STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 4, Number 4

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40 STiR tea & coffee industry international / Issue 4, 2015 (August/September) T By Steve Leighton Harlequin Coffee and Tea House founder Gordon Howell he deeply etched stereotype that the UK is a nation of tea drinkers has never been more of a cliché than it is today. The UK drinks more coffee per capita than it does tea, and the London coffee scene has long been held up as one of the most vibrant cities worldwide for unique and interesting specialty coffee. Com- panies like Square Mile, Monmouth Coffee, Tapped and Packed, and Kaffeine have placed a very London-centric focus on the specialty coffee scene. It comes as a huge shock to most people who visit the UK that there's anything outside the M25 (the ring road around London). But what happens when a city takes such huge strides forwards in anything? It has a trickle-down effect on all the rest. The 'country bumpkins' quite often visit the golden streets of London and take away the very best parts of what they see in the capital. But outside London they ben- efit from lower rents, larger spaces, and a more rounded view of what the customer wants, and so they often come up with some of the most amazing experiences. Let me take you on a magical mystery tour of coffee shops around the UK (purposely avoiding the wonderful capital city, because London gets way too much exposure). Colonna & Small's, Bath (southwest) Any coffee journey outside of London leads to Bath. Bath is a town set in the rolling countryside of southwest England, known for its natural hot springs and eighteenth-cen- tury Georgian architecture. It's also known for Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood, the three- time UK Barista Championship champion and three-time World Barista Championship finalist. His shop, run in partnership with his wife Lesley, is simple, beautiful, and all about experience and taste. Coffee is the focus for everything, and perfection is in every cup. Their shop can be a fairly intense experience for the coffee 'newbie', but the knowl- edgeable and informed staff will hold the hand leading both the new and seasoned coffee drinker. Full Court Press, Bristol (southwest) Owned by Matt North, Full Court Press (FCP) is a small, single-location haven of amazing coffee. It embraces many local and international roasters through the coffee it offers. One thing you can always expect from FCP is a wide range of delicious, in- UK Coffee Nation Colonna & Small's, Bath, UK Full Court Press, Bristol, UK

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