Two Day Coffee Roasters, 135 St Michaels Hill, Bristol, BS2 8BS

My friend Blenchly, who used to live in this area of Bristol, introduced me to this place. They sell ethically-traded speciality coffees (as coffee beans or ground coffee to take home, or to drink in the shop) and their name – Two Day Coffee Roasters – points to the fact that none of their coffees are kept for more than two days after roasting. They have a broad and ever-changing range of coffees available, many of which have been awarded ‘the Cup of Excellence’ mark, an award that is said to be the highest accolade that may be given to coffee.  The Cup of Excellence website (2011) states that it “is a strict competition that selects the very best coffee produced in that country for that particular year”.

A selection of coffee beans ready to take home

The owners, Petra and Frank, first came across a ‘coffee roaster’ selling freshly roasted coffee ten years ago in Japan, where they were living at the time. The owner did not speak English and this, as Petra told me, “made communication with him difficult, however they could immediately taste the difference of freshly roasted coffee”.

A chance to smell the coffee grains before hot water was added

As well as coffee, Two Day Coffee Roasters sell equipment and wares for you to enjoy your coffee and they have a mail order delivery service too. They also organise tastings of coffees, and a couple of days ago I visited for a tasting.

Petra and Frank selected six different coffees, giving a range of taste, for me to try. First of all, we went through smelling what Petra called the “fragrance” of each of the freshly-ground coffee beans. She then added hot water, creating a froth and “locking-in an aroma”. Petra showed me the act of breaking the seal with a spoon to release the aroma and how, by breathing in deeply, you can gain an insight into the coffee. We then tasted the coffee by spreading the spoon across the coffee, slurping from it immediately to make sure the coffee spread quickly around the mouth. As the coffee grains remain in the cup, the coffee is constantly ‘extracting’ so that if you leave it for more than three or four minutes it can become ‘over-extracted’ and bitter. There is, in fact, a “golden period” during which the flavour will be at its best, although this depends on the amount of coffee and water used. I had never tasted coffee in this way before and it gave me a whole new outlook.

Petra smelling and tasting the coffees

The coffees I sampled were (with tasting notes):

Musasa (from Rwanda) — raisin, sundried tomatoes and chocolate.

Abakundakawa Rusashi (from Rwanda; this coffee has a ‘cup of Excellence mark’) — a well-rounded, jasmine tasting, medium-dark roasted coffee.

Gethumbwini Peaberry (from Kenya) — a fruity, vibrant, sharp yet smooth coffee, with a slight blackcurrant tang.

El Borbollon (from El Salvador) — my favourite in this tasting! A mellow, smooth, dark-roasted coffee.

Finca San Francisco Tecuamburro (from Guatemala) — a fruity, easy-drinking, medium-roasted, microlot coffee. Microlot means that it is growing in a particular part of the plantation and it is therefore processed differently. In the case of this specific coffee it is growing at the highest point of the plantation.

Fazenda Rodomunho (from Brazil) — a nutty, biscuity, well-rounded flavour. A medium-dark roasted coffee.

The coffee roaster

Petra advised me that coffee loses a lot of its flavour after seven days, so it is worth buying in small amounts, and for a fresh taste it is worth grinding the coffee beans just before you want to drink the coffee.

Unroasted coffee beans

Unroasted coffee beans

From the tasting, I found that I prefer darker roasted coffees, although one can of course develop a wider taste by regularly sampling other varieties.

Interestingly, Petra pointed out that the darker the roast, the less complex the taste of the coffee, is likely to be. They can even create a blend of coffee specifically for your own taste.

Two Day Coffee Roasters is well-worth a visit. It will change your perspective on drinking coffee for the better!

www.twodaycoffee.co.uk/

www.cupofexcellence.org/

Reference: The Cup Of Excellence website (2011) [Online]. Available from: http://www.cupofexcellence.org/WhatisCOE/tabid/184/Default.aspx [Accessed 14th September 2011].

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7 thoughts on “Two Day Coffee Roasters, 135 St Michaels Hill, Bristol, BS2 8BS

  1. I’m no coffee connoisseur, if we get beans we normally just get them from the supermarket. I know, what peasants. I have been in Coffee Two Day before and they are great and very helpful to idiots like me.

    I went in Whittards the other week to buy some and was about to pay when I asked if it was fair trade. She said no, so I asked if any of the beans were. Nope, none. What? They don’t even offer a token fair trade option for people like me. She told me something like “We have a good relationship with all our suppliers and I can promise they are getting a good deal”. Yeah, cheers lady, I’ll just take your word for it. I know fair trade stuff sometimes gets a bad press and is abused in some situations but it’s a great step in the right direction. I didn’t buy any that day.

    I’m sure I had a point to make when I started writing this. I’m not sure what it was so I hope you found one.

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