Beanberry Coffee

My single-origin Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, a washed coffee from the Negele Gorbitu co-operative, roasted and served by Beanberry Coffee in an over-sized cup on a wooden tray, a glass of water on the side.I first came across Beanberry, a Woking-based roaster which specialises in organic coffee, when I visited G!RO Cycles in Esher in 2015. We then met in person at the 2017 London Coffee Festival, where I learnt about Beanberry’s then relatively new coffee shop in Kingston upon Thames, an area crying out for good coffee. Fast forward around 15 months, and I finally managed to get to Kingston, a curious mix of historic buildings and ugly concrete on the banks of the River Thames in west London.

If you’re in Kingston, Beanberry is as close as you’ll get to a must-visit when it comes to coffee. The shop itself is surprisingly large, particularly given the relatively small shop front, and it has one of the most impressive ranges of beans I’ve seen in a while. There are four options on espresso, including a house blend (Javascript), a seasonal blend (Wildcat), a single-origin and a decaf. When it comes to pour-over, through Chemex, Zero and Aeropress, there’s even more choice, with another blend (8AM Blues) and space on the board for six single-origins.

If you’re hungry, the breakfast/lunch menu is heavy on the bread/toast options, backed up by a decent cake selection.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • On Fife Street, in Kingson, heading towards the river from the train station, it's Beanberry!
  • And here's the view heading the other way.
  • Inside, it's a lot bigger than it looks, with the counter off to the right.
  • There's a large, open space between the counter and the windows...
  • ... while at the front, there are a pair of window bars flanking the central door.
  • The windows extend a little down the left-hand side...
  • ... where there's another short window-bar.
  • However, there's more: tables line the wall down the left-hand side...
  • ... while there are three stools at the back of the counter, two down the side...
  • ... with one more right at the back.
  • That's not all. There's more seating at the back, starting with this central, communal table.
  • There's also a long, padded bench on the right-hand side (and another on the left).
  • The communal table, as seen from the back.
  • Another view from the back.
  • And the view of the seating down the side, again from the back.
  • Obligatory light-fitting shot.
  • An interesting picture adorns the wall at the back, with more lights above the seats.
  • A selection of retail bags and equipment lines shelves behind the counter...
  • ... while more retail bags line the front of the counter off to the right.
  • Beanberry has a strong reusable cup philosophy with the Australia SoL as its cup of choice.
  • Okay. Let's get down to business.
  • The till is at the front of the counter, pretty much opposite the door.
  • The cakes are on the left...
  • ... while the food menu is on the right.
  • If you are looking for the coffee menu, this is on the wall to the right of the counter.
  • There's an extensive range, including multiple single-origins & several blends.
  • There are three choices on espresso alone, plus decaf.
  • There's a blend, plus multiple single-origins available on pour-over too...
  • ... using the Zero dripper, similar to a Kalita dripper, but with two holes, not three.
  • There's also cold brew, made on this aparatus at the back.
  • The three-group La Marzocco Linea espresso machine is down the side of the counter...
  • ... along with its four grinders. I was in the mood for espresso, so ordered...
  • ... the Ethiopian single-origin, served on a wooden tray with a glass of water.
  • I followed this up with some toasted jalapeno cornbread, which came with a side of jam...
  • ... and which was every bit as tasty as it looked.
Photo Carousel by v4.6

Beanberry Coffee is on Fife Street, a few minutes’ walk from the station (both train and bus), which means that my excuse for not visiting (I had thought it quite hard to get to) doesn’t really hold water. Occupying a rectangular space, perhaps twice as deep as it is wide, its short side, which is all glass, faces the street. Very much a shop of two halves, the bulk of the seating is at the back. Up front, the central glass door is flanked by a pair of two-person window-bars, the left-hand one extending down the window on the left-hand side, which is not much wider than the windows at the front.

The counter, almost an island, but tantalisingly not, is set well back from the windows and projects maybe three-quarters of the width of Beanberry from the right-hand wall. The till, at the front, is flanked by pour-over (right) and cakes (left). The espresso machine, a three-group La Marzocco Linea, is down the left-hand side, with three two-person tables tucked in against the wall opposite. You can also sit at the counter itself, with three stools at the high bar by the four Mahlkönig espresso grinders (a Peak, EK-30 and EK-30 twin).

The main seating area, probably occupying as much space as the counter, is at the back. There are two bracket-shaped padded benches, one against each wall, each with three two-person tables, with a tall, narrow, ten-person communal table in the middle. With the exception of the padded benches, the seating, front and back, is on tall, square stools or low, round stools.

Beanberry has dark, wooden floorboards, dark grey walls, counter and ceiling, along with exposed air-conditioning ducts. It can be loud when busy and, while the front is very bright, the rear is best described as subdued, despite lots of lights, although I suspect that it’s probably brighter than it feels, such is the contrast with the sun-lit front.

As you might expect from a café/roaster (although it’s not always the case), there is plenty of choice, with pretty much all of Beanberry’s output available to drink. The coffees change regularly, including the blends, with Beanberry buying in small batches and moving on when they’re done.

The greatest choice is available on pour-over, where the 8AM Blues blend is joined by up to six single-origins. While I was there, there were five choices, with three Ethiopians, a Guatemalan and Peruvian micro-lot. One of the Ethiopians, from the Negele Gorbitu co-operative in the Yirgacheffe region, was also available as the single-origin espresso, where it was joined by a Colombian Cauca decaf, using the sugarcane method.

I decided on the Ethiopian single-origin as an espresso, although had I had more time, I would have also tried it as a pour-over. A washed coffee, it was absolutely lovely, although I completely lack the palate and vocabulary to describe it. Not what I was expecting though, compared to previous Ethiopian espressos. This was darker, and very complex. Served in an over-sized cup with a large handle, it came on a wooden tray with a glass of sparkling water on the side, a little touch which I appreciated.

I followed this with toasted jalapeno cornbread, a muffin-like delight that came with a side of jam. Having learnt my lesson from previous ordering mistakes, I asked for this to come after the coffee and for once I got it right. The chillies in the cornbread were pretty hot and would have ruined my appreciation of the coffee, although the jam really took the edge off of the heat, which I definitely needed.

30 FIFE ROAD • KINGSTON UPON THAMES • KT1 1SZ +44 (0) 1483 751116
Monday 07:00 – 19:00 Roaster Beanberry (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 07:00 – 19:00 Seating Window-bars, Tables
Wednesday 07:00 – 19:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 07:00 – 20:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 07:00 – 19:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:00 – 19:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 08:00 – 18:00 Power Limited
Chain No Visits 8th August 2018

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7 thoughts on “Beanberry Coffee

  1. My husband is a big fan of Beanberry and is fortunate enough to work in Kingston, so gets to enjoy a brew there on the daily! They make a solid oat flat white there (and organic is a bonus!)

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