Kevin Roche and Taurean Coughlan first opened Two Boys Brew in Phibsborough last summer, inspired by time spent working in London and Melbourne and the specialty coffee cultures they experienced on their travels around the world. We talked with Taurean about the Aussie-influenced Brunch offerings that have been going down a storm and their aspirations to help further build on Dublin’s coffee culture.
What led you to locate in Phibsborough?
The three things we focused on from the beginning were the food, the coffee and the space. We spent a long time looking for the right space. The inner city suburbs are developing so well at the moment, like Stoneybatter & Smithfield and we could see that Phibsborough had great potential. Once we walked into the building we knew it was the right spot. We had spent a year and a half getting our ducks in a row, with Kevin building the plans for the café and then the two of us deciding the aesthetic we wanted to go for. Terry Design then took our plan and made it a reality. Their craftsmanship is exceptional and we loved working with them.
Tell us how your travels help shape the evolution of Two Boys Brew.
The Aussie influence is in everything we do, from the drinks we have on offer and the style of the café to the way the food is presented. We’re both from Drogheda but we’ve lived away for a long time, initially in London and then we spent four years working in Melbourne, Kevin in building and insurance and me in media communications for luxury brands. Cafes are a big part of the day for the average Australian and we loved that lifestyle. There’s such a respect and focus on independent cafes and individuality that large coffee chains find it hard to flourish there, so that was how we spent our free time. Professionally we loved what we did but we decided we wanted to move home and bring a little of what we loved from there to here.
The name indicates a huge love of coffee.
Coffee is one of our favourite parts of the day so we love that it’s very obvious what we’re about. When we go to different cities around the world there’s great pride in their specialty coffee offerings so we really want to help build on Dublin’s coffee culture. We’re one of Dublin’s coffee shops that hand-pour our filter coffees and it’s a really nice ritual with a delicious finished product. Our head barista, Eoin Newman, is an amazingly talented guy and has been with us since day one. Our house coffee is from 3FE and we also have a different guest roaster every month. Our first guest coffee, which was incredible, was from Man versus Machine in Munich and we’ve also had Australian coffee roaster, St. Ali. We’ve many more planned for the coming months. The café world has been my pastime forever, so I love when I see people coming in and enjoying the different brews we have on offer.
Tell us about your approach to the menu.
We have really high expectations of the food that we offer so what we put on the plate has to be great quality, full of flavour and taste amazing. We do our best to keep things as close to their natural form as possible and we’ve made it a very friendly café in terms of dietary requirements. Most of our dishes are vegetarian based to begin with and there are then many options to add to suit your taste. We’d been collecting menus for years from all our favourite cafes and then Jane McGuinness who heads up the kitchen was instrumental in bringing our vision to life while putting her own twist on things. The way the food is presented is also very important. We wanted to have a sophisticated, delicious looking plate of food on the table and Jane and her amazing team blow us away every time. We’re also working with a great local bakery, Arun Bakery and we’re very excited to now be partnering with Green Beards, stocking their cold pressed juices.
There are brunch dishes on your menu that you don’t see generally in Irish cafes.
Brunch is always our favourite meal. In Australia, you’ll find smashed avocado everywhere so we had to have it! Our baked eggs and avocado mash are both huge sellers and if you want a bit of meat you can add that on the side. One of our favourite dishes is the Blueberry & Ricotta Hotcake with lemon lime curd & roasted pear. If I could eat it every day I would, so if people are looking for something different that’s the one to try. We’ve just introduced a gorgeous new dish, slow cooked beef cheek Eggs Benedict. It’s a crunchy potato cake with garlic cavolo nero on the base and slow cooked beef cheek on top with soft poached eggs and hollandaise. It’s been going down really well and when you put things like that together and see people enjoying them it makes us really happy.
What else do you have in the pipeline?
A lot of people are asking if we plan to open late, and it’s something that we want to do but we want to put the same amount of thought and planning into it as we did for the day time. We’ve been getting great feedback on our homemade granola, cakes and jams, so we’re also planning to develop that side of things a little bit more and do some nice retail products that people can take home and enjoy.
Two Boys Brew 375 North Circular Road, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
Words: Martina Murray