Monthly Archives: September 2014

Multisensory Coffee Drinking

This title is slightly misleading in that it suggests that “multisensory coffee drinking” is some kind of new-fangled coffee drinking experience that you’ve yet to par take in. When really it describes every single coffee drinking experience you have ever had.  Some of them (coffee drinking  experiences) may seem to, or actually do consider this multisensory nature of drinking and eating. Others will seem to or indeed have not considered it. But that doesn’t change the fact that a multisensory experience will happen in both cases. The name of your dish, the presentation of your coffee, the weight and texture of the cup, the expectations and reactions we have to what we are drinking are always there, always happening. The term multisensory is used to describe how everything other than the actual food or drink, impacts on your experience and enjoyment of said food or drink. If we are able to understand them, we have the potential to make the most of a drinking experience for a customer. We can hopefully endeavour to better present and frame our products. This nature of eating and drinking, is something I have long been interested in with regards to speciality coffee and it is riveting to read a book that explores these themes from a scientific angle as opposed to just an anecdotal and philosophical one.

On Friday the 10th of October at 6pm we are excited to be hosting a book signing with Professor Charles Spence, co-author of The Perfect Meal- the multisensory science of food and dining.  We are hosting this event as part of the Great Bath Feast that runs throughout October. The evening will start at 6pm and run for a couple of hours. I’m lucky enough to host Charles and query him about his research and the new book. We also plan to put it into action with a few coffee sensory demonstrations. This is a ticketed event. Cost is £12 per head. Feel free to contact us through either twitter, phone – 07766808067 or e-mail – enquiries@colonnaandsmalls.co.uk to reserve a spot.

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Colonna & Hunter

Next month, all going well, we will be opening a new store. Its better described as a sister project as opposed to store two. There will be coffee, but there will also be craft beer and a little bit of food.

There are several driving forces behind this project. Yes, we really like the products but we also feel the combination of them offers some unique opportunities. They are in many ways totally different products but they also offer many parallels and reflections.

We will be presenting beer in a similar way to coffee with a changing menu of unique and flavour driven beers. With Colonna and Small’s we have always hoped to achieve a different experience and interaction with speciality coffee by offering a space that is dedicated just to coffee. With this in mind the new venture will offer a slightly more familiar coffee service to reflect its shared space. But it will still utilise much of what we’ve learnt to emphasis the flavour of these drinks that can be both simple and complex. Colonna and Hunter will celebrate the culinary nature of both. Two espresso that change regularly and two batch brew filters. Five beer taps carefully chosen accompanied by a bottle selection. There will be a unique but limited selection of other drinks.

There is a strong cultural venue element to this project as well. We are looking to offer a third space that moves through the day and into the evening. A space that is neither cafe nor bar nor restaurant but an entity which utilises aspects of each allowing to be an easily visited space which is creative and explorative with its products and functions as a valuable social space.

This will be inherent in the design ethic. In many ways it presents a challenge, creating a space which doesn’t appear as a mash up of different purposes/styles. We also want to avoid a space which is biased to say day time cafe trade and isn’t able to transition into a lovely evening space. This design element has been enjoyable and I can’t wait to see it come to life. The space is in the centre of bath at Milsom place. It is two separate bath stone units that have been connected with partitions in the dividing wall, Enough of a divide is still present to act as a metaphor for the split between the two main products. A bar extends from either side of a central wall, allowing each side to focus on either drink. This divide is only symbolic though with the overall space servicing the use of both.

Supper clubs and lunch clubs that match coffee and beer to food are on the agenda along with some barista competition hop inspired soft drinks and a collection of coffee and beer takeovers and events.

This project also represents the combining of forces with others who share passions that enable positive expansion.

Time to match some espresso to some beer.

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