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Ok, wish me luck. I'm sneaking out this morning on the pretext of buying some jeans when really what I'm doing is going to see what Colonna & Small's can do. I've got a small stick on goatee beard and a Justin Bieber wig so that I fit in with everybody else and don't stand out.

 

I have two questions for which I seek an answer. Can they make a tastier flat white out of Extract beans than me, and can they make any of HasBeans offerings even remotely palatable as a stand-alone espresso.

 

Will report back later..

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Jealous. Need an excuse to visit Bath again!

 

I think you'll find Has Bean's offerings darn good as espresso (especially recently)....all of the IMMs have been picture perfect pours and not a hint of sourness or any overly acidic traits

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I went there about 6 months ago on a tip off from a colleague. Lovely place, lovely coffee. If/when you pop to the loos downstairs they have about 8 espresso machines and grinders all lined up, they are either there or training purposes or to look cool, either way I reccommend Colonna & Small's!

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Ok, wish me luck. I'm sneaking out this morning on the pretext of buying some jeans when really what I'm doing is going to see what Colonna & Small's can do. I've got a small stick on goatee beard and a Justin Bieber wig so that I fit in with everybody else and don't stand out.

 

I have two questions for which I seek an answer. Can they make a tastier flat white out of Extract beans than me, and can they make any of HasBeans offerings even remotely palatable as a stand-alone espresso.

 

Will report back later..

 

Love Calonna & Smalls I'm sure you had a great coffee!!

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Back home now. Boy, it's hot out there. Not really a day to be caning coffee.

 

Well, some thoughts. Firstly, if you are at all interested in coffee then it is a great place to go for a number of reasons. First and foremost they are ready and willing to talk coffee. Had a great chat with Maxwell and his views were interesting and pretty much accorded with how I feel about coffee. He has an open-minded approach that isn't constricted by either the traditionalists or the die-hard third-wavers. It was interesting to hear him say that in the extraction process he is desperately trying to preserve the acidity, as that is precisely the opposite of what I try to do. Therefore you won't be surprised to hear that the two coffees I tried as espresso were not to my taste. There were three on this morning, Hasbean Brazil Perfeito, Tanzania Peaberry and a Rwanda. I tried the Tanzania first and what hit me was a massive front end acidity that really took it far away from what I like as a pleasant cup. Midway were some great flavours, but towards the end of the cup the acidity was there again, thin and stingy. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it tasted exactly as it was intended but that style just doesn't do it for me. I then had a flat white made from the same beans, and it was very good. Excellent milk, and well-balanced. I finished with an espresso made with HasBean Brazil Perfeito. Again, way off what I consider to be a balanced cup, with too much astringency at the front. Great flavours underneath. I reckon a touch darker on the roast to take away the acidity and you'd be looking at a great espresso. In fact if you take away the acidity you'd have something very similar to the BSCA #1.

 

Glad I went, as it is further confirmation that it is not my knowledge and technique that is preventing me from enjoying the likes of HasBean as pure espresso. I just don't like that style. If you do like that stuff then you'd appreciate what they do at Colonna & Small's, as there is no doubt that they get the best out of the coffees they use.

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I went there about 6 months ago on a tip off from a colleague. Lovely place, lovely coffee. If/when you pop to the loos downstairs they have about 8 espresso machines and grinders all lined up, they are either there or training purposes or to look cool, either way I reccommend Colonna & Small's!

 

Wow, espresso machines in the loos!!

I have yet to make the trip to Colonna & Small's but it has been at the top of my to do list for ages. I'm going on a recce trip to as many esteemed specialty coffee joints in the UK and Ireland as I can get to soon for market research towards my own place. First stop.. Colonna & Small's!

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Well I'm sure he could if he used beans that I like! Interestingly he did hint that for the UKBC you have to use the sorts of beans that they like ;)

 

I've come to the conclusion that in the very unlikely event that I ran a cafe, I'd have a mega-fruity, and therefore likely acidic, coffee for milk and a completely different one for espresso that would have a big body, depth and smoothness.

 

I've only recently got into milk drinks and really appreciate what third-wavers are doing in this regard. Just don't think it makes good espresso.

Edited by Spazbarista
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No, I had the syphon and the wife had the Aeropress. More interested in trying different brews, especially Aeropress as we are starting to tinker with it in our shop now. We did plan to go back late pm as I was going to try an espresso, but after falling asleep on the grass at the Royal Crescent, we got back there just after closing :(

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There were three on this morning, Hasbean Brazil Perfeito, Tanzania Peaberry and a Rwanda. I tried the Tanzania first and what hit me was a massive front end acidity that really took it far away from what I like as a pleasant cup. Midway were some great flavours, but towards the end of the cup the acidity was there again, thin and stingy. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it tasted exactly as it was intended but that style just doesn't do it for me.
Confirms my preferences (or prejudices) entirely. The HasBean espressos I've had out are just as crap as the ones I brew myself.
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Hi, Maxwell form Colonna and Smalls here

 

It was great chatting coffee with you when you popped in last week and I am really pleased you had a good experience even though the approach is not to your taste.

We covered a lot of ground and i just wanted to clarify what I value and am looking for in Espresso as well as the coffee we buy from the various roasters we use, as I am concerned there may have been some mis-communication/understanding- My aim is to make espresso and choose from roasters that really display the character of the farm and the variety of complex flavours possible whilst appealing to broader ideas of balance/complexity/cleaness etc. I value acidity greatly in espresso( I feel it raises the cup and adds breadth) but i am not purely aiming to retain as much acidity as possible. Its definetly not an acidity driven approach. Its easy to notice that this approach has a higher acidity than a more traditional approach with out realising that there is so much more for in there too that I don't get at other roast profiles.

 

I adore the espresso we make and find it extremely desirable with a great balance as do the people whom visit our shop. I have never sold as much espresso when working in coffee as in this enviroment. I guess this is really what we were chatting about. There are many people whom have come to value a certain type of espresso-lack of acidity etc and there are many whom find this traditional esp less desirable(i myself was one of these) and when coming across what we do are excited as it appeals to them much more. I just see coffee as such a complex product and for me the limiting factor is to assert that good espresso is a certain narrow thing. To me it is merely another brew method, don't get me wrong its a great one. I see coffee like wine. A great wine is not one thing- We first need to outline what type of coffee we are using, what type of things we our aiming for and then discuss the good or bad question. Hopefully a clearer outline of what makes coffee coffee and what certain approaches mean will leave the drinker more empowered to pursue their path as opposed to battling it out over what is the singular correct approach. This is a complicated topic and one I am fascinated by. I dont wont to ramble on too much and for those interested in reading further on how i view this aspect and others with in coffee you may be interested in my blog http://www.colonnaandsmalls.wordpress.com

 

It is very rewarding to see that so many people value our shop and I thank you for writing about it.

 

Happy coffeeing:)

 

Kind regards

 

Maxwell

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Hi Maxwell

 

I did worry that I might have unwittingly misrepresented some of what you had said to me. We talked about a lot of things and after 3 coffees my mind was a bit fuzzy! Thanks again for taking the time for a natter, and thumbs up for to you and your staff for the open, honest and knowledgeable approach.Best

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