I have been introduced to a gem of a café in Belfast City Centre. Yahi is tucked away in the Great Northern Mall which leads on to the Europa bus station. It may not be the most obvious location for some but it certainly gets lots of passing traffic from the station.
The Yahi were the last free-living tribe in the west and inspired the cafe’s strapline- “We hunt and gather”, priding themselves on locally sourced produce from around 25-30 local suppliers, in particular, Fivemiletown cheese, Warrenpoint honey and Co. Antrim Chicken.
Some popular choices on the menu are- the Herd sandwich with Irish roast beef, pickled fennel, alioi and leaves in a seeded bloomer (£4.95) , a daily soup special (£4.25) or daily salad served with artisan bread (£4.95). There are also lovely sweet treats on offer such as Florentines and cake.
I was invited to Yahi to attend a special coffee brewing workshop that was taking place to celebrate Brewing and distilling month of Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink. Truth be told, I’m a bit of a Luddite when it comes to coffee and I’m not adverse to a cup of instant to perk me up in the morning. With this in mind, it was with great curiosity that I found myself in the cafe for the very first time.
The coffee brewing workshop was a trial session with a view to running some more in the future. The team there were keen to see how it would be received. We were greeted by Gregory, the Irish Aeropress champion 2015 and his assistant Marta. They took us through the history of coffee along with many of the intracacies of brewing a perfect cup of coffee.
There was loads to take on board! Tips they shared included the best equipment to use (grinder, scales, chemex or aeropress), grind times, how to fold the filter (quarters of course), always use unbleached filters, Bloom the coffee by adding 10% of the water and allowing it to sit on the coffee for 30 seconds and then allow the coffee to be in contact with the water for the optimum time of four minutes!- Fascinating stuff and highly entertaining for us to try the process ourselves.
While we didn’t get to sample Yahi’s usual fayre, we were treated to an array of tempting tapas with tasty treats, delicious dips and cheese tasters. Totally divine and very moreish! If you want to make sure that Yahi organise more of these in the future, send a tweet to @yahicafe and express your interest. You won’t regret it!
However, if, like me, you aren’t quite ready to invest in all the equipment required for a home brewed coffee, I would urge to you visit Yahi and let the experts make it for you!
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