Friday, October 20, 2017

The Craic'd Pot - Coffee Culture in Armagh

I had noticed the sign for the Craic'd Pot on my visit home back in March. It brought to my mind the coffee shops I'd seen in California - not the plague of Starbucks or Peets you see on every street corner, but more the "Mom & Pop" type coffee shops nestled into the likes of Palo Alto and Los Gatos - nice places, up-market places, places that made you feel you were on vacation.


As soon as I could after I moved home, I made a beeline for the Craic'd Pot to see what the craic actually was. I was not disappointed.


It had the ambience to match any upmarket Californian or Seattle coffee house, with that added Irish vibe - good craic (obviously) and great scones...

 

... not to mention the best-tasting coffee in town! Thank God they sell the beans so we can make the brew at home too - you know, for hurricane days, when you can't leave the house!

 

I loved the thought that had been applied to the decor. Every last detail attended to in such a way as to make me feel that I, their customer, was valued and worth the effort.

 

I was complimenting the staff on the cups and asking if they had been specially made for the business when a person bringing an armful of empty dishes appeared and confirmed that, yes, they had been specially made. This was my introduction to Scott King the owner.

Amazing staff - Sharon Donnelly and Ryan Little along with owner Scott King

Like myself, Scott, a county Armagh native, had travelled and lived abroad, though I considered his list of places that bit more exotic than mine - places like Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Vienna, Austria and Istanbul, Turkey. He spent 4 years at University in Scotland studying Management with Business Law and then went on to do a PGCE in Liverpool teaching Business Economics and eventually returning home to Armagh. By then he'd taught business for a while so decided it was time to stop teaching it and actually do it.



You could certainly see his expertise in marketing - Branding at its most functional level.

Not only is he a coffee connoisseur, he knows how to spread the love of the bean juice too - he gave us tasters of different varieties of beans made with various filtering techniques. Just fab!

But how did the grub match up?

Remember, this is a coffee shop. It doesn't claim to be a restaurant or a bistro, like other excellent places in Armagh such as 4 Vicars, The Moody Boar, Mulberry or the nearby Rumours. The Craic'd Pot has created its own perfect niche - light bites - both savoury and sweet.

The beverage menu is extensive, but they've kept the food really simple and it works! You can put together your own sandwich from a choice of ingredients - not overly extensive but absolutely in the Goldilocks range of "just right." There’s soup and all kinds of sumptuous tray bakes, cakes and buns to try too. One look at their Facebook page will have your mouth watering.


I had a panini with bacon, cheese and tapenade, with a side of salad ingredients of my choice.


Along with her salad choices, My Sister had the sausage roll - no ordinary sausage roll - this one had apple and herbs in it. And oh my, look at that pastry!


We had a delicious lunch, and a relaxing chat, enjoying the lovely surroundings and the friendly staff. It makes me so proud of Armagh to have such high-quality places for us to enjoy and to which we can welcome visitors to our lovely little city.

Come in and try a warm beverage here. I can guarantee you too will leave your cup like this!


 Byddi Lee












1 comment:

  1. Yeah, its a great wee spot and the staff are very friendly, number 1 spot for a coffee and a little treat, very homely and kids are welcomed not frowned upon.

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