139 Coffee

A classic espresso (Ground Coffee Society's Caveman blend) in a classic cup, served at 139 Coffee.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.

  • On the ground floor of a large block of flats in Kingston Upon Thames is Cycle Exchange.
  • This is the view you get if you approach from around the side...
  • ... where you'll find the outside seating, a pair of tables...
  • ... and a solitary bench by the cycle racks.
  • This is the view from front on, looking from across the road.
  • There's more cycling racks to the right of the doors at the front...
  • ... while if you look closely on the left-hand side, you can see a window-bar.
  • Stepping inside, the other part of Cycle Exchange, 139 Coffee, becomes obvious.
  • It occupies the space at the front on the left-hand side, while to the right is a service desk.
  • Returning to 139 Coffee, there's a row of tables directly ahead of the door...
  • ... while off to the left is another row of tables and a pair of window-bars. The first is at...
  • ... the front, while the second runs down the left-hand side.
  • An alternative view of the seating at the front of 139 Coffee.
  • There's more seating beyond the concrete pillar
  • The seating extends to the second entrace to Cycle Exchange, which is along the...
  • ... the left-hand side. Here's the view from inside the door.
  • Another view of the seating as seen from the back of 139 Coffee.
  • And, turning around, here's the counter, which marks the end of 139 Coffee.
  • The rest of the space, beyond the counter, is given over to Cycle Exchange.
  • Returning to the counter, there's a small retail shelf on the left...
  • ... while the till is in the middle...
  • ... with the cakes off to the right.
  • Talking of cakes, these had just come out of the oven. Everything is cooked on site...
  • ... in this open kitchen behind the counter.
  • That includes the daily specials...
  • ... and the brunch menu.
  • This, meanwhile, is the drinks menu.
  • The cold drinks, by the way, are in this chiller cabinet down the side of the counter.
  • I, however, was interested in the espresso machine, which is at the back of the counter...
  • ... being rewarded with this espresso, served in a classic cup...
  • ... which is where I'll leave you.
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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.

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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