Posted Sun Oct 21, 2007, 1:30pm Subject: Speciality Coffee Roaster in Bristol
This is an overview and review of the first speciality coffee roaster that I have actually seen in the UK.
I am a first year student at Bristol University, I moved to Bristol this October from Southampton. As a general feeling I believe that the UK speciality coffee market is tiny, I used to home roast in southampton, and would order green bean from 'hasbean.co.uk'.
However living in university halls, I did not want to risk setting off heat/smoke alarms with my coffee roaster, so I went in search for somewhere where I could buy freshly roasted gourmet coffee. Unfortunately in my coffee loving life I had not previously seen such a place. One of my collegues (listening to my passionate ramblings on coffee) recommend a shop here in bristol called 'Two Day Coffee Roasters' (on St. Michael's Hill next to the 'White Bear' pub and near St. Michael's hospital).
As the name suggests this shop sells coffee that is not older than 48 hours from roast (and often same day roast). Upon entering the shop I had my first ever coffee obsessed discussion (face to face) with someone who actually was as passionate about the drink as I am. It was like finding a light in the dark. The owner supplied COE and was actually gratified to know that I even knew what Cup Of Excellence was about. He said in similar words, "I can count the people who know what COE is on two hands." I was his first customer who knew this much about speciality coffee and he was the first speciality roaster I had met. He has an intimate knowledge of his coffees and seeks the best roast profile for each one.
I was so pleased to get my hands on decent coffee after a week of pretty grim stoge. I've tried COE Costa Rica Libano from him, roasted brilliantly, syrupy notes and brilliant mouthfeel shone through. Also one week I had a slightly darker roast Kenya AA Gethumbwini from him (which wasn't at it's best) that had an amazing creaminess. However the following visits he told me how he was unhappy with his roast of the Kenya and told me to try it when he'd roasted it just past 1st crack, the coffee was the fruitiest I'd ever tasted.
This man's commitment to coffee is symbolised by the fact he has Schomer books sitting on the shelf behind the counter. However he does find sad the fact that the market of speciality coffee in England is tiny and that people drink COE and his other brilliant coffees with milk, destroying the nuances of the flavour and the efforts put into making the drink what it is.
I encourage others to visit if they can and to reply to my post with thier personal experiences of speciality roasters (or lack of).
I realise his coffee shop when I was in my final year in Bristol in 2009, his roaster attract me into his shop, when I order his cappuccino and drinking it. It was the best cappuccino I have ever drink (I was still drinking starbucks at the time).
I then started speaking to him and he was very friendly into telling me about coffee (Although I realise I was annoying him quite a few time =.=! ), I literally go to his coffee shop Mon-Fri for espresso and cappuccino. He then tell me (Because I told him I want to learn coffee) to start learning Cupping, thats where my coffee madness truly begin.
I cupped or shall I say profiled every single coffee in his shop, even from batch to batch. And comparing with what they feel about it. He shop provided me with the essential resource to learn cupping, high quality and fresh beans.
I then attend the Barista course in Hong Kong, realising that there aren't much consent in coffee freshness after speaking to different barista in higher graded coffee shop. But after personal testing on coffee freshness, I agree with what Frank originally told me :).
Now, I am doing MSc in Sheffield and I still ordering fresh coffee beans from Two Days Roaster every week, enjoying cupping new coffee and using their House Blend to pull espresso. I have not ever been to a coffee shop that satisfy me, since the day I went to Two Day roaster.
I'm going to be a heretic here. I tried them about 2 weeks ago and found them snooty towards my (noob) attitude. I dont have the experience or knowledge of alot of you good gents and ladies so wanted someone I could ask to help me with my adventure. Perhaps it was the heat, perhaps it was because it was just after lunch but I only received monosyllabic replies to my questions (which I am sure were correct answers), did NOT get as much as a smile and came away thinking that I wouldnt set foot in that place again. This is a shame for me as I am keen to soak up as much expertise as possible and support a local retailer. My background is in retail and, had I watched a member of my staff behave so, I would have thought that they needed additional training.
It's great to hear that there is a roasters here in the south of England. I don't go to Bristol often, but I'll definitely visit when I'm next in town. Sorry to hear your experience wasn't brilliant Paul - I'll let you know how my experience goes!
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