There are few adult beverages that can warm the cockles of your heart better than a really delicious Irish Coffee. (You may recall that Sweet Molly Malone once wheeled her wheelbarrow through Dublin’s fair city, crying “cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh!” Makes me hope her own “cockles” were occasionally warmed by “a wee bit of the Irish” too?) But, and this is important, so pay careful attention to my next statement; any good coffee drink must start with really good coffee. In just the same way you use decent wine in cooking, good coffee is of equal importance when making a fine coffee beverage. So, keeping that in mind, I have a huge treat for you. We have a good friend who small batch roasts his own coffee beans. And marvel of marvels, he then sells his freshly roasted beans for a reasonable price to those of us lucky enough to know about this marvelous product. Larry’s Coffees are “Specialty coffees”, the term used by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) to refer to “gourmet” or “premium” coffee beans. According to the SCAA, in order for beans to be graded as “specialty”, a score of 80 or above is required. (The highest score being 100.) Beans classified as “specialty” are grown in ideal climates, and are distinctive because of their full cup taste and few to no discernible defects. The unique taste is a result of the individual characteristics and composition of the soil in which the beans are grown; the terroir as the French are fond of saying when speaking about wine. Aside from the fact that the beans Larry chooses are from some of the most respected coffee growing areas in the world, his roasted beans are about as fresh as you can get. If you wonder why that matters, roasted coffee beans reach their peak in both flavor and aroma about 48 – 72 hours after roasting (depending on the coffee). This rest period is not actually required but is preferred by true coffee aficionados. This resting time allows coffee beans to fully develop excellent taste and aroma by allowing excess CO2 to dissipate and the bean chemistry to stabilize. (Analogous with letting cooked meat rest before slicing or red wine breathe before drinking.) In the case of Larry’s coffee, the good news is that this rest period often occurs while the beans are being shipped. Because Larry generally roasts beans to order, you usually receive the beans when they are at their peak. How cool is that? For more information about our favourite coffee bean purveyor, please visit Larry’s website And if you live in our vicinity and can’t wait the short time it takes to order and receive your own package(s) of beans, stop on over and Mr. C. will make you an espresso drink featuring one of Larry’s offerings. Mr. C. loves to fire up our espresso machine. Your visit would provide him with yet another good reason to enjoy a little cuppa. (Like he really needs a reason, but you know what I mean!)  So for “those who love coffee” or abakundekawa as they say in Rwanda, give both Larry’s coffee beans and this recipe for Irish Coffee a try. You won’t be disappointed with either.

  • 1 c. hot strong coffee
  • 1 tsp. powdered sugar
  • 1 oz. Irish whiskey
  • whipped cream (heavy cream, powdered sugar, and a wee splash of more Irish whiskey)
  • chocolate covered coffee bean, opt.

Combine coffee, powdered sugar, and Irish whiskey in a mug or glass. Dollop with whipped cream and top with a coffee bean.