Coopers Roastery & Coffee Bar has been on my radar for many years, but it’s one of those places that’s not too easy for me to get to without a car. However, last weekend I found myself with a car and in need of somewhere to stop for breakfast on my drive along the M40. Suddenly, Coopers became a very attractive option.
Occupying an old garage in a small industrial area at the eastern end of Marlow, Coopers Roastery & Coffee Bar is exactly what the name suggests, with the coffee roasters sitting at the back of a large, open space, while the coffee bar is on the left. However, it’s also a lot more than that, since you can add kitchen (in a separate room at the back), lounge (plenty of seating) and dog-friendly to the list.
Turning to coffee, Coopers offers its house blend, Jabbajaws, decaf and a featured coffee (currently a Brazilian single-origin) on espresso or filter as V60, AeroPress or Chemex (for two). There’s also Tregothnan Tea from Cornwall and Kokoa Collection hot chocolate, plus a concise brunch menu, backed up by a selection of cakes, all of which can be enjoyed sitting inside or out.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Coopers Roastery & Coffee Bar occupies the ground floor at the end of a short row of industrial units in Marlow, close to the A404, which has taken me zooming past the town on many occasions (although mostly in pre-Coffee Spot days). It makes a handy alternative to the motorway services, just ten minutes south of Junction 4 on the M40 and even more handy if you use the A404 as a cut-across between the M40 and M4. The main problem is parking, since Coopers only has four spaces at the front, although there is other parking in the area. Alternatively, if travelling by train, it’s a 10-minute walk from the centre of town and the station.
However you get there, Coopers has a fairly unprepossessing entrance, a roll-up garage door at the left-hand side of the unit. You’ll need to go inside to order, following a one-way system (enter to the left, exit to the right), but there is outside seating, with eight wire stools and a wooden bench around an old industrial reel (now pressed into service as a table) in one of the parking spaces opposite the door. Even better is a small garden-like space down the left-hand side, with plenty of plants and bushes in pots, plus a picnic table and a handful of benches.
A small, broad corridor leads into Coopers proper, a set of retail shelves separating the inbound traffic on the left from the outbound traffic on the right. This leads you past a large fridge on the left, with soft drinks and milk before deposits you at the counter, with the espresso machine (a three-group Kees van der Westen Spirit) on the left and the cakes, in an in-built glass display case, on the right.
For takeaway, you go no further. The coffee menu is on the wall to your left, while you place your order at the till on your right, then make your way out past more retail shelves packed with coffee and coffee kit. Wait outside and your coffee appears on a collection table in the entranceway.
Back inside, the large counter occupies most of the left-hand side, while the roastery is at the back, with two Probat roasters (sample and production) on the right and the green bean store on the left, beyond the counter. Behind that is the kitchen in its own walled-off space beyond the roastery, while the seating is opposite the counter on the right. Before COVID-19 struck, Coopers was open seven-days-a-week and roasting took place during the week. For now, it’s closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, with roasting taking place then.
In pre-COVID days, Coopers was counter service, but since the interior reopened last week, it’s moved to table service. Someone will greet you at the counter, check you in (NHS App or paper) and direct you to an empty table, which has a green paper on it. When you leave, turn this over (it’s red on the other side) so the staff know to clear/clean the table.
There were more tables, but they’ve been thinned out for social distancing. A row of three runs down the middle, with four-person tables front and back. The 10-person table in the middle can be shared by having a group at either end. There’s a cosy corner at the front, behind/to your right as you enter, a sofa on one side and a pair of armchairs on the other. Beyond that is a tall four-person table against the right-hand wall, then a long, padded bench runs along the wall with three two-person tables.
For my breakfast, I had poached eggs, served on guacamole, itself on top of a slice of toast (white, brown or sourdough). My eggs were lovely, as was the toast (I ordered extra) and guacamole. I also had an excellent flat white, the Jabbajaws blend and milk in perfect harmony, producing a classic, well-rounded flat white. Best of all, I had it sitting inside at a table for the first time this year!
|METER HOUSE • FIELDHOUSE LANE • MARLOW • SL7 1LW|
|www.cooperstradingcompany.com||+44 (0) 1628 475266|
|Monday||CLOSED||Roaster||Coopers (espresso + filter)|
|Tuesday||CLOSED||Seating||Tables, Armchairs; Tables (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:30 – 15:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:30 – 15:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:30 – 15:00||Payment||Cards Only|
|Saturday||08:30 – 15:00||Wifi||Free (with code)|
|Sunday||08:30 – 15:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||No||Visits||22nd May 2021|
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