LEADING BAR OWNER, TRISTAN STEPHENSON COLLABORATES WITH COLONNA TO CREATE THE ‘BARTENDER SERIES’, COFFEE CREATED WITH COCKTAILS IN MIND
Colonna (www.colonnacoffee.com) marry the world’s best competition winning coffees with the forefront in capsule technology to achieve perfect café-quality coffee at the push of a button. The only pod company that started in a café,Colonna employ a scientific approach and a deep understanding of the finest coffees to overturn norms and stigma around pod coffee. January 2019 sees the lauded brand launch The Bartender Series, three unique, single origin coffees (RRP £5.50per box of 10 capsules).
Exceptional drinks need exceptional ingredients and coffee can be one of the most challenging to perfect. The Bartender Series, created by award-winning author and bar owner Tristan Stephenson, alongside Barista Champion, Maxwell Colonna Dashwood, utilises Nespresso compatible technology to deliver just that – an exceptional coffee ingredient at the touch of a button. Designed bartenders, for bartenders, the capsules are ideally suited to coffee-loving home mixologists, to take both the bar and the coffee shop home!
Colonna take the most exciting flavour profiles from the world’s best boutique producers and expertly roast and prepare the coffee using state of the art capsule technology. Utilising rollergrinder technology, a new aluminium design and a revised capsule roasting approach, the Bath-based startup has been able to create recyclable Nespresso compatible capsules that translate from bean to cup ever more successfully.
For this unique new launch, acclaimed bartender and respected industry insider, Tristan Stephenson was a natural fit to lead the Bartender Series, having placed in the UK Barista Championships and created co-founded Fluid Movement, a consultancy company for the drinks industry which pioneers molecular mixology. Tristan opened his first cocktail bar Purl in Marylebone in 2010, the lauded Worship Street WhistlingShop in Shoreditch in 2011,and in 2012, Dach & Sons.
Tristan comments of the launch “The Bartender Series by Colonna is a landmark collaboration between barista and mixologist, enabling better tasting and more consistent coffee based mixed drinks. Maxwell and I have spent months exploring the potential in flavour pairing specific coffees with different styles of spirits, with the goal of elevating the role of coffee in cocktails well beyond the generic and in to the fantastic. To that end we have sourced three coffees from three unique territories, each with a unique style that leans towards one of three specific flavour camps: FRUIT, EARTH, SWEET. The solution to ensure consistency, ease of use, and sustainability was to use recyclable capsules that work in any Nespresso machine. For the modern bar this solution meets all their needs, as it is inexpensive, takes up very little space, is easy to stock take, produces delicious results, and it couldn’t be easier to switch between different coffees during a busy shift. We think that this approach to implementing coffee in a cocktail bar environment has the potential to revolutionise the manufacture of drinks like the espresso martini as well as myriad other coffee based drinks.”
Colonna Earth is sourced from Indonesia, where coffee is famous forits deep earthy characteristics; this coffee is herbal and sweet with a mild spice – excellent with agave-based spirits. For this single-origin coffee, Tristan recommends the Ember cocktail: 40ml Mescal, 1 prepared capsule of Colonna Earth, 25ml Italian Sweet Vermouth, 5ml Dark Agave Nectar. Stir the ingredients in a mixing beaker with plenty of ice; strain in to a chilled coupe glass; garnish with a bay leaf. The beans, Mandheling #1, are obtained from Sumatran producer Koperasi Permata Gayo and have been processed using a local method designed to enhance these unique flavours. Spicy, smoky and earthy, this naturally processed Indonesian coffee harmonises with all elements of this powerful and potent twist on a Manhattan.
Colonna Sweet is sourced from Brazil; Piripitinga is a small farm in southern Brazil, owned and operated by Nilson Mengali. This microlot is the pick of this year’s harvest and was specifically selected for its bright sweetness and rich body. This coffee has notes of caramel, pecan and chocolate and is delicious when coupled with rum. Tristan has created the Tradewind Highball: 40ml Blended Aged Rum, 1 prepared capsule of Colonna Sweet, 120ml Coconut Water, 5ml Demerara syrup. Build the ingredients in to a highball glass filled with plenty of ice. Give a brief stir and garnish with a pineapple leaf; utilising some of the finest ingredients that the Americas has to offer, this long and delicate highball walks the fine balance between bitter, sweet, and fruit, making it a great alternative to an Americano.
Fruit is sourced from Ethiopia; Rocko Mountain is naturally processed Ethiopian coffee from the Gedeo Zone. Beans are hand picked and left to sun dry with their cherries still intact – resulting inbold fruit flavours and strong aromatics. This coffee is perfect addition to an Espresso Martini with notes of strawberry, peach and deep blueberry. It is also an ideal component of a more classic Vodka Espresso, says Tristan: 40ml Vodka, 1 prepared capsule of Colonna Fruit, 10ml 2:1 sugar syrup. Add the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake with plenty of ice for 5 to 10 seconds. Strain in to a chilled rocks glass; no need to add garnish. Vodka Espresso was the original name for the drink that later became known as the Espresso Martini. The original contained only vodka, espresso and sugar (no coffee liqueur) and this remains the best way to mix it when the quality of the coffee is excellent, it will speak for itself.
Three-time UK Barista Champion Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood founded Colonna because he wanted to source and roast the world’s most exciting coffees– and to overcome the challenges of brewing delicious, high quality coffee at home. Maxwell’s initial business, Colonna and Small’s café and roastery has been a coffee-tasting destination for the past seven years. Maxwell and his team have triumphed in the world of coffee competitions, operated a coffee school, and collaborated with scientists to constantly push the boundaries in pursuit of coffee perfection.
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Committed to sustainability, Colonna pay a premium for coffees that ensure a high cup quality and sustainable buying practices that reward the grower. Capsule technology is extremely efficient and makes the most of the precious beans that are carefully and lovingly grown. Nespresso capsule machines use only the water you need and now the capsules are fully recyclable. Colonna is committed to realising capsule technology as one of the most sustainable brewing devices available.
Colonna directly challenges the specialty coffee world’s preconceptions about how to brew coffee with amazing flavour. Artisan brew bars and barista competitions are a far cry from single-serve pods with a mainstream, commercial flavour profile. However, capsule technology is perfect for achieving amazing results at home or in a busy bar: an oxygen-free chamber with a weighed and perfectly ground dose of coffee ready to brew. This, combined with a machine calibrated to deliver an exact amount of pressure and water at the correct temperature, means Colonna are able to brew incredible coffees using home equipment, appealing to Maxwell’s rigorous and scientific approach to quality.