Meal Ticket: Laine, My Love; Talbot St, Dublin 1

Laine, My Love sits under the railway bridge on Talbot St, a stone’s throw from Connolly Station

   
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Laine, My Love

Ferg Brown, founder of coffee shop and roaster Roasted Brown, is a person devoted to his craft. That may sound like an empty cliché, but in this case, it’s true. I don’t know Ferg very well, but every time I hear him speak or read words he’s written about the Irish coffee scene, I get the sense that he has a conscientious approach to his work, with exacting standards and a drive to always do better.

A couple of years ago, Roasted Brown had a coffee stall at the Electric Picnic with a great vantage point of the festival crowd. Ferg and his barista colleagues were surveying the standard festival scene of Penney’s wellies and contrived festival boho chic when they spotted a woman in a long, golden dress walking along the green meadow of the festival grounds, and they were struck by how much she stood apart from the crowd. Ferg built a character based on this idea of a free spirit marching to the beat of her own drum and christened her Laine.

In mid-May, Roasted Brown opened their second coffee shop in Dublin and called it Laine, My Love, as a little-sister café to their shop in Filmbase, Temple Bar, and their micro-roastery in Delgany, Co Wicklow.

Laine, My Love sits under the railway bridge on Talbot St, a stone’s throw from Connolly Station. When they started redesigning the space to make it fit for their purpose, they pulled up the old floorboards and discovered an original gold-specked cement floor, a coincidence that harked back to that girl in the gold dress at the Electric Picnic.

The café is an L-shaped space, another unintentional tribute to the café’s muse. Apart from a few shining stars such as Vice Coffee Inc on Middle Abbey St, Kimchi at The Hop House and 147 Deli on Parnell St, the area around Talbot Street is curiously lacking in positive lunch experiences.

“We’ve already been having conversations with our customers around the sizes and the temperature of the coffee we’re serving,” Roasted Brown team member Rob Lewis says over a jug of filtered sweet, syrupy Burundian muruta coffee.

“What I’ve always liked about Roasted Brown is that they care about the coffee they’re serving you, but they are also careful to share their enthusiasm in an accessible way. They don’t make you feel bad if you don’t know your naturally processed single-origin Brazilian beans from your Vietnamese robusta, but they’ll help you figure out why the former is a better bet for coffee appreciation.

The manager at Laine, My Love is Timea Demeterova, who is also Roasted Brown’s head barista trainer, so she’s used to guiding people through their burgeoning coffee awareness.

Food-wise, cakes are currently supplied by Love Supreme in Stoneybatter and the bread is from the praiseworthy Dublin bakery Le Levain which also supplies the Fumbally Café among others. Everything else is made in-house, with chef Jill Harding at the helm. My sandwich is the honey and clove baked ham (€6), a Le Levain bun stuffed with gently melted brie and a tangy yet sweet red pepper relish.

Other options include a vegetarian sandwich with beetroot, carrot and hummus, daily salads and a daily soup. There is a short breakfast menu, and the pancetta, poached bear and brie served in a brioche bun (€6.50) sounds like just the ticket for an early morning pick-me-up on the way to work.

Roasted Brown’s little sister will be a boon for nearby office workers and commuters passing by on their way from the train to their desks. The charming image of a lone individual in a golden dress might provide you with some inspiration, too.