Can we just start by saying we’ve found our favourite brunch, anywhere, ever? Feast your eyes on this... truffled mushrooms on brioche with crispy poached egg, burnt onion powder and baby basil.
Honestly, I’ve never spent so much time ooh-ing and ahh-ing eating brunch in public... and trying to be a little bit quieter because it sounded like far too much pleasure was coming from our table! ;) And, I’ve got to say it once again... really slowly, with feeling, a bit like Nigella might do. A crispy on the outside, oozing in the middle, melt in the mouth poached egg, creamy mushrooms and sweet, sweet brioche. Now that’s what we call a brunch of champions!
Anyway, we discover this little plate of heaven at Braziers at The Brewhouse... the latest venture from the guys at Brazier coffee roasters. They’ve already got a cool café at Tonedale Mill in Wellington (the home of their roastery), another at Coldharbour Mill in Uffculme and now there’s a brand spanking new spot in the heart of Taunton too - a fab place to drop by, whether you’re off to the theatre or not!
We're invited to check it all out over coffee (and did we mention those truffled mushrooms ;)) and we love every single minute - the buzz, the contemporary feel, all the striking plants breathing life in to the bright and airy space, and that's even before we start talking about how genuinely awesome the coffee (and cake selection ;)) is...
... because of course, the thing we love most about Brazier, is their genuine passion for speciality coffee – coffee that’s often produced in specific microclimates and soils, with special processing methods, and ones that score over 80 points on the Specialty Coffee Association scale. We’re talking outstanding not instant! ;) and this passion was the reason founders Tom and Claire started Brazier in the first place. They were sipping speciality coffee in the Australian outback (as you do ;)), had the overwhelming urge to bring amazing coffee like this to our Somerset corner of the world and three years later, the rest is history!
As Tom tells me when we catch up on our visit to The Brewhouse:
"After much tasting, talking and more coffee tasting, plus training with some of the best roasters in Australia, we bought our own Giesen roaster and set up our tin-shed roastery in the Somerset countryside"
His face lights up when we start chatting about this and about ‘the third wave’, a movement to produce high-quality coffee which has seen coffee evolve to become a truly artisan product - and what does this 'movement' mean to you and I? Well, it means that coffee plant growing, harvesting, and processing is second to none and that relationships between coffee growers, traders, and roasters are much closer. That leads to fairer coffee production, higher quality and fresh roasting, akin to skilled brewing, so we get a cup of complete happiness to enjoy!
You can taste the nuances in the coffee flavours, single origin coffees and blends too - just as you can with wine. As Tom tells me:
" There are 1,000 more complex flavour profiles than there are in wine, so if you taste different speciality coffees you'll be able to identify subtleties of flavour and growing regions, as you can with wine, tea and chocolate! Our wide range of single origin coffees, together with our roasting expertise means we can develop and then perfectly replicate almost any flavour profile. So you get the same, delicious tasting coffee, week after week - and nothing leaves our roastery until it reaches our exacting standards".
Passion for the very best coffee doesn't just stop with Tom either. We chat to Head Barista Alice and Ben, the Chef who made those mouthwatering mushrooms! :) Both the guys live and breathe this exciting coffee culture in the heart of our county town and Alice, who was recently a semi finalist at the SCA UK latte art championships, has been working with coffee for over ten years now. As she tells us:
"I just love the coffee world. You never stop learning or developing new skills and we love telling the story of great coffee here. It's brilliant seeing people trying the freshly-roasted stuff for themselves."
And as we take a sneaky peek at the different coffees on offer at The Brewhouse, it feels to us as though Braziers is all about discovery at whichever level you like! You can pop in to the theatre, discover a brand new coffee spot, sit there with your laptop or a book, chat with friends and take a break, or you can find out more about the world of speciality coffee, the distinctive flavours and origins of the beans. For Tom and Claire, that journey of discovery is never ending, with visits to the countries producing their coffee and as Tom says:
"We're always interested in what coffee producers have to teach us and we're on a mission to produce ever new and ever more delicious drinks."
Well, we can't argue with that... check out this gorgeous rainbow latte. Now that's what we call a colourful coffee!
After our visit to Braziers at The Brewhouse, we're keen to discover more as well, so this Sunday (April 28th), Tom's joining us on our Somerset cool live radio show where he'll be guiding us through a coffee tasting of our very own! Join us from anywhere in the world from 12-1pm on www.frome.fm, when we'll all be discovering lots more about one of the world's favourite drinks!
Our review of Braziers at the Brewhouse in 4 words: Fantastic coffee, beautiful brunch!
Braziers at The Brewhouse theatre & arts centre in Taunton is open 6 days a week, Monday to Saturday from 8.30am-4.30pm.