Not long after Canopy Coffee, Guildford’s multi-roaster speciality coffee shop, reopened on Saturday, 16th May, I was walking home past Krema Coffee, another of Guildford’s speciality coffee shops. Looking in the window, I saw an encouraging sign: Krema was reopening on the following Monday, 1st June. Naturally, I made sure I popped along and have been back a couple of times since.
Unlike Canopy, which has re-invented itself as a takeaway coffee shop, converting a side door into a serving hatch, Krema looks more like the coffee shop of old, although for now it is only offering a takeaway menu, with cake, having temporarily closed its kitchen. It’s still serving from the counter inside though, making use of its greater space to create an excellent one-way system, guiding customers from the door to the counter and back out again, all while keeping everyone at a safe distance from each other.
March 2021: having been shut since the start of the year, Krema Coffee reopened (takeaway only) at the start of March.
May 2021: Krema Coffee has now reopened its indoor seating, following the relaxation of the COVID-19 restrictions in England.
You can see what it’s like after the gallery.
Krema Coffee is at the top of Tunsgate in Guildford, the newly pedestrianised street that leads south from the impressive arch on the High Street. This is actually the second Krema Coffee, which opened in 2018: sadly, the original, a much smaller location in Farnham, did not reopen and has now permanently closed.
Superficially, Krema looks similar to its pre-COVID days, although the outside tables that used to the line the window have gone. However, a quick glance inside shows a very different picture, with a line of tables set just back from the window forming an effective barrier. The large counter is still on the right-hand side, starting about a third of the way back from the windows. However, all the other tables have gone, while you can no longer access the basement space at the back. Like Canopy Coffee, Krema is now takeaway only.
As soon as you step inside, the line of tables, plus multiple signs, direct you to the right, leading you along the window at the front of Krema. At the far end, another table guides you around to your left and leads you back along the front of the counter. Along the way, you pass various tempting goodies: the fridge with the cold drinks, a box of crisps, the chiller cabinet with Dylan’s Ice Cream and finally, the cake display, packed with goodies from old friends Cakesmiths, plus retail bags of Horsham Coffee (the Workhorse blend, which is on espresso, plus Horsham Coffee’s full range of single-origins, which the staff can grind for you if required).
Once you have safely negotiated (or not) the various temptations, you find yourself at the till, where you order and pay (which, at the moment, is card only). You then move down past the espresso machine where you collect your coffee. There’s plenty of space down here if several customers are waiting, plus there are yellow and black taped lines of the floor to help you keep your two-metre distancing. There are also Perspex screens on the counter at the till and collection point. Once you have your coffee, you just head straight for the door to leave, well separated by the tables from anyone queuing to order.
Inevitably, Krema is offering a cut-down menu, with simple espresso-based drinks (including iced options), tea, hot chocolate, smoothies and shakes. Pour-over is gone, which is understandable, and the kitchen is closed. In keeping with most other places, Krema is only serving drinks in single-use, disposable cups, and is currently not taking customers’ reusable cups.
I have visited three times, on each occasion having a flat white, made with the Workhorse blend from Horsham Coffee, which goes really well in milk. In each case, I immediately poured my coffee into one of my reusable cups, with the staff happy to dispose of the original cup. I also bought a slice of orange and carrot cake on my latest visit, which I ate when I got home, a rich, creamy concoction which I really enjoyed.
John, the owner, tells me that customer response has been excellent since Krema reopened and the shop has been very busy. There have been other customers in the shop on each of my three visits, but at no point did it feel crowded and the social distancing measures are working perfectly.
There’s a full write-up of Krema Coffee, including a complete gallery, in its main entry, which shows how it was in pre-COVID days.
December 2020: Krema Coffee was a runner-up for the 2020 Happiest Staff Award.
|4 TUNSGATE • GUILDFORD • GU1 3QT|
|Monday||08:00 – 16:00||Roaster||Horsham Coffee Roaster (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 16:00||Seating||N/A|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 16:00||Food||Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 16:00||Service||Order at Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 16:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||09:00 – 16:00||Wifi||N/A|
|Sunday||10:00 – 16:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||Local||Visits||Original: 6th May 2018
Update: 2nd, 12th, 22nd June 2020
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Interesting – 2 metres is my minimum wherever possible – Krema does sound comfortable for takeaways. I cannot see myself sitting inside a fe for quite some time – I used to go daily.
Well done Brian for continuing to fly the coffee flag throughout and for this item on Krema, which symbolises the plight of so many small businesses and especially those in the hospitality sector. John and Michelle have done so much to create two wonderful places for speciality coffee with wonderful, friendly staff. Living in Farnham, we miss our local Krema and although we have tried to recreate Saturday morning breakfast at home, it just isn’t the same. Hopefully the conditions will change and soon the Farnham shop will be able to reopen. Thanks again Brian and thank you John and Michelle – brilliant ambassadors for speciality coffee all. Phil
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