how #contactlesscoffee can be served safely, and many of you may already be also doing this. 

Initially the Covid 19 pandemic safety precautions had understandably pushed cafés towards single use disposables, however in June, Greenpeace published a statement, signed by 125 health experts from 19 countries, defending the safety of the proper use of reusables. One of these is Professor Luke O’Neill of Trinity College Dublin, one of the five leading immunologists in the world, and he has endorsed reusables as safe to use.

In 2018 it was published that 22,000 cups were thrown away per hour in Ireland, and it is estimated that less than 1% of single use cups and lids are properly processed for recycling or composting. In order to limit ongoing environmental harm, it’s important to know that we can now return to advocating for reusable cups, and do it safely.

Below is a map of cafes serving #contactlesscoffee. If this is something you offer, we’d like to know about it, and add your business to the map. If you tag @sca_ireland and @consciouscupcampaign on your social media posts, use the hashtag #contactlesscoffee and we will repost, as will Sorcha, from Conscious Cup. If you’d like to make a short video of how you do #contactlesscoffee for us to post across social media platforms, please DM it @sca_ireland on Instagram.

We are 20 years on from when the UN Sustainable Development Goals were set, and with ten years to go,  the UN Global Compact Progress Report reports that we are NOT on track to meet the climate change goals, BUT…we still have time to do it! So, 2020 is an important year, and marks the beginning of what the UN calls “The Decade of Action”!  According to @time magazine, “2020 is our last, best chance to save the planet”.

Cloud Picker coffee show #contactlesscoffee done safely!

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.

Coffee Club Ireland Roasters #CCI2020

Irish Roasters A-Z

Colin and the team at 3fe continue to roast to order Mon – Fri, dispatching all online orders the next working, covering the island of Ireland via DPD couriers, with free shipping in Ireland over €20. Stock everything from coffee, filter papers, books, and espresso machines. 



Brian operates a small specialty coffee roastery located in the Burren

Michael Kelly is still roasting in Ashbourne Co. Meath & open online for orders.  offering 10% off when you spend €25 or over & also free delivery. Enter in “CABINFEVER” at checkout.

Ariosa cafe is also open for takeaway in Drogheda

Roasting coffee in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co Leitrim and delivering as usual. orders placed before 11am will be shipped on the same day.

Emma & Shane are roasting away weekly in Kildare and are taking orders through social media

Australian native, Brock is roasting in Fermoy Cork and operating the Roastery Outlet, 11 Barrack st. Cork.

Bailies Coffee Roasters

Russell and his team are roasting at 27 Stockmans Way, Belfast BT9 7ET, Belfast

Bean West is a family-run boutique coffee roasting business based in Westport, Co. Mayo offering free delivery on all orders over 1Kg.

Belfast Coffee Roasters Unit 5c Townsend Enterprise Park,28 Townsend Street, Belfast, Please BT13 2ES,

Stephen & Denise Bell run this award-winning coffee roasters based in Mullingar, Co Westmeath.

20% off coffee over €20

Bewleys have opened a drive-thru café at their roastery & are serving frontline workers with free coffee & tea. While you stay home, you can order from their online shop and receive free shipping on orders over €30 by using the coupon code “#FREESHIPPINGSCA”

Roastery in Townsend Enterprise Park in Belfast,

Brady’s coffee company , are a coffee roasting company based in Wicklow town. Unit SM1, wicklow enterprise centre, the murrough, wicklow town.

Calendar Coffee Just turned 2!! Zarah and Dan launched a nationwide campaign to support coffee shops and cafes during the Covid-19 outbreak. they donate 30% of every bag sold to a cafe of your choice This means for a €15 bag of coffee, your cafe will receive €4.50
The best part, is that this can be ANY cafe in the Republic of Ireland, regardless of whether they stock Calendar Coffee or not. To make this work, there’ll be a €4 flat rate on all orders up to 2kg to cover shipping costs 🚚 All you need to do is include the name and location of your favourite cafe at checkout, and you can even share a message of support. We’ll be passing on your messages and money to cafe owners on a weekly basis 💌
Together, we can #SpreadLoveNotGerms.

Carrow Coffee Roasters - Beltra - Co. Sligo - Ireland

Paola and Andrew, coffee enthusiasts and founders of this small roasting business,
located beside the Atlantic Ocean in County Sligo, Ireland

Peter & Frank are roasting in Crumlin, Dublin 12, and offering free shipping on orders of 1kg or more.

Open 8-4 at 2 Bridge Street & 2 French Church Street
Cork, Ireland


Declan & Paul are still roasting at Main Street, Celbridge
order on their webshop and receive free home delivery nationwide

J.J. Darboven have been brewing coffee in Ireland since 1989. We roast small batch specialty coffee from our Eighty9 roastery in Dun Laoghaire since 2018 . We breathe coffee.

Peter is not roasting at the moment but supporting the radiology department in the St James hospital with a weekly coffee donation. Please get in touch and pre-order for when roasting starts back up again

Dave, Brian and the crew are still roasting and shipping at Grantham Place, Dublin 8.

Greenbean continue to roast in Dundalk, Co. Louth . Check out their webshop at
Choose any 4 coffees, pay for only 3. FREE SHIPPING on orders over €30!

Groundwork Coffee Co. Roasting in Celbridge, order online for home brewing.

 Gary runs Imbibe coffee roastery based in Dublin 8. Roasting only specialty grade coffee. 90% of their output is organic. 1% of turnover from coffee sales is donated to Women’s Aid. They are zero waste advocates, doing things differently.

Java Republic continue to roast and operate a take out service from their roastery and cafe in
Northwest Business Park
Ballycoolin, Dublin 15
D15 PY8H, Ireland

Marc is roasting in Stephenstown Industrial Estate Balbriggan, offering free delivery in north Fingal and shipping for free on all orders over €50 nationwide.

Kinsale Coffee was recently set up by, Pat. Having spent the past 10 years in the coffee sector in Ireland Free Shipping on all orders over €35

Frank is roasting in Curraghconway, Ballycurreen, Cork. offering discounts to all customers after first purchase,

McCabe’s was the first Irish Coffee Roasters to offer a collection service to recycle every bag of coffee they supply to cafes, restaurants and businesses around Ireland. These used bags are fully recycled into watering cans, plant pots, pallets and park benches by Terracycle. Existing coffee bags cannot be recycled in Ireland through existing waste streams and reusable tins take up a lot of space in your cafe and are a health risk unless fully cleaned. located in Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow

Jennifer and the Ponaire team are roasting 5 days a week in Newport Tipperary. Online business is open offering free shipping in Ireland on over 500g of coffee or over €50 spend

Open for locals to call in and order bags of coffee and collect 061 373 713 Mon – Fri 7:30 am – 2 pm – Payment by Credit Card.

The guys are roasting in Clane Co. Kildare and doing free delivery on 2 bags or more in ROI when purchased online

Steve D & everyone at Red Eye coffee roasters continue to keep the country caffeinated in Ballybrit, Galway

Ristretto Coffee Roasters directly source specialty coffee & have been roasting great coffee in Banbridge Since 2006. Their freshly roasted specialty coffee including many single estates are available to buy from their online webshop.

Ferg continues to roast in Delgany, himself and his team have set up “Our Shop is Their Shop.” Simply name the cafe you normally drink their coffee in when you buy on their web shop, and that cafe will receive their usual mark up value.

Also “Our Green is Their Green”- they’ve offered up their green bean inventory to micro roasters who can’t afford to contract a full pallet in these tough times. Ferg has more than served his time behind busy coffee bars as well as having roasted and coached for winning competitors in brewing and tasting competitions.

Root and Branch have started a CLICK&COLLECT… service from their Roastery at Portview Trade Centre, 310 Newtownards Road Belfast on Mon, Wed & Fridays from midday to 2pm.

free shipping to UK & ROI,

Brian Kenny, founder of silverskin coffee roasters has been roasting in Dublin since 2012. Check out some of his coffees for home brewing

John and Tom are roasting in Clonakilty, Co Cork, you can order their beautiful coffee for home delivery

Marc continues to roast his artisan Coffee Roastery based in Shanagarry, County Cork retail bags can be purchased at neighborhood online markets

Alan runs the Award-winning Roastery, café and artisan food, situated overlooking the River Shannon in the idyllic village of Birdhill.

A lifelong passion for food, wine, and coffee eventually led Alan Phillips to roast beans by the sea in County Meath. Check out the studio coffee roasters online shop


Trá Coffee Roasters was founded in Tramore, Co Waterford in 2017 by Tom Weldon. check out some of Toms new arrivals

Inspired by the coffee scene in Melbourne Adam returned and set up twofifty square in Rathmines, For the discount code it’s SCAIRELAND10

Pop over Da Shop, Sean & Stuart will sort ye out

Upside Coffee is a wholesale and online roastery based in Dublin, Ireland. Free shipping across the island on all coffee over €35

Urbanity Source, roast and brew the highest quality coffee available. Their green coffee beans are single origin and supplied by Nordic Approach in Oslo. The beans are direct trade, Like their coffee? You can purchase a bag to enjoy at home. Just ask at the counter for a recommendation. Urbanity To Go
9am – 2pm | Mon – Fri
10am – 3pm | Sat – Sun
Stay positive 🌞

Velo Coffee Roasters was established in 2017, in their café, Café Velo, located on 3 George’s Quay, Cork City.

Tony, continues to roast to order in west Cork. Free shipping plus 20%

James & Philip run White Star Coffee, a roaster based in the heart of Belfast delivering exclusive and bespoke coffee and machine solutions. Sourcing specialty coffee with the highest quality in mind and look to work with farmers/cooperatives who are progressive in their practices and determined to farm in sustainable and transparent ways.

Wild Heart Coffee Roasters Coming | May 2020
Specialty Coffee Roasters | N.Ireland
Killer Coffees | Ethical Vibes | Community Focused

Coffee Club Ireland Map #CCI2020

This live map shows roasteries in Ireland, cafés and retail outlets that they supply that are open, and other independent cafés & retail outlets. This is a layered map. If you are interested in one category only, expand the map and untick the other two categories in the side menu.

For #contactlesscoffee, see the map here

If you or your business are still open please contact us via Twitter/Instagram and we can add you to our listing.