The South West Coffee Scene: Colonna & Small's


Since moving to the city, one of my favourite perks has been the incredible quality of coffee on offer. Back home, I would always visit a local coffee shop called 108 in Truro during my college breaks. I first started drinking coffee around age 16 - I've never been an alcohol drinker, coffee has always been my fix. The truth is, rather than go out and hang about in a club or bar, I'd much rather sit in a coffee shop for a couple hours, chilling with friends. In fact, if you were to drag me to a bar, I'd probably still order a coffee. Or perhaps an Espresso Martini, if one was on offer. 

Coming to Bath has spoiled me for coffee. Bath has a growing coffee scene, with two universities and a large college, independent coffee shops have thrived and multiplied to satisfy the thirsty, caffeine crazed student populace. 
And then you also have the middle class business-peeps, working away on their laptops - they need java too. 

One of the best coffee houses on the scene, can be found on Chapel Row. Hidden away, on the edge of town - Colonna & Smalls lies just off the beaten track. 
With its minimalist interior and defined, muted colour palette, the coffee rooms stretch from the front, all the way to a secluded patio area at the back (you know, if you're one of those types who likes coffee with your cigarettes). 
From the crockery down the rustic carpentry, every aspect of the design of this shop has been carefully crafted and considered. This all adds to the vibe, for the coffee scene is not just about the coffee but the over all experience. The baristas know their stuff and are passionate about their bean - there is a roast menu on the wall where you can select your preferred flavour. It describes the origins and tasting notes and how this will change with milk. The baristas are always happy to advise and offer valuable coffee wisdom. 

Bath is filled with a variety of coffee shops, anything from a quick grab-and-go, family cafes to luxurious, specialty coffee houses and I've slowly made my way around most of them. This is by far however, the coffee house that has impressed me the most on level of detail. 
Besides being insanely insta-worthy, it is clear that no area was compromised in the coffee experience - from little menus scattered around, talking about sugar's affect on the coffee taste, to the  high quality shirts worn by the baristas. Making every sip worth the cost. Although, if you compare it to chain-coffee shop prices, there's really not much question about which is going to be more worth your while. 
This shop is ever popular and gets very busy on Saturdays. It's best enjoyed on a mellow, chilled afternoon. There's a variety in the choice of seating - rustic window seats, benches and nooks. 

Now, perfection comes at a cost. The interior design is cutting-edge, but this means that comfy seating has gone out of the window. This seems to be on trend in modern coffee shops lately - gone are the days of squishy sofas that eat you up. The cakes available are delightful. Super scrummy - but a little on the expensive side. For example, Sarah had a brownie that was little bigger than a fifty pence piece - That cost £1.20. Sarah said it was really good though (and it was). All one bite of it. 

Their last disappointing note, was that the selection of teas were pretty average (just four). I know that it is a coffee shop, but these days its common for even specialty coffee houses to make it in their interest to supply really great tea. 

The Coffee served is on another level. It's brewed to perfection. They offer a range of four filter roasts and four espresso, which are seasonal and on rotation so there is something for the seasoned coffee drinker to somebody's first ever sip of coffee. Their baristas boast a variety of coffee prizes, from brewing, espresso and latte art to tasting. So depending on who you get, you might find something gnarly cool in your milk.
You can buy their own roasted coffee to take home with a new batch every week!

This magazine I picked up from an independent, quirky newsagents in Bath simply called 'Magazine'
I am currently working as a barman in a local cafe come restaurant, and I get full access to a manual coffee machine all day - Oh this makes me so happy, but the fact that I'm not allowed to adjust the grinder doesn't. I bought this magazine because I'm really passionate about coffee and I wanted to improve my knowledge and abilities. I often make freshly ground coffee for myself at home, but I want to be more than a barman - I want to know what it takes to make truly great coffee and be a coffee specialist. Everybody has their thing - their defining passion, hobby and skill. I've got a lot of  hobbies (Circus tricks, lock-smithery and photography) but I want coffee to be my thing. My speciality. My craft. 

So if you find yourself in Bath and in need of great coffee, Colonna & Small's is a must visit. Sarah uses it sometimes to meet clients for shoots, so it works well if you're looking for an impressive base or temporary office space. 
I hope you enjoyed this post - if you're around, checking out the Bath coffee scene, keep an eye out for me. And watch this space for more coffee themed posts as I'm working on developing and growing my blog. 
Ciao for now

ps. oops, accidentally hit publish on Sarah's account. Believe nothing that author icon tells you!

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