Koja, a Swedish word meaning “a cosy little den”, came into being in August this year. On the one hand, it can be seen as the rebirth of Surrey Hills Coffee on Jeffries Passage, but it’s also very much its own place, resisting the temptation to become a clone of what had gone before.
When I visited, on Koja’s second day of trading, it was just offering takeaway service. As summer turned to autumn, Koja introduced limited seating downstairs, although I never seemed to be in the position to visit, either passing by at closing time (at the relatively early hour of two o’clock in the afternoon) or else it was a Saturday and very busy. With the tightening of COVID-19 restrictions in England at the start of November, Koja returned to takeaway only, and I thought it was high time I popped back to see how things were going.
You can see what I found after the gallery.
These days, Koja is very much its own place, building on the best of what came before, in particular the Surrey Hills Coffee, while branching at in its own direction. When I first visited, although everything looked very familiar, it was quite bare inside. In contrast, popping back over the weekend and again earlier this week, it had a very cosy, festive look.
The layout is the same, with the counter at the back, retail shelves against the right-hand wall and the solitary table in the centre, which acts as a roundabout to guide you through the one-way system, aided by the friendly stickers on the floor. These days, however, the table has morphed into a wire basket, where you’ll find the freshly-baked sourdough bread from London’s The Bread Factory (well, you will if you get there earlier than I do!). There’s also another set of retail shelves on the left-hand wall where you’ll find the full range of blends and single-origins from Surrey Hills Coffee, leaving the original shelves on the right-hand wall to form the mini-market.
Here you’ll find a range of handy groceries, including flour and oat milk, while there are also eggs from Chapel Farm Eggs in the fridge in the counter and ice cream, made using Surrey Hill’s night flight decaf coffee by local producers, Machary Ice Cream. The shelves are also stocked with a range of Swedish produce, quite a bit of which has a festive theme to it. And talking of a festive theme, the window-bar at the front now houses a range of greetings cards
I visited twice, once to stock up on beans (a Ugandan single-origin filter and the seasonal Yuletide blend) while on both occasions getting a flat white in my HuskeeCup (Koja having always been happy to let you bring your own cup, which is a welcome change). While both my flat whites were excellent, the Holmbury Hill blend, as always, going well with the milk, I was particularly impressed with the latte art, which on both occasions lasted to the bottom of the cup on my walk home!
|12 JEFFRIES PASSAGE • GUILDFORD • GU1 4AP|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Surrey Hills Coffee (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 14:00||Seating||N/A|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 14:00||Food||Cakes, Sandwiches|
|Thursday||08:00 – 14:00||Service||Counter|
|Friday||08:00 – 14:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||10:00 – 17:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||10:00 – 14:00||Power||N/A|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 14th August 2020
Update: 21st, 25th November 2020
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