SOMA is the cool school, minimalist counterpoint to Cork city’s more typical bricolage style of coffee house, typified by the excellent Filter and Alchemy.
Where those great coffee houses are maximalist and choc-a-bloc, Soma is lean, stripped back, a Bauhuas coffee house. The exterior is matt black, counterpointed by the white lettering of the name. Inside the lighting is bright, the tables are hewn from thick planks, and there are couches and a long communal table.
Run by siblings Irene and Damien Twohig, along with Alex Bruce, Soma is tucked away at the side of Bishop Lucey Park, on Tuckey Street, just off Grand Parade, and what’s initially notable is the fact that they feature coffees from West Cork Coffee, roasted by Anthony Speight, whom Joe McNamee, writing in The Examiner, has already described as “a new star to the Irish coffee world”. Other roasters include London’s Dark Arts and Koppi.
But good brews aren’t all they have at Soma: along with that pour over of WCC Costa Rica Casirac you just have to get their truly scrummy toasted sandwiches: mushroom with cheddar and spinach; Durcan’s ham with brie. They buy excellent sweet things from some of the city’s best bakers, and good sounds – no, make that excellent sounds – encourage everyone to linger and have a second shot. The staff are just darling, and we want to know where they buy their hats.
SOMA, 23 Tuckey St, Cork