This morning.

The Irish Times reports:

The prospect of another new Starbucks outlet opening in Dublin city centre has prompted a number of cafes and coffee shops to offer free hot drinks to customers on Tuesday.”

“There are 50 Starbucks outlets in Dublin, according to the company’s website, while another is expected to open soon in a former recruiters’ office on Crampton Quay.

“…Coffee shop operators believe the area is already well served and Ciaran Hogan, who runs The Clockwork Door on Wellington Quay, organised the free coffee initiative after receiving “confirmation” another Starbucks was coming.”

Meanwhile, Today FM reports the cafés offering free drinks are:

The Clockwork Door

Coco Brew

Il Fornaio Enoteca

Foam cafe

Celtic Cookie Company

Coffee Cartel coffee cart

Gallaher and Co

The Dwarf Jar

The Joy of Cha

The Stage Door

The Tram Cafe

Il Fornaio Cafe

The Bus Stop Cafe

Metro Cafe

BG cafe & Deli

Irish Film Institute

Tamp and Stitch

Dublin cafes to give away coffees in Starbucks protest (The Irish Times)

Free coffee at 19 Dublin cafés (Today FM)

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75 thoughts on “FREE Coffee

    1. Anomanomanom

      Your genuinely the first person iv heard say that. Starbucks apparently do so well world wide because they make nice coffee. There was very good tv show made about them moving in to Italy, people give out like mad yet in a blind taste test ranked starbucks very highly.

      1. Rob_G

        I don’t have any strong feelings about Starbucks, but their coffee is expensive and doesn’t taste so nice.

      2. Increasing Displacement

        I’m surprised. Most people I know who’d like their coffee would avoid them.
        But coffee in Ireland isn’t great generally anyway.
        For 1/2 the price you get a far superior coffee be it espresso or whatever
        The liquid is always thicker, meatier with taste, than coffee here

        1. Increasing Displacement

          “For 1/2 the price ON THE CONTINENT you get a far superior coffee be it espresso or whatever”

          1. Rob_G

            The minimum wage in Portugal (for example) is €650 per month, so not surprising that the coffee is a bit pricier here (though it is still scandalous to charge the guts of €3 for beans and hot water).

          2. Cian

            On the continent there is a greater tendency to get espresso; drink it standing at a counter, and then go: Standing room + counter for 2 minutes.

            Over here we get huge buckets of coffee and sit and drink them. Table + chair for 10 minutes.

      3. snowey

        starbucks do nice tea but really bad coffee.
        unless you like the fancy gear with cream/ syrup etc.. I must say I’m a plain Americano person and that is dire in starbucks…not far removed from the all day heated crap one would find in an old man boozer

    2. Cian

      I agree it is awful coffee (IMHO).
      Saying that, I also find Costa and Insomnia quite awful.

      I do like the €1 coffee in Ikea.

      1. Daisy Chainsaw

        Costly is ridiculously expensive for what you get. The prepacked, soggy toasted sandwiches put me off the place too. There’s no Insomnia or Starbucks in Wexford, but we do have a plethora of indie cafes and a lot of them serve great coffee and food (D’lush, Cream, Stable Diet to name but three!). There’s a couple of O’Briens too and they have good portions and good prices.

    3. Spaghetti Hoop

      No idea. I think its the WiFi and the impression that you’re a special customer. All bullcrap. I’m a conscientious objector when it comes to multinationals offering the same product as home-grown small traders. The latter gets my business.

  1. Paps

    From comments on lovindublin, it seems Metro cafe knew nothing of this and don’t know why they are on any list.
    “By the way, there was a queue of people at metro cafe all being turned down, apparently they are not part of free coffee day and don’t know why they have been mentioned on the website”

    Same Goes to Shoe Lane Cafe


    1. Sheila

      I was surprised I saw such a long list from Today FM.
      When I first read about it on twitter today there was a list of three cafes and with specific times.

    2. Rob_G

      Wouldn’t say that Metro would need to be giving away free coffee, that place is never less than almost full.

      (I’m sure they couldn’t give a fig about Starbucks for the same reason).

  2. TheRichList

    Different question altogether but maybe someone can help me; what does the “subscribe to comments” button do? Am I suppose to get notifications? Using the app on iPhone btw

  3. Harry Molloy

    I know nothing about coffee and actually prefer instant (I know) but one thing I do know is that Starbucks is mad dear and best avoided for that reason alone.

    How do we feel about insomnia? They’re a chain but are Irish owned by the delightful Bobby Kerr

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      Starbucks do instant coffee. It’s €3.95 for 10 sachets or something like that.

  4. Spud

    I love the irony that without Starbucks, most of these coffee places wouldn’t even exist!
    Starbucks helped bring the current coffee culture to the masses, and now they give out.
    Well boo hoo. That’s business!
    One of the comments of the shops owners was ‘we dont need another one’.
    That’s not your call to make buddy.
    Let the market decide.
    If you can’t survive, you’re doing something wrong.

        1. Spaghetti Hoop

          No, Starbucks brought the Frappuchino to Dublin. Coffee, coffee outlets and coffee-drinkers were around long before StarBigBucks was a twinkle in someone’s eye my friend.

    1. rotide

      This is so true. Coffee cuture did not exist here 20-30 years ago. Most of the people commenting here would have been drinking instant coffee.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        And you think that’s attributable to Starbucks?

        Ever hear of Bewley’s? Dates back to 1835. And, before that, in the 17th C, Dublin was renowned for its coffee houses. All that happened was that tea became more fashionable.

        1. bisted

          ‘…Dublin can be heaven
          with coffee at eleven…’
          – The Dublin Saunter: composed over 70 years ago for Noel Purcell

        2. Rob_G

          And for the next 160 years, very few coffee houses came along.

          Then, in the last 20 years, many hundreds of coffeeshops have opened. Not saying that the phenomenon is solely due to Starbucks, but people used to go for coffee as a special occasion, not on a daily basis (or, as some people, claim as a necessity – “I need my latte to get going in the morning”).

          And when people used to go for coffee, they used to drink just filter coffee, with there being one type of coffee on the menu. This idea of lattés, frappachinos and whatnot is directly attributable to Starbucks, IMO.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “This idea of lattés, frappachinos and whatnot is directly attributable to Starbucks, IMO.”

            I’d say it’s more down to exposure to American media; seeing trendy looking Americans doing stuff inspired people. Sort of like how you just used the term ‘and whatnot’ there.

          2. rotide

            If you think the term ‘and whatnot’ is an american import, you are either much older or much younger than I originally surmised.

          3. Nigel

            I dunno, surely as the boom started to take off in Ireland people looked to London and saw business-people who popped out to cafes for lunch or brought take-away coffees to the desk, that sort of thing? Frappucinos I’ll grant you, but I don’t think Starbucks invented or even popularised the latte or the cappuccino.

        3. rotide

          I didn’t say coffee didn’t exist, I said coffee culture of the type Rob is referring to.

          As much as it pains me to admit it, Moyest is probably correct that the current coffee culture is pretty directly influenced by American culture.

          1. Nigel

            Hmm, not sure I agree. When cafe-culture started to develop in places like Limerick and Cork they owed far more to the continent, or to British caffs or to counter-culture/hippy aesthetics. Indy cafes nowadays tend to favour some version of these (but also, yes, probably more elements of Starbucks than they’d care to admit), while chains tend to favour Satrbuck-stylings. I think. (There were stories about people opening Starbuck-derivative cafes and chains in the hope that Starbucks would buy them out eventually.) The boom in cafes MAY be driven by Starbucks, but that may be mixing up cause and effect, and the boom may be consumer-driven with Starbucks riding the wave.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            Right. Starbucks did not create demand for coffee. They came here because they thought they could make money here because there was already demand here. Consumers create wealth, not business owners.

      2. scottser

        nonsense. i worked in a cafe on tara street in the early nineties and it wasn’t the only place with a proper barista coffee machine at that time.

        1. rotide

          See above.

          Claiming that proper barista machines weren’t rare in the early 90s is being disingenous in the extreme.

    2. Daisy Chainsaw

      My nearest Starbucks is 50 miles away. The nearby cafes, restaurants and hotel coffee docks serve great coffee. The petrol stations selling Lavazza and Douwe Egberts are grand too.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        I also find sexual encounters at petrol stations to be superior to almost all others. And it’s nice to be able to have a coffee afterwards.

  5. Jonjo

    The reason why Starbucks expand so quickly is that they write off all profits against the cost of fitting out new stores. It’s why they hardly pay any tax. The independents can’t compete with that.

    They have also been known to open up several stores near independents and when they inevitably close down, Starbucks can close a store or 2 in the area. Which leaves fewer, busier stores. I haven’t seen them close any though.

    1. Sassie

      Fair enough on writing off profits – but don’t they still have to pay the fit-out costs? So where’s the saving? Genuinely perplexed.

      1. Jonjo

        Well it’s a highly tax efficient and legal way of doing things. Just mentioning it as every now and again there’s a big article about how little tax they’re paying. I’m just saying one of the ways they do it is by constantly expanding.

    2. Spud

      so the independents ‘inevitably’ close down because?
      If people want to get their coffee in Starbucks, let them.
      It’s like the ‘spiceburger’ effect.
      We give out when they get taken away / close down, but who actually bought them?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        They have smaller buying power so have larger costs which means they have to charge more to their customers. They also have little to no advertising budgets where as Starbucks have literally millions in their advertising budget. Technically, it’s not “inevitable” that they’ll close down but it’s a pretty safe bet.

        1. Rob_G

          Starbucks charge more than most of the independent coffee shops in Dublin, so I don’t think they are undercutting them on price.

          There are loads of independent, family-owned fast food restaurants in Dublin, even though McDonalds and Burger King enjoy all the benefits that you have listed above, and have many, many outlets in the Irish market. There are loads of gourmet burger places as well that serve (to my mind) more or less the same food, but in a nicer setting, and charge an according premium for it.

          Do we need such a proliferation of places selling burgers? Well, I don’t think so personally, but then that’s the nice thing about the free market, the consumer gets to decide how many places/how many different types of places they can for coffee/burgers.

          1. MoyestWithExcitement

            “the consumer gets to decide how many places/how many different types of places they can for coffee/burgers.”

            This is quite literally propaganda.

          2. MoyestWithExcitement

            No, just propaganda. Your naive view of the world has you spouting right wing propaganda very often.

          3. Rob_G

            I think it’s gas that you think ‘big corporations’ are right-wing, while enterprising small business owners are somehow not…

          4. MoyestWithExcitement

            “The market decides” is right wing propaganda. What are you talking about with the sizes of businesses?

    3. MoyestWithExcitement

      “They have also been known to open up several stores near independents”

      I used to work for a fairly unique Irish business that had a large British equivalent. The large British equivalent sent the owner a letter one day telling him to sell a majority interest in his business to them or risk being wiped out when they entered the Irish market. But Free Market Capitalism is a Good Thing and you’re a silly commie student if you say different.

      1. Harry Molloy

        Unbridled capitalism is a bad thing. We have laws against monopolies, indeed the EU remains the only body to have taken action against Microsoft and Google for such practices.
        Capitalism works well and drives innovation and initiative but rules are warranted to protect people from human natures worst excessives. Absolute power does corrupt after all,

  6. MoyestWithExcitement

    Woooo! Three cheers for free trade and globalisation. Massive multinationals being able to enter other territories and putting their small traders out of business is a Good Thing for an economy. Only a select few can own the wealth. We all know that.

  7. T Bomb

    The market is free and fair. People decide what they want. Starbucks fight fair. They don’t undercharge. This tactic of opening multiple cafes around a single independent is nonsense. Coffeeshops have a low barrier to starting up and if they offer somethng decent then they can remain open.

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      “if they offer somethng decent then they can remain open.”

      It’s like people never heard of marketing.

  8. jungleman

    Why don’t people just buy a bag of coffee and a pot and make their own. Costs about 4 beans a month (pun intended).

    Coffee is a mug’s game.

      1. Rob_G

        It’s madness that, with the amount of duty, etc. levied on beer, that coffeeshops still manage to charge more per ml for coffee.

        +1 to jungleman, my little french press is the best €14 I ever spent

          1. Rob_G

            No, I get that much. Both pubs and coffeeshops have similar overheads in terms of staff/rent/utilities, etc.

            But then pubs have to pay quite a high excise duty per litre on beer, but coffee is *still* more expensive.

            I guess the volumes are much lower for coffeeshops (people might have 5 or 6 drinks in a night in a bar, whereas people would only limit themselves to 1 or 2 coffees in one sitting).

      1. jungleman

        I’m not saying you should never buy a coffee. Just don’t make it a daily thing as it is expensive. Same goes for eating out for dinner or lunch.

  9. :-Joe

    I heard recently that starbucks was part of a list of businesses that failed a health and safety test for fecal matter in the ice production process involving the machines, trays etc.

    Apparently, any small amount detected is bad for obvious reasons but these businesses stood out as being the worst because the results found were so ridiculously high and far above anything considered to be a normal level of the ususal bad hygiene.

    If yo think starbucks is part of any idea of “coffee culture” you deserve every drop of overpriced slurry you drink from them.


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