A digital special section of | Subscribe

Donnacha Dennehy

Donnacha Dennehy

Irish composer | Won Fedora Prize

World-renowned Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy arrived in C-U a tea drinker.

He left with a master's, a doctor of musical arts degree — and a new favorite fix, courtesy Espresso Royale.

"The two-story coffee house right beside the music department in Urbana was like a second home and office for me," Dennehy says. "I wrote music there, hung out there day and night, and of course developed my addiction for coffee there.  

“Coming from Ireland, I was mainly a tea drinker before arriving in Champaign-Urbana. But ever since those Espresso Royale days, I can’t live without coffee.  

“I understand now why Bach even wrote a cantata in its honor — coffee, that is; not specifically Espresso Royale.”