Sunday morning, and the good people of Blackrock are patiently waiting for their Americanos, their flat whites, their cappuccinos.
There is a whole bunch of them, folk of all ages, and what is remarkable is their calmness. They wait, with good grace, because they know that the prize is worth it, and the prize is a cup of Bear Market’s best: that narcotic elixir of caffeine that is wrapped up in your favourite style of coffee.
Consider the scenario if you asked this many people to wait patiently without the sureness of a good result. You could expect complaints about slowness, tetchy tut-tutting, people wanting to talk to the manager, parents getting fidgety as their kids get fidgety.
But, in Bear Market, there is no bearish behaviour at all. Everyone is zen. Everyone knows that the cup of good cheer will have been worth the wait. So, no one minds as the baristas go through their paces, in measured time, fashioning each cup of joe like an art work. It’s altogether beautiful.
And that's before you have a mini-doughnut with salted caramel.
Stephen and Ruth, the owners, appear together, and quietly go about clearing slates and tidying up the gorgeous patisserie. Again, there is no fuss, just a focus on efficiency and effectiveness and, above all, on maintaining the aesthetic of this gorgeous space. They are architects by training, coffee entrepreneurs by necessity, following on from the collapse of the economy. But what they articulate in their work and their business is simply the culture, the essence, of coffee.
And that’s why everyone on a sunny Sunday morning is waiting so calmly and happily in Bear Market. They aren’t just getting a cup of coffee. They are getting a whole lot more, besides.
Bear Market Coffee, 19 Main Street, Blackrock, Co Dublin bearmarket.ie