139 Coffee continues a fine tradition, combining coffee and cycling inside Cycle Exchange in Kingston Upon Thames. Just off Richmond Road, north of the centre, Cycle Exchange occupies a long, thin concrete shell with windows on three sides, making for a surprisingly bright, open space. It’s an unlikely location at first sight, so much so that I was double-checking Google Maps before I found it.
139 Coffee is at the front on the left, with seating followed by the counter, while the rest of the space is occupied by the cycle store. Outside, a broad, paved space to the left holds a pair of tables. 139 Coffee has a traditional espresso-based menu using the Caveman blend from Ground Coffee Society, plus beer and wine, all backed up by a small, but tasty-looking brunch menu and plenty of cakes. Impressively, all the food is made in the open kitchen behind the counter.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
139 Coffee started life in 2016 at 139 Richmond Road (hence the name) but moved, along with Cycle Exchange, in July last year to a new home on the ground floor at the eastern end of a modern apartment block on the south side of Sury Basin, opposite a massive Sainsbury’s. Set well back from the road, there are broad paved areas to the front and down the left-hand side. Unsurprisingly, there’s ample cycle parking.
Cycle Exchange has two entrances, with glass double doors at the front and down the left-hand side. 139 Coffee effectively occupies the space between these two sets of doors, with the counter, marking its furthest extent, just beyond the doors on the left-hand side. Order here at the till, which is beside the large cake display, then take a seat and your coffee/food will be brought to you.
Talking of seats, there’s a four-person window-bar at the front, spanning the window between the doors and the left-hand corner. Another window-bar, a six-person one, runs down the left-hand side, spanning the gap between the corner and the second set of doors. If you prefer tables, there’s plenty of choice, with two rows of tables inside, in addition to the two outside tables.
Immediately in front of the door is a square, two-person table, followed by a four-person table, a long, six-person table with benches and a final two-person table just before the counter. To the left of this is the second row, with a pair of two-person tables either side of a concrete pillar, followed by a four-person table with benches in front of the counter.
The counter occupies a small space on the left, although you don’t need to go any further than the till at the front. The espresso machine, a two-group Rocket, is at the back, so you get a good view of it from the till, while off to the left is the open kitchen which where all the food, including the cakes, are made. Sadly, I’d only just eaten, otherwise I would have tried out the impressive-looking brunch menu, with its daily specials and various egg- and toast-based options.
Instead I settled for an espresso. I’ve only had the Caveman Espresso Blend (from Ground Coffee Society in nearby Putney) once before, and that was in a flat white at Lord’s, where the coffee went really well in milk. On its own, it comes across as a traditional espresso, with a touch of bitterness, which 139 Coffee pulled commendably short, producing a pleasingly rich and viscous shot.
|27 SURY BASIN • KINGSTON UPON THAMES • KT2 5NZ|
|Monday||07:30 – 17:00||Roaster||Ground Coffee Society (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 17:00||Seating||Tables, Window-bars; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 17:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Sandwiches, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 17:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:30 – 17:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:00 – 16:00||Power||Limited|
|Chain||No||Visits||11th February 2020|
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