International Coffee Day: Elemental Collective, Bristol

It’s the third and final Q&A in our celebration of Monday’s International Coffee Day — a mere glimpse into the diverse spectrum of coffee shop businesses using Square day to day. Yesterday we featured Cath Seay from Curators Coffee in London, who educated us on the defining characteristics of “good” coffee and introduced us to the V60 dripper.

Today, we’re featuring Jo Thompson from Elemental Collective in Bristol.

Jo, what’s your favourite coffee?


How about your customers’?

It’s got to be the flat white.

And what’s your favourite coffee blend?

We don’t do a blend — single origin only!

elemental collective espresso machine pouring coffee

Cream or sugar?

Neither please!

What inspired you to start your shop?

The North West U.S. coffee culture. I spent two years there, learning and experiencing coffee.

How do you differentiate yourself in the market?

Accessibility, as in a high quality product, in a diverse neighbourhood, not excessively priced.

What are some of the biggest challenges or adversities you’ve faced starting and running your business?

Time - When you start out, you are running so fast at everything, organising, building etc. Often the customers don’t come as fast as you want. It takes a while to build a name and profile — that’s something only time can bring.

What is your favourite part of selling coffee?

When somebody asks me, “which coffee should I get”? It opens up a whole conversation about coffee, what they like, what they might like to try. It’s really interesting to see people’s responses when transitioning from traditional coffee, to our more speciality coffee.

What do you wish your customers knew about your coffee?

That our supplier (Triple Co Roast) sources their coffee directly from producers as much as they can and also visits those producers throughout the year.

Elemental collective coffee shop interior

Find out more about Elemental Collective