I’ve been aware of Redber Coffee Roasters, which was set up in 2012 (the same year as the Coffee Spot), for quite a while now. Located on an industrial estate in Merrow, just south of the train line from Guildford to London via Effingham Junction, the roastery is around an hour’s walk from my house. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest place for me to get to, particularly without a car, nor is it really on my way to anywhere. However, when I learnt last week that Redber was opening an on-site coffee shop, I decided it was about time I paid a visit. It also helped that I had access to a car on Friday…
I visited The Old Roastery Coffee Shop at the end of its first week of trading. There’s a standard espresso-based menu using the Café Français blend, plus tea and hot chocolate, although for now it’s takeaway cups only (that said, the staff are happy if you bring your own). While the indoor seating is off-limits until the next round of COVID-19 restrictions are eased (in mid-May), you are welcome to sit outside where there is a good selection of tables and chairs.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
If you’ve never been before, Redber Coffee Roasters and The Old Roastery Coffee Shop take a bit of finding, not helped by the roadworks which were going on during my visit. Depending on which direction you are coming from, you either want the last turning on the right before the railway bridge (heading north) or the first turning on the left after the railway bridge (heading south). Either way, you’ll probably think you’ve taken the wrong turning (I know I did).
However, persevere, and drive to the end of the road, where you’ll see an A-board for the coffee shop on the right. Drive through the gates and there it is, right in front of you: Redber Coffee Roasters. Unfortunately, this is the new roastery building, not the coffee shop. This is to your left, at the end of the yard, past Shelbrooke Tyres, although in fairness, it well signposted and pretty obvious.
The Old Roastery Coffee Shop is in a low, single-storey brick building on the south side of the yard. Until quite recently, the building was, in fact, the Redber Coffee Roasters main roastery, before expansion led to a move to the new roasting and warehouse facility in the unit you saw on your way in. Hence The Old Roastery Coffee Shop is a coffee shop in the old roastery. These are the sorts of coffee shop names I can get behind.
The coffee shop occupies the left-hand half of the building, where a single door, flanked by a pair of windows, opens onto a spacious interior. Although there are plenty of tables and chairs inside, these are currently out of use, awaiting the next round of COVID-19 restrictions to be eased in May. Instead, make your way to the counter, which is at the back on the right, where you order (and collect) your coffee before heading back outside, where there’s plenty of seating.
Standing in the door, there are a pair of one-person tables to your left in the shade of the building, while the main seating is in the sun, ahead of you to your right. There’s a four-person table with a bench on one side and a pair of chairs on the other, followed by three smaller two-/three-person tables.
It’s an interesting setting. On the one hand, its clearly industrial, with the added benefit of the trains rolling past on their way to and from London. On the other hand, at least when I was there late on Friday afternoon, it was surprisingly peaceful, and Redber has done a good job of greening the space, with a flower bed behind the seats, along with a pair of potted trees.
As well as a standard espresso-based menu, there’s tea, hot chocolate and a range of cakes and snacks. If you want something more substantial, The Old Roastery Coffee Shop has sausage rolls, pasties and a selection sandwiches, wraps, panini and toasties. The coffee shop uses Redber’s Café Français blend, but there are plans, once the indoor seating has opened up, to add a second blend which will change on a monthly basis, showcasing Redber’s output.
I arrived just before closing on Friday afternoon. While I would have liked to try the Café Français blend as an espresso, I settled for a quick flat white in my HuskeeCup, the coffee going well with the milk for a strong, bold drink. Hopefully I’ll be back once the indoor seating has opened up, when I can try the guest blend as well!
May 2021: the indoor seating at The Old Roastery Coffee Shop is now open. You can see what I made of it in my Coffee Spot Update.
December 2021: The Old Roastery Coffee Shop was a runner-up for the 2021 Most Popular Coffee Spot Award.
|MERROW DEPOT • MERROW LANE • GUILDFORD • GU4 7BQ|
|www.redber.co.uk||+44 (0)1483 808580|
|Monday||07:30 – 16:00||Roaster||Redber Coffee Roasters (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||07:30 – 16:00||Seating||Sofa, Window-bar, Tables; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||07:30 – 16:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||07:30 – 16:00||Service||Counter (coffee)/Order at Counter (food)|
|Friday||07:30 – 16:00||Payment||Cards + Cash|
|Chain||No||Visits||Original: 23rd April 2021
Update: 21st May 2021
Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Guildford’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Guildford.
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