Fergus Smyth | Fetter Lane House Manager
Here at Watch House we are incredibly passionate about coffee and most importantly the coffee we serve you. Last year our very talented Head of Coffee Ryan Garrick set up the WatchHouse guest roast series.
Each Month, Ryan will work with a guest roaster from around the world, bringing in four of their top coffees (1 per week), enabling us to showcase that roastery over the course of the month. This is an amazing program to bring onboard for a number of reasons:
1. We can offer you something different than your normal drink week in week out.
2. Our in-house teams get to learn about new coffees and ideas from around the world. This keeps our minds curious and tastebuds fresh for new coffee processes.
These are the roasteries we have collaborated with so far:
Assembly Coffee | Brixton, England & Paris, France
To start off our guest roast series we worked with Assembly. The Assembly roastery, based in Brixton, has been roasting and distributing amazing coffees worldwide for many years. Their aim is to be as forward-thinking with coffee as possible, making sure they always meet the needs of their customers and the industry alike. The main ethos for Assembly is to educate about coffee and open people's preconceptions to new ideas and concepts. Their coffee is always exciting to discover and work with.
Above: Assembly's Loring Coffee Roaster
Nomad | Barcelona, Spain
Nomad was set up by Jordi Mestre in 2013 after returning from London (where he roasted for Nude Espresso). Here he set up one of Spain’s best coffee shops. Now they have three locations across Barcelona - Roasting House, Nomad Coffee and the Coffee Lab and shop. Nomad has expanded in the best way, the roastery is the newest addition - where you can book bean to cup tastings. Each and every one of their locations really delivers outstanding coffee made and served by passionate staff to match. I will be a little biased here, as I have been to Nomad a few times on my travels, but their coffee is some of the best. We hope to work with them again to bring you another guest session soon.
Above: Nomad authentic café façade
Colonna | Bath, England
Next we come to Colonna, set up by the 2x UK Barista Champion and world finalist Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood. Maxwell is famous for the work he contributed to “Water for Coffee”. In a nutshell he studied how to control the minerals in water to produce the best cup from a particular coffee.
Colonna and Smalls is located in Bath but has an excellent website to purchase coffee and also compostable coffee capsules. We really love the journey you can go on with the coffee categories they have set up - Foundation, discovery and rare. Their ‘coffee pyramid’ really enables you to start your specialty coffee journey and travel all the way to the most unique cups we can find.
Above: The Colonna roasting facility
Round Hill | Bath, England
Round Hill roastery located in Banes, was started by Eddie Twitchett, originally working in the hospitality scene in Bath, his passion led him to start roasting by himself, selling in farmer’s markets. Fast forward 8 years and the operation has grown somewhat. Round Hill is still a smaller operation that keeps it personal which is what hospitality is all about. The use of colour in their packaging to differentiate espresso brewing or filter (pink espresso, blue filter) keeps it nice and simple for the consumer. Round Hill will always work with smaller independent farmers, selecting small batches in order to get the best out of the beans instead of choosing farmers with a good coffee yield.
Above: Round Hill's magical Probat P25 roaster
Five Elephant | Berlin, Germany
Five Elephant based in Berlin, has become a bit of an institution in the coffee world and especially on the scene in Berlin. The ethos for Five Elephant is to be as open as possible about the journey your coffee has made to get to your cup. This has led the way to setting up solid relationships with coffee farms throughout the world, meaning the support network and environmental aspect of growing coffee can be nurtured into a more sustainable process. They always offer a great selection of coffees based on seasonal availability.
Above: Diedrich CR-25 ready to roast the next Five Elephant batch
Bonanza | Berlin, Germany
Bonanza work with old and new techniques in order to get the purest cup, they have managed to navigate the specialty ethos by working with farmers committed to delivering excellence in their cup instead of coffee yield ensuring a good working relationship with the farmers and enabling them to pay fairly. Close and trusting relationships with the farmers is paramount to getting the best to the roastery.
Above: Bonanza's cast iron 1930‘s antique Probat G45 production roaster.
Friedhats | Amsterdam, The Netherlands
A small scale setup, Friedhats are a roastery based in Amsterdam, which focuses on trying to improve the lives of all involved in growing and farming their coffees. Coming from a coffee background and running his own coffee shop, Van Lex Wenekker (2nd place World Barista Championship 2018), started roasting because he couldn't find the coffee he wanted in The Netherlands (lighter roasts).
They are also very honest about their sustainability “we admit we are not perfect, No one can be.”- Friedhats have great standout packaging- more akin to a large medicine bottle/dispensary jar, which is recommended to be re-used either with themselves or as a container for anything else you might need. Friedhats really do think about the whole package. If you are over in Amsterdam and need to go to an actual coffee shop be sure to check them out.
Candy Cane | Prague, Czech Republic
Candy Cane coffee is a roastery set up by Ondřeje Štoksa based in Prague. They do some absolutely delicious coffee! Candy Cane delivers an all system service- coffee, cafe set up and advice on what kit to use depending on your needs. Based in Prague, they have helped deliver third wave coffee to the central European cafe scene. Definitely one of the best in Czech and one to keep your eye on in. If you do end up on a stag do be sure to go and get a pick me up from them.