Ponaire is one of the cult brands in Irish speciality food. Tommy and Jennifer have been working steadily, steadily since they first started roasting their selected coffee beans back in 2006, first opening their Annacotty shop beside the roastery, then opening a super outlet at the hip Limerick Milk Market, and all the while infiltrating their superlative coffees into cool restaurants and hip shops throughout the country.
One image we love tells you everything: people circumnavigating the Newport Roundabout near to the Annacotty roastery pick up the scent from the beans that Jennifer is roasting, and promptly make the detour to stop at the shop and get that Ponaire hit: worth the detour or what! The various blends all demonstrate subtlety and delicacy, the aromas and flavours are lingering, enticing. We know it's ridiculous to say it, but these are feminine coffees, and they remind us of an old music joke about pianists from the 19th century: Franz Liszt may have conquered Europe, but Frédéric Chopin seduced Europe. Ponaire coffees are Chopinesque: they seduce you.
That seduction is hard-won, however: Jennifer and Tommy tinker and explore restlessly, researching, roasting, cupping “roasting to accentuate each bean's origin and unique characteristics”, says Jennifer. Their newest roast, a single-estate Fairtrade organic coffee hailing from Honduras, shows their success, coaxing floral and fruit and nut tones from the beans, a whizz of organoleptic delight. Cult indeed, thanks to all that hard work