Judging Java: Orbis Irish Coffee


Decaf irish coffee from Orbis

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

A long time ago in Ireland, a man named Patrick allegedly played the flute and got rid of a bunch of snakes. Then he became Saint Patrick because the Catholic Church, much like Indiana Jones, hates snakes. None of that happened, because there are not and never have been snakes in Ireland, but Patrick is still a saint, and we still celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day to this day.

Because Americans don’t know much about Ireland other than alcohol (most Americans don’t know much about anything other than alcohol in general), Saint Patrick’s Day is typically celebrated as a drinking holiday. This is the point in the column where I have to give a disclaimer, and rather than just slap this on at the top I’ll say this much.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, at the collegiate level people drink alcohol. It is a cultural thing that can never be stopped. The Globe and myself do not condone underage drinking, and I emphasize that I am of legal drinking age (have been for a while now). If you drink, I urge you to do it responsibly. Drinking too much can be detrimental, both for your immediate safety and long-term health. If someone is peer pressuring you into drinking when you don’t want to, or consuming any substance when you don’t want to, don’t do it.

To celebrate Saint Patrick, I had a decaf irish coffee from Orbis coffee in Mount Lebanon. Now, contrary to the popular belief surrounding college students and the “legal weed for PA” sticker on my laptop, I spend a majority of my time completely sober. I’m especially not a big drinker, and even when I drink, I tend to stick to one or two drinks maximum.

Because of this, my alcohol palette is not as diverse as, say, the average 22-year-old. That’s not to say that I have a distaste for it, or that I haven’t had my share of beverages, but my knowledge and ability to describe things is limited, especially compared to coffee.

That being said, I love coffee related to alcoholic beverages. In the past for this column, I’ve reviewed Pabst Blue Ribbon’s spiked coffee, and not for this column but personally I’ve enjoyed many coffee-based stouts. But I’ve never had an Irish coffee, until now.

It was delicious. Sitting there in Orbis coffee with my green shirt on and green socks on and Pokemon Emerald in my pocket, I felt so incredibly festive that I almost began cursing Margret Thatcher’s grave. The bitter taste of the coffee combined with the taste of alcohol (I don’t really know how to describe the taste of alcohol but if you know what it is you know what it is), makes for a unique blending. 

The biggest difference between this and the canned alcoholic coffee I’ve reviewed before is that this actually tasted good. Where the canned drink tasted mediocre, this tasted phenomenal. On top of that, the vibes in Orbis were immaculate and relaxed on an evening when most other bars are crowded and stressful. If you’re looking for a nice cocktail, a cup of coffee, some wine and cheese, or a draft beer, then Orbis is the spot to go to.