• Mckenzie Dow

Koffee + Kale... Mocha madness is back!!

Hi all!! Finally after a solid six month break, my cafe corner series is back on track. I apologize for the slow down in posts. I've been swept up in my PhD, but now I'm learning how to manage my time the best I can and get back to my blogging!

As some of you may know, part of my PhD work happens at one of the three children's hospitals here in Ireland. Right down the hill from the hospital is this coffee shop called Koffee + Kale. I've been in a few times and I figured that I should finally add it to my cafe corner. It's important to me to have a balance of independent coffee shops on BOTH sides of the River Liffey and I definitely think Koffee + Kale is an absolute treat within its neighbourhood.

As The Daily Edge says, this place is "not as hipster as it sounds". It's small, with super friendly staff and an adorably decorated seating area. It can feel a bit crowded when waiting for your takeaway coffee, but it's all good because everything in there is of excellent quality and the amount of sunlight that gets into the cafe is delightful.

When you walk in, you will notice that Koffee + Kale have a menu with plenty of variety and something for everyone. They also have numerous baked goods and simple treats to offer as well. For someone on a budget, they have ham & cheese croissants for only €2.95! Cheaper than the deli sandwiches at Spar or UCD!

Nick was with me and we were starved, so we opted to sit in and order some food in addition to our coffees. He ordered a tuna melt, tomato soup and an Americano. I ordered a medium-sized mocha as usual.

Our food and warm drinks came to our table quickly, and thank goodness because we were starved. Immediately upon landing on our table, it was apparent how fresh and colourful our food was. It looked wholesome and delectable. Neither dish needed an over-the-top presentation or fancy tricks to look that way.

Nick and I both thought our food tasted amazing. Nick was particularly fond of his tomato & herb soup. It was apparent that it was made from scratch in-house, which is something I really appreciated after a marathon of Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmare's the night before.

According to their website, everything is locally sourced and created with love. For me that was obvious from my first bite.

The sun was shining and it was so pleasant to people watch through the front window. We noticed a potentially rogue dog and a lot of kids out and about. The location of Koffee + Kale is great because it's not right in the height of O'Connell Street, but it's not too far off the main street. It's easy to find and would be a night place to stop by after exploring the Garden of Remembrance or the Hugh Lane Gallery.

Alright, enough about the food, it's time I get to my scores for that mocha.

Taste: 7/10 This mocha was pretty good. It had a perfect balance of chocolate and coffee notes coming through. It didn't make me jump out of my chair with excitement as previous coffees in my cafe corner have, but it was delicious nonetheless. It was a perfect balance, but not a standout. Every mocha I have ordered here has been great and I will keep coming back.

Price: 7/10 Personally I think any mocha over €3.20 is overpriced. However, the mug for this medium-sized coffee was HUGE. I was so impressed!!!!! That's why I rated it a 7/10 because it's definitely of good value because of the size and the great taste.

Heat: 9/10 Came out nearly spot on for my personal preferences and the heat lasted long enough.

Appearance: Again, nothing standout, but appearance isn't the most important anyways. It still had that enticing foamy top and there was cocoa sprinkled on top. It was in no way off-putting. I started drooling when it was placed on the table.

Overall, Koffee + Kale is FAB. The staff are awesome and always have smiles on their faces. The food is so fresh, healthy and tastes great. This trip is likely one of many as I continue chugging away at my PhD just up the hill. The cafe is cosy and a pleasant little blip in the neighbourhood. It's also great value for the money; both the food and drinks. For example, I've ordered a much simpler egg/avocado/toast meal at a well known brunch spot in Temple Bar, as well as similar meals elsewhere, and they charged nearly twice as much as Koffee + Kale for a meal that didn't come close to the greatness of the egg/avocado options at Koffee + Kale. My egg/avocado combo was awesome, but I think the smoked salmon avocado option is my favourite. Both are so flavourful and priced very well.

After our brunch, we explored a bit around the north side before making our way to the National Museum of Ireland.

That temple in the pictures is actually the place where I work when I am at Temple Street!! It's called the Temple Theatre among staff and it houses a number of administrative offices and the Temple Street Foundation. The entire inside is remodelled but much of the original structure is visible. The basement/crypts are all stone and very neat. The stained glass windows are also still there and absolutely gorgeous. Apparently it also used to be a nightclub/rave which I think is hilariously cool. It's such a privilege to be able to work on my PhD in such a beautiful building.

We also did some roaming around on the quays. It was a gorgeous sunny day which felt novel after a lot of rain and snow in the previous weeks. As summer gets closer and closer, the city becomes more lively and full of visitors.

After roaming around, I wanted to go to the National Museum to see an exhibition on Irish Women in WWI. On our way over, Nick spotted this subtle sign in reference to the 8th, which I greatly appreciated. For anyone who would like to know more about the amazing movement to Repeal the Eighth Amendment here in Ireland, feel free to email me. I know some of my American readers may have no clue what I'm talking about.

We walked down to Kildare street and popped into the national museum, thinking the exhibition was in there but I was wrong! It was actually in the national library which was already closed.

Instead, we explored the Brian Boru exhibition as that was somewhat new and neither Nick or I had explored it yet.

I love the opportunity to look at a neat skull! For anyone visiting Ireland, the National Museum is a MUST. It's totally free and full of super cool stuff! The most popular attraction is probably the bog bodies...eek!

Overall, it was a fantastic day. It's nice to see so many people out and about and have so may amazing things to do in Dublin at your fingertips. When the sun is shining, the Irish people are so happy and good vibes throughout the city flow freely. If you're coming to Dublin anytime soon, give Koffee + Kale a chance after exploring the north side, and soak up the sun if you are lucky!

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