Ask the Roaster - Beth from Colonna
How was the Roastery founded, what was the inspiration?
Colonna was founded in 2015 by Maxwell and his wife Lesley, this was an extension of the already very successful Colonna and Smalls coffee shop in Bath which was founded by Max and Lesley in 2009.
Maxwell competed and won the uk barista championships 3 times, each year making it through the the
world barista championships. It was at these competitions Maxwell started to realise how many exceptional coffees were around but weren’t available from most roasters he was currently buying coffee from. This is where the inspiration for Colonna came from, the idea behind Colonna was to source and sell competition winning and exceptionally high scoring coffees from around the world.
What's your favourite part about working at the Roastery?
The fact the I have access to so many fantastic coffees from all over the world, and the freedom to make decision based on taste. Also, we have such a lovely team - everyone is driven and passionate about the speciality coffee industry, and tasty things in general actually - so we are constantly discussing food, drinks & recipes!
What's your proudest accomplishment?
The obvious answer here is that I won the 2018 Mercanta Roasting Competition, this involved roasters from over Europe being sent the same Colombian coffee to roast - and then we submitted our entry and got together in London to cup them! It was all blind cupping, and the judges were all of the there entrants - so it was pretty special that my roast was voted as the best by all of my peers in the industry. The prize was an amazing trip to origin to meet the farmer, it was an incredibly special trip and Colombia is a country I can’t wait to get back to! Aside from this, I’m pretty proud every day to be part of Colonna and sending out beautiful coffee to people all over the world.
What three words best describe your Roastery?
Dynamic - Innovative - Quality
What’s your favourite place to enjoy a coffee, and what coffee would that be?
Through out lockdown, when I couldn’t visit my favourite coffee shops, I really enjoyed brewing a special cup and sitting on my sunny windowsill. My favourite coffee changes all of the time, this is a lovely problem to have, I know! But most recently a pink bourbon from Nestor lazzo in Colombia has been particulraly special, consistently tasting of bright juicy tropical fruits.
Finally, what Dog & Hat combination would you choose?
Dalmatian in a Cowboy hat.