Elemental Collective

The Triple Co Roast Logo, which you'll find, along with the roastery and Elemental Espresso Bar, at the back of the Elemental Collective in Stokes Croft, Bristol.On a busy corner in Stokes Croft in Bristol, opposite Cafe Kino, stands a five-sided building, home to one of a new breed of coffee shop. The Elemental Collective is many things to many people: as well as a coffee shop, it’s a greengrocers, selling fresh fruit and vegetables, a bakers, loaded with freshly-baked bread and pastries, plus a store, stocked with local produce, including milk and eggs. And it’s not just a coffee shop, since it’s also home to Triple Co Roast with the roastery clearly on show at the back on the right, while on the left the Elemental Espresso Bar serves Triple Co Roast’s output.

Triple Co Roast, which has built up an enviable reputation for roasting excellent coffee in a relatively short time, will feature in its own Meet the Roaster in due course, so this Coffee Spot will focus on the espresso bar. There’s a single-origin on espresso, with a different one on pour-over through the Clever Dripper. These change every month or so, although Jo, the man behind Triple Co Roast, doesn’t roast for a specific extraction method, so you may find a given coffee on espresso one month and on pour-over the next.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On the boundary between Stokes Croft & Montpelier in Bristol is this interesting place.
  • Yes, that is a dragon on the roof, although that's not why we're here.
  • The A-board gives the game away: we're here to visit the Elemental Collective.
  • Let's go in, shall we?
  • Elemental occupies a wedge-shaped space that opens out in front of you.
  • The seating is mostly in the middle and off to the right, lining the massive windows.
  • Here you'll find two rows of tables, ending up with a single five-person table at the back.
  • A view of Elemental from the back.
  • There are two more tables off to the left, a large, four-person one & a two-person one.
  • Another view of the other two tables...
  • ... and see here from just inside the door.
  • Like all of the two-person tables here, this one is decorated with old 2p coins.
  • That's all the seating for now, but by the time you read this, the basement should be open.
  • Elemental is a bright spot, thanks to having one wall made up almost entirely of windows.
  • There's also a handy skylight at the back.
  • Despite this, there are also plenty of lights for those dark, winter nights.
  • Elemental is many things, including a greengrocers. This is to the left as you enter.
  • There's an interesting selection of fruit and vegetables...
  • ... followed by a chiller cabinet full of local dairy produce...
  • ... and beyond that, a selection of spreads and preserves.
  • You'll find two more parts of the Elemental Collective at the back.
  • There's another chiller cabinet, this time with soft drinks...
  • ... followed by the bakery part of the operation: bread and pastries galore!
  • And finally, in the corner, is the home of Triple Co Roast.
  • Its dainty little roaster produces all the coffee that you will find in store.
  • Talking of which, here's some for sale.
  • There's also some chocolate...
  • ... and some eggs, rounding off the Collective's stock.
  • The final part of the operation is off to the left at the back: the Elemental Espresso Bar.
  • There's a small, toast-based menu, using the locally-baked bread, of course...
  • ... along with an equally concise coffee menu.
  • The mainstay of the coffee operation is this La Marzocco Strada espresso machine...
  • ... although I was in the mood for a pour-over...
  • ... selecting this Rwandan single-origin through the Clever Dripper.
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The Elemental Collective sits at the northern end of Stokes Croft, the busy road than runs through the heart of this lively Bristol neighbourhood, just before it becomes Cheltenham Road. Although it’s five-sided, Elemental is more wedge-shaped than pentagram, occupying a single-storey extension to a larger building behind it. The main entrance is on the corner where Nine Tree Hill and Sydenham Road meets Stokes Croft, where Elemental tapers almost to a point, just wide enough to accommodate the narrow glass double doors which are flanked by two tall thin windows. If in doubt, look for the dragon on the roof!

Stepping inside, Elemental opens up ahead of you. To your right, a line of windows, stretching from floor to ceiling, run almost the full length along Stokes Croft, a literal window onto the heart of the neighbourhood. To the left, an exposed brick wall runs 30⁰ to the front as it follows Sydenham Road. There’s another window here, a long, rectangular opening in the wall, after which it straightens out to meet the back wall at 90⁰. This is whitewashed and is the original external wall of the building behind Elemental.

All the windows make Elemental an incredibly bright space, and that’s without the large skylight in the centre by the back wall, which is the icing on the cake. High ceilings, open to wooden rafters and aforementioned skylight, give Elemental a sense of space out of all proportion to its size.

The layout’s simple, with the seating on the right, the fruit/veg/produce on the left and the coffee/bakery at the back. There are twin rows of two-person tables along the windows on the right, with a five-person table beyond that, capping off both rows. Right at the back is Triple Co’s 1.5 kg Proaster from Korea, partitioned off from the rest of the store by a counter decorated with old coffee sacks. Tuesday’s the main production day if you want to see it in action, but if you’re lucky, Jo has been known to roast any day of the week if he has an order on. The remaining seating is in the middle, with another two-person table, plus a larger, square, four-person table.

The left-hand wall is lined with shelves holding fresh fruit and vegetables, followed by a tall chiller cabinet for the dairy produce. Next, under the window, comes a set of shelves selling local-produced preserves, spreads and honey. Finally, at the back, on the left, there’s the broad counter of Elemental’s espresso bar, separated from the roastery by a flight of stairs leading down to the basement. This was closed when I visited (hence the lack of photos), but If all went to plan, it should now be open, offering additional seating.

The stairs are fronted by baskets of bread and pastries, all baked by Darius in a bakery in nearby Montpelier. However, there are plans to bring him on-site in due course, which would be awesome. You can buy cakes from the espresso bar to go with your coffee, while the bread from the bakery forms the basis of the simple toast menu for breakfast/lunch.

If you’re having an espresso-based drink, then Elemental is the first coffee shop I know that uses the Kaffeeform cup, which is made from recycled coffee grounds. However, I opted for the Rwanda single-origin on pour-over, served, as it should be, in a carafe with the cup on the side. It was a subtle gentle brew that held its own as it cooled. I lingered for a while and it was just as good cold as it was when hot.

Monday 08:00 – 18:00 Roaster Triple Co Roast (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables
Wednesday 08:00 – 18:00 Food Toast, Cakes
Thursday 08:00 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 18:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 09:00 – 17:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday CLOSED Power Limited
Chain No Visits 10th November 2017

If you liked this Coffee Spot, then check out the rest of Bristol’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Bristol.

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6 thoughts on “Elemental Collective

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