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Colonna and Small's Speciality Coffee
Ranked #1 of 48 Coffee & Tea in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout, Wheelchair Accessible
Richmond, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
485 reviews
287 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 328 helpful votes
Reviewed September 30, 2012

I have travelled and drink coffee all over the world. With my partner we run a national award winning B and B ...so I do feel I can write with some authority. This is the best espresso I have ever had!
We also spend a great deal of time in Italy!!
We totally believe in pursuit of excellence.
This coffee shop achieves it!
How horrendous to read negative reviews
I cannot believe there is better coffee anywhere on the UK. As for the staff they were charming and utterly professional with amazing knowledge .
Utterly stunning!
The chocolate tiffin was amazing too!
Superb place on everyway!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank AUSTIN l
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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546 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
New York
Level Contributor
52 reviews
48 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“The best coffee I have ever tasted”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

Imagine a coffee-quality scale on which Starbucks scores '3' and Caffè Nero scores '5'. Well, Colonna and Small's goes up to '11'! We walked past Colonna and Small's one evening and thought it looked nice, so we decided to go there the next day for a mid-morning coffee. I had a double espresso and my wife had a filtered coffee. We also had some savory cookies. The whole experience was amazing. The design of the interior is stunning. The staff are helpful and patient: it's perfectly OK to ask questions, even stupid ones, and take a while to decide what you want. And the coffee is out of this world -- better than in the best coffee bars that I've been to in Italy. If you appreciate good coffee and would like an experience that is more tranquil and less of a production-line than Starbucks, then I am sure that you will find Colonna and Small's to be exactly what you are looking for.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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Thank Tubulosity
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
157 reviews
93 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
“Great Coffee But You Need To Know What To Expect”
Reviewed September 24, 2012

I came for coffee here especially because of what I'd read on the forum about this place - sounded like a it was worth checking out for myself.

It is undoubtedly unusual in it's approach - you can't have milk with the filter coffee, there is no sugar because they feel it ruins the flavour, the milk is heated to a certain temperature and no more,etc, so it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea (ha, ha!). However, I am a bit of a coffee addict, so I found it quite an intersting experience and the coffee I had was extremely good. My husband usually has sweetener in his coffee but had it without and also enjoyed it, so they clearly do know what they are talking about - if I forget to put sweetener in his coffee at home he is not at all amused!

The coffee shop is very nicely presented and the crockery used is good quality, which I think always makes a good cup of coffee seem even better. I found the staff to be knowledegable and polite. Therefore, I am giving it a definite thumbs up, but it's not for everyone - if you want a standard coffee the way you always have it, this probably isn't the place for you. I think you have to see it a bit like a fine dining experience - you don't turn up at a michelin starred restaurant expecting a burger, so you shouldn't be surprised that they won't be serving vanilla lattes or whatever here.

Whether or not you feel a cup of coffee needs to be held in such reverence is a personal matter - I take my coffee seriously but not quite as seriously as they do. However, I enjoyed the ceremony round it and will be visiting again for another cup!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Thank hrmanager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Never Again”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Today my wife and I wanted a coffee with a work colleague and duly rocked up at the nearest coffee shop, Colonna & Smalls, just off Queen's Square in Bath.

I must say that the serving staff excelled themselves, their condescending, patronising attitude is second to none. A self-important 'barista' began by lecturing me on the merits of different beans and their nutty, sweet aromas...I lost interest. I wanted a coffee. I told him I wanted a double espresso with a bit of hot water, to which he replied "adding water will detract from the pleasure of your coffee experience"... I ignored him. My coffee eventually turned up a little more than tepid without the addition of water.

My visibly pregnant wife ordered a decaf-latte as she can't have any caffeine. He told her that "if madam wants that type of coffee experience then there is another cafe which might suit us better". We were even discouraged in adding sugar as it "may ruin your coffee experience".

If you would like a really good coffee in Bath then by all means try Lennie's in Widcombe, fantastic service, great coffee all well priced. If however you can't leave the house without a mobile earpiece stuck in your ear, your iPad pretentiously jutting out of your designer satchel, jeans far too tight for comfort, and you like poncy overpriced and frankly not very good coffee, then Colonna & Smalls is just for you. Enjoy.

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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38 Thank daniel r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
maxwell c, Owner at Colonna and Small's Speciality Coffee, responded to this review, September 5, 2012
The problem with these review sites is that nobody reading was there to witness your obnoxious behaviour when you visited our shop. I remember your two visits (the first of which you fail to mention) and I am not at all surprised at this review.
We will not apologise in any way. The simplicity of the issue is the most bemusing here. Our approach/concept is not at all what you are looking for from a coffee shop. We are not at all a convenience cafe, we are a specialist, award winning coffee store that focuses on a dialogue and a variety of unique coffees prepared in specific ways that display each coffees’ character. We are indeed placed off the high street and tucked away on Chapel Row for this very reason. Our whole shop is designed to communicate this (which you have obviously ignored) as is the information at the till.
Your account of events is highly suspect and your quotes libellous. On your first visit (which you have conveniently left out of your review) you did not listen to the Barista at all. You immediately spoke over my member of staff at the till not giving him a chance to do his job, saying “I just want a black coffee, not a lecture, just stick some coffee in the machine and make it go bubble bubble! Not bitter, I’m sat over there with that lady!" This is word for word what you said, I remember vividly as I was outraged by your bullish behaviour.
On this first visit we prepared you one of our filters, which if you would have let my staff explain, is quite different to a traditional coffee. It’s light and elegant, quite fruity, all of our coffee is a big move away from traditional blends or larger roasts - hence the advice given as standard at the till.
Surprise surprise, you came back in the afternoon saying you didn’t like your first coffee, which makes complete sense as you did not really know what you were getting because you wouldn’t let anyone speak.
The appropriate response would be to realise that you do not like the coffee or our approach and you would not think to return. Interestingly, you do not mention the first visit in your review as you want your review to appear as a one-visit nightmare. You came back for the second time seemingly intending to bully us and find ammunition (fabricated) to write your review. I hope you’re surprised at this reply. Hopefully this is a realisation that you cannot just push people around and show no respect to those working in service.
The sentence you quote regarding your pregnant wife is a flat lie. We did not suggest she should go elsewhere because she ordered decaf. The decaf conversation was separate. We do explain how the decaf we have is different to the other coffees on offer and that the processes change the flavour. There is no way in this world we would say (we didn’t) that somebody should go elsewhere because they ordered decaf. We did suggest to your wife(as she was polite and would engage in conversation) that we may not be the kind of coffee shop your group was looking for (after your behaviour) and that there are other coffee shops we can recommend.
If you are interested in understanding our approach you may like to read my blog where I post articles that explain in depth how and why we do everything we do.
You may also like to read all of the reviews on Google, on Qype and on TripAdvisor as well as the many blogs in order to realise that although our shop is not for you, it is valued and respected by many, many people, whom travel from far and wide to engage in the experience you had no time for.
Possibly the most offensive aspect is your stereotyping and prejudice you show to our customer base. Our customer base are in fact a broad collection of friendly reasonable people – on behalf of them and our polite, enthusiastic and professional staff I would like to say that we look forward to never seeing you again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
1 review
Reviewed September 4, 2012

Was introduced by uni's lecturers and professors they all love it!! They have different filters coffee everyday and regular menu! Cakes are nice and staffs are super friendly...Best in Bath!

Visited June 2012
Thank Chontida B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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