Saucer & Cup

A double shot of espresso in a classic, oversized blue cup, served at Saucer & Cup.Saucer & Cup is one of those places which has been on my radar since it opened in 2014. However, I’ve never quite been in the right place at the right time for a visit (or, possibly, never made the time/place…). Until last week, that is, when I was in Earlsfield, a mere 20-minute walk away. It was too good an opportunity to miss!

Saucer & Cup is on the other side of Wimbledon Park from the famous All England Law Tennis and Croquet Club, located on Arthur Road, just down the hill from Wimbledon Park tube station on the District Line. From the street, it’s a fairly modest space, but inside, it goes quite a way back, plus there’s a spacious basement.

The focus is on the coffee, which Saucer & Cup backs up with a concise and innovative brunch menu, all the food being prepared in the kitchen, which shares downstairs with the basement seating. Saucer & Cup only offers single-origins, with a seasonal house espresso from Workshop, plus a regularly changing guest espresso (currently Tim Wendelboe). There’s also batch brew filter and, depending on the time of day/how busy things are, you can always ask (nicely) about pour-over.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Between two green-tiled pillars on Arthur Road in Wimbledon stands...
  • ... Saucer & Cup. The door's on the left, with two benches plus tables under the windows.
  • There's another pair of benches opposite on the edge of the pavement.
  • Stepping inside, this is the view which greets you from just inside the door.
  • There's a four-person table directly ahead of you as you enter...
  • ... although the bulk of the tables are along this U-shaped bench to the right.
  • It starts to the right of the door, running along the windows at the front, the down...
  • ... the side, before coming back across the front of the counter.
  • Carrying on around to the left brings us back to where we started in front of the door.
  • A view of the front part of Saucer & Cup from just in front of the counter.
  • Talking of which, the counter starts about half way back on the right. A wide corridor...
  • ... leads between it and the stairs to a smaller seating area at the back...
  • ... where you'll find this large, 12-person communal table, plus another window.
  • Behind you/to your left, stairs lead down to the basement. Double back on yourself at...
  • ... the bottom, and you'll go past the kitchen, emerging in this basement at the back.
  • There's an L-shaped bench that starts beyond the old brick fireplace...
  • ... seen here from the other side. Check out the window, which makes for a bright space.
  • Carrying on around, there's a six-person table in the corner, on your right as you enter.
  • Finally, after one more turn to the right, we're back at the fireplace.
  • Let's go back upstairs...
  • ... where we find ourselves once again at the table at the back.
  • It's quite a green space back here, plus there's an interesting painting on the wall.
  • Talking of pictures, this is from the basement, showing coffee cherries being delivered...
  • ... to a mill in Guatemala, while this shows sample roasting at a washing station in Rwanda.
  • Back upstairs, this greenery is literally at the top of the stairs.
  • The window at the back makes for a very bright space...
  • ... while here's a view of the window at the front, albeit through a mirror on the wall.
  • Despite all the windows, there are still plenty of light bulbs.
  • There are long, thin ones...
  • ... large, round ones...
  • ... and classically shaped ones (last one, I promise).
  • Saucer & Cup has a limited range of beans for sale.
  • This, the Los Naranjos, is the current seasonal house espresso.
  • Saucer & Cup has a concise and innovative brunch menu...
  • ... which is backed up by plenty of cake.
  • The drinks menu, meanwhile, is on the wall.
  • There's water at the end of the counter...
  • ... while the espresso machine, a three-group Synesso Hydra, is at the other end.
  • It faces front, which is where you get this view, plus its two grinders, a Peak and an EK43.
  • I had already eaten, so missed out on brunch, having a slice of cake instead.
  • It's a flourless chocolate and almond cake, and it was excellent.
  • I also had an espresso, served in an oversized classic blue cup. My barista promised...
  • ... something out of the ordinary, but would only tell me what it was when I'd drunk it...
  • ... so I'll end the gallery here!
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Saucer & Cup is on Arthur Road, towards the southern end of a dense network of residential streets to the east of Wimbledon Park. A short way down the hill and on the other side of the road from Wimbledon Park tube station, its black and white façade is sandwiched between two striking, green-tiled pillars.

If you want to sit outside on the slightly sloping street, there’s a pair of benches under the windows to the right of the door, with three short, round tables. Opposite them, across the broad pavement, two more benches, with three even shorter wooden cubes for tables, stand by the edge of the road. Alternatively, head inside, where Saucer & Cup occupies a bright, high-ceilinged space. As well windows running right across the front of Saucer & Cup, which catch the sun pretty much all day, there’s another window in the middle of the back wall.

The seating is in two distinct areas, a larger one at the front and a single, communal table at the back, the two separated by the counter (on the right) and the stairs down to the basement (left). Directly ahead of you, a single, four-person table is tucked between the door and stairs. To your right, a wooden bench runs under the windows, then down the right-hand wall, before turning again to run across the front of the counter. There are four two-person tables along the front, a further two tables down the wall and three more in front of the counter (any of which can be pushed together for larger groups).

A wide corridor leads between the stairs and counter (where you order on the right) to a single, 12-person communal table which occupies the entire back quarter of Saucer & Cup (which is narrower than the front). Behind you and to your left, the stairs lead down to the kitchen, occupying the space under the front of Saucer & Cup. Doubling back on yourself again, a corridor runs between the stairs (left) and kitchen (right) to a spacious basement at the back of Saucer & Cup. An old brick fireplace is on the left, while to your right is a six-person table. Finally, an L-shaped bench runs from beyond the fireplace, along the left-hand wall, then across the back, where there’s a matching window (the land behind Saucer & Cup drops steeply away).

Having just lunched at Bean and Hop, I passed on the tempting brunch menu and its range of classic dishes with some interesting twists. Instead, I settled for a slice of flourless chocolate and almond cake, topped with a thick layer of chocolate icing, which was excellent.

Turning to coffee, I asked what was on espresso and was told that I could have something out of the ordinary or something more rounded. Naturally, I said “out of the ordinary, please”, the barista offering to tell me all about it, but only once I’d drunk it. My coffee, a double shot pulled on the Synesso Hydra on the front of the counter, was served as in an oversized classic blue cup. It was definitely different, with a pleasing acidity on the first two sips, but without the brightness that attacks the sides of my mouth. Instead, it was all front of the mouth, but beyond that, my palate lets me down and I can’t really say much, except that I liked it.

My barista explained that it was the guest espresso, the Karogoto, a washed coffee from smallholder farmers in Nyeri, Kenya, roasted by Oslo’s Tim Wendelboe. Saucer & Cup gets a kilo or two of each guest, which is on until it runs out. The good news is that there should still be some left this week (if you’re quick)!

159 ARTHUR ROAD • LONDON • SW19 8AD
www.saucerandcup.com
Monday 08:00 – 16:00 Roaster Workshop + Guest (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 16:00 Seating Tables, Bench; Benches (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 16:00 Food Breakfast, Lunch, Cake
Thursday 08:00 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:30 – 16:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 09:00 – 16:00 Power A few
Chain No Visits 12th October 2021

Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of London’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to London.


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