Situated in a narrow quayside storefront, Filter is a welcoming escape from Cork’s unpredictable weather. Barstools through the back of the small shop allow patrons a perfect vantage point for watching pulls and pours of roasts from Ireland’s best roasteries: The Golden Bean, Badger & Dodo, and 3FE.
At any given time, Filter is serving a different roast from each of the three and keeps a few dozen single origins stashed along the back wall. (The Golden Bean is the most local, just over 20 miles away in Shanagarry, County Cork.) Overall, Filter leans toward lighter French roasts with complex profiles.
From there, the coffee shop lives up to its brew bar name. While seating is limited to a maximum of 20, the shop has prioritized its machinery. Beyond having recently upgraded to a new Victoria Arduino, though, there’s no menu other than signs listing the current roasts on rotation, so it will take chatting with the barista to know that brewing options include AeroPress, Chemex, Hario V60, siphon, and Clever Dripper.
For when the sun does make an appearance in Ireland’s southern city, Filter also bottles cold brew to take away with lunch. Mouth-watering sandwiches from In To Food stacked in the front of the store will make you rethink whatever other plans you had for food. Irresistible options like grilled cheese, buttered leeks, and red onion on Cypriot loaf keep the emphasis on Irish ingredients.
Crowds gather around Filter’s upcycled counters made of old doors and other repurposed materials to enjoy coffee any style in a mishmash of patterned cups and sturdy mugs. While the layout is confined, the potential is maximized with an eclectic mix of décor, as well as ever-changing exhibits from local artists along the walls. The creative atmosphere and relaxed attitude has attracted a mix of neighbors and coffee drinkers on a mission.
Filter’s success has brought about a second location as of this past July, with the new shop on North Main Street, one of Cork’s oldest streets. Named Portafilter, it offers the same great coffee with the bonus of a small but functional outdoor seating area to take advantage of any and all warm Irish days.