The writers of Father Ted didn’t have to look far for inspiration when they created that now legendary tea-pusher Mrs Doyle. The average Irish person drinks four cups of tea per day and as as a nation, Ireland drinks more tea per capita than any other country in the world. Next time you’re in town, give in to a proper brew in one of these ten Dublin hot spots. Even if it’s just a small one in your hand. Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on…
Wall & Keogh
Portobello’s Wall & Keogh lay dormant for 40 years. But it was tea that revived this former painting and decorating shop. Big glass jars full of pungent, organic loose leaf tea.
From the chilled out beats on the sound system to the interesting, eclectic furnishings, these days owner Oliver T. Cunningham likes to keep things cool and classy.
Tea is something of an art form at Wall & Keogh. They take their time over blends, the whole infusion process can last between 3 to 15 minutes – the perfect excuse to sit back and have a game of chess or just enjoy the background music, most probably mixed by owner Oliver himself. It’s that kind of place.
A large pot of tea will set you back €4 and homemade cakes include rocky road, lemon slice, banana cake and brownies.
Should your tea break run into a lazy lunch, (it happens) there’s sushi on standby to sate your appetite.
And another thing, when the weather is fine, you can take your picnic out back and bask in the sun-dappled canal bank location.
Wall & Keogh
Monday to Friday from 08.00 – 20.30
Saturday and Sunday 10.30 – 19.30
Photographs courtesy of Wall & Keogh
Capel Street is having a bit of a moment, and it’s places like the recently opened Brother Hubbard that are playing a central role in this new found trendiness.
Don’t be fooled by the clean lines and utilitarian styling of Brother Hubbard, already this café is becoming as famous for the friendly manner of owners Garrett Fitzgerald and James Boland as it is for its delicious cakes, coffee and tea.
Tuck into their freshly baked cinnamon and walnut rolls, oven-warm scones and chocolate brownies. Alternatively, you won’t feel guilty about trying one of their wheat- and dairy-free seed slices. The coffee is Has Bean, provided by Dublin’s 3FE, while the tea comes from none other than Wall & Keogh.
09:00 – 18:00 daily
153 Capel Street, Dublin 1
Photographs courtesy of Brother Hubbard
Clement & Pekoe
South William Street’s Clement & Pekoe is a veritable Aladdin’s cave of loose leaf tea and coffee. The black tea caddies and art deco chandeliers certainly lend an air of eastern promise and decadence, but it’s the carefully selected teas and coffee beans that really elevate Clement and Pekoe above the competition.
The owners are husband and wife team Dairine Keogh and Simon Cummins and they pride themselves on sourcing the finest pickings from around the globe whether it’s leaves, blends, herbs, tisanes or freshly roasted single origin beans.
Choose from their selection of Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea, Fruit Tisane, Herbal, Oolong, Puerh and Rooibos and they’ll be only delighted to advise you on the best combinations to suit your taste and brew your chosen tea exactly to your liking. When the sun is shining, grab a seat out front on their picnic bench and enjoy one of their cooling iced teas including: Turkish apple, mango, or finest Ceylon tea, all served with ice, lemon and fresh mint. Oh and don’t pass up on their delicious scones.
Clement and Pekoe
Monday – Friday 8am – 6pm (7pm Thursday)
Saturday 10 – 6
Sunday 12 – 6
50 South William St,
353 87 6370123
Photographs courtesy of Clement and Pekoe
Queen of Tarts
Freshly baked scones, glossy, jewel-like pastries and fantastical ‘pile ‘em high’ cupcakes have seen this Dame Street café rightfully earn its reputation, as, well, Dublin’s ‘Queen of tarts’.
Sisters Regina and Yvonne Fallon first yelled ‘let them eat cake’ in 1998. Numerous awards later and with a second venue on Cow’s Lane in Temple Bar, they’re now one of Dublin’s best known cafés.
If you’re dropping by for tea, be sure to team it with one of their signature plum tarts – you won’t regret it.
Queen of Tarts
Monday – Friday 8am – 7pm
Saturday 9am – 7pm
(Dame St.) 10am – 6pm
10am – 7pm
* Closed Bank Holidays
Dame Street, Dublin 2, Ireland
Tel:+353(01) 670 7499
Photographs courtesy of Queen of Tarts
Throw away all those stereotypes about ‘drunken Irish’, Tea Garden is proof that you don’t always need alcohol for a good night out in Dublin. This late night café is a great place to enjoy a light snack, a puff of Shisha, or a milkshake with a difference. It’s tea though that takes centre stage on the menu. And an extensive selection at that. There’s no need to be overwhelmed though, as friendly staff are helpful and always ready to offer expert advice. A tranquil colour scheme and oriental music will have you in a zen-like state in no time, while board games will encourage you to stick around for the last drop.
Monday to Thursday: 3:00pm -11:00pm
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: 1.00pm to 11:00pm
7 Lower Ormond Quay
The Cake Café
If there was an award for Dublin’s best ‘hidden gem’ café it would without question go to Camden Street’s The Cake Café. Literally hidden away behind Daintree stationary shop, (you have to walk through Daintree stationary shop to get to The Cake Café), this sunny little tea room has long been the dessert spot of choice for those in the know on Camden Street.
Dainty fine china and floral table cloths transport you back to ‘granny’s kitchen’, while the solar panels and sustainable structure of the Daintree building leave you with a (somewhat) clear conscience even if you over-indulge in their chocolate brownies, lemon slices or cupcakes.
The Cake Café
Monday 8.30am – 6pm
Tuesday – Friday 8.30am – 8pm
Saturday 9am – 5.30pm
Photographs courtesy of The Cake Cafe
Accents Coffee & Tea Lounge
It’s rare to find a café in Dublin that is both late night and family-friendly. This is exactly the thought that crossed Anna Louise Young’s mind in 2008. Four years later and her Accents Coffee and Tea Lounge is leading the field in providing Dublin tee-totallers with a cosy alternative to the pub, even hosting a comedy night on the first Monday of each month.
Not surprisingly, the tea selection is impressive and includes Earl Grey, Peppermint, Green Sencha, Red Berry, Apple Loves Mint, Mango Tango, Darjeeling, Spiced Citrus, Green Rooibos, Lemongrass & Ginger, Camomile, Fresh Mint and even iced tea for those (elusive) balmy summer evenings.
Accents Coffee & Tea Lounge
Mon – Sat: 12.30pm – 11pm
Sun: 12.30pm – 10pm
23 Stephen Street Lower
Photographs courtesy of Accents Coffee & Tea Lounge
Bibi’s Café/ Dolls Boutique
When the Lenehan sisters, Maisha (chef) and Petria (fashion boutique owner) joined forces in 2009 the hipsters of Dublin rejoiced. Part clothes shop, part cutesy café, the Bibi’s/Dolls union has proven to be one of the most unique tea spots in Dublin.
Contrary to what you might expect, this is not an “all style and no substance” affair. Curated by the Ballymaloe-trained Maisha, Bibi’s lovingly handwritten menu is both seasonal and well thought out, making the Emorville Avenue café a great place for lunch. When there’s only time for tea though, there’s no better accessory than one of their freshly baked chocolate and peanut butter brownies or homemade scones.
Tue–Fri, 9am–4pm (Food Finished at 3.30 p.m); Sat 10am-5pm (Food Finished at 4 p.m); Sun 12- 5pm ( Last Food Orders 4 p.m
14b Emorville Avenue, Dublin 8, Ireland
Photographs coutesy of Bibi’s Café
Perhaps influenced by its location next to one of Dublin’s most iconic landmarks, the Ha’penny Bridge, The Bakehouse has set out to Dublin-ify (or should that be Dublin-ise?) the traditional tea and cake experience. The menu focuses on the type of cakes and breads that generations of Dubliners were raised on – come to think of it, some probably even feature in James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Step back in time and choose a coffee slice, gur cake or even a heavenly angel cake to accompany your loose leaf tea or freshly brewed coffee. And on the savoury end of the counter there’s turnover, batch and brown soda bread to try, needless to say with lashings of Irish butter.
Thurs-Fri 9am -10pm
Sat 10am -10pm
6 Bachelors Walk, Dublin
Photographs courtesy of The Bakehouse
The Silk Road Café
Museum cafés aren’t generally known for their culinary delights, but this Middle Eastern–North African–Mediterranean influenced eatery goes the extra mile to stand out from the crowd. Located on the ground floor of the Chester Beatty Library, the chef definitely channels more than a little of the Library’s collection upstairs, blending exotic flavours into an impressive menu that is also kosher and halal friendly.
Teas include After Dinner (organic fennel, chicory & cardamom tea), Three Ginger (organic ginger, galangal & golden turmeric tea) and Harmonies (organic rose, sweet vanilla and Chamomile tea) and fresh mint tea. To complement these teas there’s gluten free cakes including apricot & almond cake, white chocolate & raspberry cake, plum & almond tarts, dark chocolate cake, fig cake, gluten free coconut, lemon and M&Ms biscuits. For an Eastern twist, go for the Baklava – filo pastry stuffed with nuts and honey or the totally tropical coconut cake.
The Silk Road Café
Closed Monday – October till May
Monday till Friday: 10-16.30
Food is served from 12.00 till 16.00 each day
Chester Beatty Library
Photograph courtesy of The Silk Road Café