Koja by Surrey Hills Coffee (COVID-19 Update)

My flat white, made with the Surrey Hills Coffee Holmbury Hill blend and served in my HuskeeCup at Koja.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.

  • A welcome sign at the top of Jeffries Passage in Guildford since August this year...
  • ... which is when Koja by Surrey Hills Coffee opened.
  • And there it is, looking very welcoming on a gloomy Wednesday afternoon in November.
  • And this is the equally welcoming view I had coming the other way on Saturday.
  • The view head on.
  • The opening hours have changed slightly since my first visit in the summer...
  • ... although the sign of the times on the door has not...
  • ... nor has the need to sanitise gone away.
  • A panoramic view from just inside the door...
  • ... shows a slightly fuller interior than the one that greeted me in August.
  • This is the view back towards the door and the retail shelves...
  • ... and here's the equivalent view from August.
  • As well as the retail shelves on the right as you enter, there are more shelves on the left...
  • ... although the one-way system on the floor hasn't changed.
  • The shelves by the door are a regular mini market, with all sorts of staples...
  • ... including flour...
  • .... and condiments...
  • ... and even ice cream, made with Surrey Hills very own coffee!
  • The shelves on the other side have more traditional coffee shop fare...
  • ... including a wide range of coffee beans and coffee kit on the lower levels.
  • There's also a few more grocery items on the right.
  • Even the window-bar has been pressed into use...
  • ... with greetings cards...
  • ... and, tucked away to one side, star cookie cutters!
  • The table in the middle of Koja has been upgraded to a basket, where you'll find the bread.
  • Finally, don't forget the counter itself, with its in-built display cabinet...
  • ... holding more goodies, including eggs.
  • Meanwhile, the usual suspects in terms of cakes and pastries are on the counter top...
  • ... while to the left of the till are some branded Koja / Shop Local mugs...
  • ... and some Keep Cups (Koja being happy to accept customer's reusable cups).
  • The menu, as ever, is on the wall behind the till...
  • ... where you'll also find the selection of tea.
  • I however, had come for coffee, starting with a flat white in my HuskeeCup on Saturday.
  • My coffee had some lovely latte art...
  • ... which lasted to the bottom of the cup on the walk home.
  • On my return, I had another excellent flat white...
  • ... with more excellent latte art...
  • ... with similar long-lasting properties.
  • I also came away with a couple of bags of coffee, including the Yuletide blend.
Photo Carousel by WOWSlider.com v4.6

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!

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

If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead. [bawlu_buttons]
Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.

2 thoughts on “Koja by Surrey Hills Coffee (COVID-19 Update)

  1. Pingback: Koja by Surrey Hills Coffee (COVID-19) | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: Guildford (2021 Update) | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.