Krema Coffee

My piccolo, made with the guest espresso, served in a classic yellow espresso cup at Krema Coffee in Guildford.Krema Coffee started life in Farnham, where the original store opened its doors three years ago. Despite its relatively closeness to Guildford, for a variety of (not very good) reasons, I’ve still not visited, so I was quite pleased when Krema decided to come to me, opening its second store in Guildford. Naturally, the actual opening, at the end of March, took place while I was out of the country, but as soon as I was able, I paid Krema a visit.

Occupying a long, low-ceilinged spot at the castle end of Tunsgate in the centre of Guildford, Krema goes a surprisingly long way back, with a basement-like space at the back. When it comes to the coffee, Krema uses Horsham Coffee Roaster, sadly absent from Guildford town centre since the closure of Bar des Arts (although still available from The Flying Coffee Bean at the station). The Workhorse seasonal blend is the mainstay on the espresso machine, where it’s joined by a single-origin guest (also from Horsham). Meanwhile, there are a couple of options on pour-over through the V60, although in reality you can try any of the beans that Krema has in stock. If you’re hungry, there are light breakfast and lunch menus, backed up with copious quantities of cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On the corner of the Tunsgate in Guildford, a new coffee shop has appeared.
  • A handy sign, plus the large awning, catch the eye...
  • ... while the A-board gives you a rundown of what's in store.
  • The small outside seating area catches the afternoon sun.
  • The door, meanwhile, is on the left. Let's go in, shall we?
  • The view from just inside the door.
  • There's a cluster of tables on the right by the window...
  • ... while there's a solitary two-person table against the left-hand wall, just by the door.
  • Another view of the seating at the front, this time seen from the other side.
  • The counter occupies most of the right-hand side of the store...
  • ... with a cut-off corner facing the door.
  • The counter itself goes a long way back...
  • ... with some more seating on the left-hand side towards the back.
  • There's a two-person table, followed by a four-person one...
  • ... while there are a couple of stools at the end of the counter.
  • Beyond that, an opening in the back wall leads...
  • ... down a couple of steps, to a basement-like back room.
  • There's a lot more seating back here...
  • ... starting with this corner bench and its three tables on the right...
  • ... while on the left, there are three two-person tables...
  • ...  with a final five-person table at the back.
  • There are many neat features, including wooden floorboards throughout, plus these tiles.
  • I very much liked this cabinet opposite the counter, which acts as a water station.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • Let's get down to business. The counter occupies most of the right-hand side...
  • ... starting with this chiller cabinet, full of soft drinks.
  • The salads and some of the cakes face the door...
  • ... while the rest of the cakes are on the corner.
  • Meanwhile, the coffee end of the operation is at the far end of the counter...
  • ... starting with the espresso machine and ending with this small filter bar.
  • The till is near the front of the counter, between the cakes and the grinders.
  • The menu is on the wall behind the counter...
  • ... while the coffee choices are to the left of the till.
  • While only two coffees are on the board, you can have pretty much any as a pour-over.
  • I, however, wanted to try the single-origin espresso, opting for a split shot.
  • This consisted of a single espresso...
  • ... and a piccolo, both served in yellow espresso cups.
  • I'll leave you with this view of my coffee.
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Krema Coffee is perched on the corner where Tunsgate meets Sydenham Road, opposite the new Tunsgate Quarter shopping centre and just two doors along from Kalm Kitchen (which has since closed). The modest shop front consists of a single, slightly recessed floor-to-ceiling window with a door on the left-hand side. A pair of two-person round tables stand in front of the window, tucked in so that they are off the pavement and sheltering under a large blue awning. Despite this, the west-facing aspect means that they catch the afternoon sun.

Inside, taking advantage of the generous window, is a cluster of tables at the front. Three two-person tables are arranged in a triangle to the right of the door, with a four-person table against the right-hand wall. Meanwhile, there’s a solitary two-person table against the left-hand wall, directly in front of the door.

Krema goes a long way back, the sense of length accentuated by the low ceiling. The counter is on the right-hand side, a cut-off corner facing the door, from where it runs to the back of the main room. There’s more seating at the back, with one two-person and one four-person table against the left-hand wall opposite the far end of the counter. You can also perch on one of two stools at the end of the counter, where you’ll find the small brew bar.

However, there’s more to Krema than initially meets the eye. In the middle of back wall, a square opening leads, down two steps, to a basement-like space, beyond which is the kitchen and the toilets. There’s lots more seating back here, including an L-shaped bench to the right with three two-person tables. Meanwhile, three two-person tables line the left-hand wall, with a five-person table against the back wall. I can see this being a really cosy space come autumn/winter.

There’s a fairly concise breakfast and lunch menu, with porridge, toast, granola and the like, plus toasties, salads and quiches at lunch, all prepared in the kitchen at the back. Wherever possible, Krema uses local suppliers, which extends to the milk, which comes from Medina Dairy in Windsor.

When it comes to coffee, Krema uses one of my favourite roasters, Horsham Coffee Roaster. The Workhorse seasonal blend is joined by a guest espresso, which changes every couple of weeks. Alternatively, you can try a pour-over, with another pair of single-origins highlighted on the board by the grinders. In reality though, if you ask nicely, Krema will make you a pour-over using any of the coffees it has in stock.

I was immediately drawn to the guest espresso, a Kenya Kianderi AA. Although the barista recommended it as a flat white, I was keen to try it as an espresso as well, so I asked for a split shot, essentially ordering a single espresso and a piccolo, both of which arrived in classic, yellow espresso cups.

As an espresso I found it surprisingly smooth and not the punch in the mouth that I was expecting from my previous experiences with Kenyan espressos. Instead it was a well-balanced coffee with great body which went equally well in milk, providing a rich, well-balanced piccolo. Sadly that’s all I had time for on my first visit, but I’m looking forward to working my way through the menu over the coming months!

December 2018: Krema Coffee was a runner-up for the 2018 Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.

June 2020: Krema has reopened for takeaway only during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can see what I made of it when I visited at the start of June.

November 2020: Krema has taken the decision to permanently close its original Farnham coffee shop. The Guildford coffee shop is still going strong, although it’s back to takeaway only due to the on-going COVID-19 restrictions.

May 2021: Krema has now reopened its indoor seating, following the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions in England.

Monday 07:30 – 17:30 Roaster Horsham Coffee Roaster (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:30 – 17:30 Seating Tables, Tables (outside)
Wednesday 07:30 – 17:30 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:30 – 17:30 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:30 – 17:30 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 07:30 – 17:30 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:30 – 17:00 Power Yes
Chain Local Visits 6th May 2018

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