This is the original Coffeeology, which opened in the heart of Richmond in 2017 (there’s now a second branch in Chiswick). Although small, occupying a compact section of the town’s old Victorian fire station, with an equally cosy outside seating area, its relative lack of size is no limit to its ambition, with a house-blend on espresso, joined by decaf, plus a single-origin from the current guest roaster. You can also have a V60 or Aeropress made using whatever retail bags Coffeeology has available.
The house-blend and decaf are from Black Saint, Coffeeology’s roasting arm, while the guest roaster is one of three roasters, who are represented in rotation: Plot Roasting from nearby Woolwich, Colonna Coffee from further afield in Bath and, casting the net even wider, Italy’s Gardelli. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also a small toast-based all-day breakfast menu, several sandwiches, soup and lots of cake.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
The fire station is on the north side of The Square, right in the heart of Richmond. Looking from across The Square, it’s recognisable from its tall, brick-built, lantern clock tower, with Coffeeology occupying the single-storey section with the peaked roof to the tower’s left. Inside, it’s a compact, high-ceilinged space, open to the rafters, while there’s almost as much seating outside on the broad pavement to Coffeeology’s left.
The entrance is down the left-hand side via a narrow porch at the back, supported by two white pillars. This is accessed by two broad steps up from the pavement or by a long, shallow ramp running along Coffeeology’s left-hand side. The outside seating is clustered around the ramp, with a small, round, two-person table against the wall near the foot of the ramp, while a narrow wooden bench runs along the front of the ramp, with two more tables in front of that. Finally, a four-person table stands to the right of them.
The door opens into the back of Coffeeology. There’s a set of retail shelves on the back wall, immediately to your left, while directly across from you is the chiller cabinet for the soft drinks. This is followed by the door the toilet, then Coffeeology widens, the space on the right being occupied by the counter, the seating arranged in an L shape around it.
The front wall has one large, three-paned window, while left-hand side is pieced by three similarly tall windows. The seating starts to the right of the door with a three-person window-bar, followed by a second set of retail shelves, after which there’s a large, round four-person table set in the middle window, the windowsill being used a two-person bench seat. Finally, a high-backed wooden bench runs along the front window, lined with five two-person tables.
You order at the counter, where you’ll find the cakes on your left, till in the centre, and the espresso machine on the right. The drinks menu is on wall behind/above the counter, with the food menu high up on the front wall, above the windows! Other than the counter (painted blue), the natural wood of the furniture/floorboards, and the striking yellow La Marzocco FB80, everything is a pleasing shade of green, with square, green glazed tiles along the walls to a height of about a metre.
I was immediately drawn to the guest espresso, a sugar cane fermented single-origin from the Bynekere Estate in India, roasted by Gardelli (typically the single-origin changes every two to three weeks). It had an interesting, rich, complex flavour, with plenty of acidity, which only got richer with each successive sip. I paired it with the avocado on toast, a single slice of sourdough toast overloaded with sliced avocado on a bed of rocket, all drizzled with olive oil, which was nothing short of perfect!
|4 THE SQUARE • RICHMOND • TW9 1DZ|
|https://coffeeology.me.uk||+44 (0) 7741 311990|
|Monday||07:00 – 17:30||Roaster||Black Saint + Guests (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||07:00 – 17:30||Seating||Tables, Window-bar; Table (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:00 – 17:30||Food||Cake, Sandwiches, Soup, Toast (check photo)|
|Thursday||07:00 – 17:30||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||07:00 – 17:30||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Saturday||08:30 – 18:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||09:00 – 18:00||Power||No|
|Chain||Yes||Visits||11th February 2020|
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