The Roastery at Cobham

The Rwanda Bwenda, a naturally-processed coffee, which was prepared through the V60 and served in a double-walled glass cup at The Roastery in Cobham.Three weeks ago today, all of my pre-flight checks complete, I was ready for to fly to Atlanta. However, I had one final thing to do before I left for the airport: visit The Roastery at Cobham, home to Copper Coffee Roasters. Despite being located just along the A3 from Guildford, Copper’s was a chance discovery that I only found out about when I visited Nikki’s in Weybridge. In my defence, Copper’s is a relatively new addition to the area, having opened in March 2020, just in time for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Occupying one of several old barns at Bramley Hedge Farm, The Roastery at Cobham is both a roastery (as the name would suggest) and a coffee shop. It’s a little unusual in that it’s only open in the mornings, with Monday being the best day if you want to catch the roaster in action. The offering’s simple, with a single option on espresso (usually one of the blends) and any of the roastery’s many single-origins as a pour-over using the V60. You can also have tea and hot chocolate, while on any day except Monday, there’s a selection of cakes and pastries from McLaren Fine Foods in Weybridge.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Bramley Hedge Farm, at the end of Redhill Road in Cobham. But what's the link to coffee?
  • Look at the signs to the right of the gate. There, at the far end, the one saying 'Copper'.
  • To get there, drive in, past the farm, then turn right, down this long line of old barns.
  • There's another sign, but it's easier to see from here, looking back the way we've come.
  • Did you spot it? Here it is, on the side of the building, right at the top.
  • There are two more signs at ground level in case you miss that one!
  • They all point down here, towards the back of the unit on the left...
  • ... where you'll find The Roastery at Cobham, home to Copper Coffee Roasters.
  • Another sign, just in case you missed the other four and got here by accident.
  • One more for good measure!
  • There's plenty of outdoor seating by the way, right at the back of the unit...
  • ... just beyond the big double doors.
  • Let's go in, shall we?
  • The opening times are on the door. Note that The Roastery is only open in the mornings.
  • The doors lead you to the counter, which is directly ahead of you against the far wall...
  • ... while the rest of the coffee shop/roastery stretches away to your right.
  • This neat little seating area occupies about one third of the space.
  • There's a sofa and coffee table against the wall next to the counter...
  • ... this square, two-person table at the front...
  • ... with three more of them near the back.
  • There are also some retail shelves. These are to your left as you enter...
  • ... while these are against the wall opposite the sofa.
  • The roastery part of The Roastery at Cobham is right at the back.
  • This is the demarcation line. Forward of this is coffee shop, behind it is roastery.
  • There's the usual packing area off to the left...
  • ... while pride of place, right in the middle, goes to the roaster itself...
  • ... a rather lovely 5 kg Toper.
  • In some ways, roasters haven't changed much in 100 years, with simple controls like this.
  • On the other hand, this Toper comes with a modern control panel like this...
  • ... while the whole unit links to a laptop, which runs state-of-the-art roasting software!
  • The roaster's job is to turn these (sacks of green beans)...
  • ... into these (bags of roasted coffee). However, it's a bit more complicated than that!
  • Things start with a bucket of green beans. With a small capacity roaster like this one...
  • ... it's simple enough to lift the bucket up and tip the beans into the big funnel at the top.
  • The roasting part of the roaster, the cylinder in the middle, then gets to work.
  • Although the software tracks the progress of the roast, you can see the beans through...
  • ... the little glass window in the roaster, watching them slowly turn from green to...
  • ... successively darker shades of brown.
  • The most dramatic part comes when the roast is the finished. Martin opens the flap...
  • ... at the bottom of the roaster and the hot, roasted beans come tumbling out...
  • ... complete with clouds of smoke...
  • ... into the cooling pan below.
  • Here come the last ones. The cooling pan now needs to cool the beans as quickly as...
  • ... possible by stirring them around while drawing cool air through the pan.
  • The final step is to get the beans out of the cooling pan, using the flap at the front.
  • The paddles now sweep the beans through the flap into the waiting bucket.
  • And that's it. From green beans (white bucket) to roasted beans (black bucket)...
  • ... leaving the roaster ready for another load (which is actually already in there!).
  • To (coffee shop) business. You order at the counter, where you can also sit if you like.
  • This is the view you get if you do.
  • Every day except Monday (I visited on a Monday), these are full of cakes and pastries.
  • Just in case you've forgotten where you are by now!
  • The menu is also on the back wall, to the right of the sign.
  • I decided to try a pour-over. You can have anything that the roastery produces.
  • I settled on a Rwandan single-origin, which I drank while sitting on the sofa.
  • I'll leave you with my coffee, looking resplendent in its glass, double-walled cup.
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Like Thursday’s Coffee Spot, NewGround Coffee Roastery & Coffee Shop, you’re unlikely to stumble upon The Roastery at Cobham by accident, unless you’re visiting the equestrian centre, body shop or either of the two gyms which share Bramley Hedge Farm with the roastery. You’re not even likely to drive past, since just beyond the farm, the road comes to an abrupt dead end to the north of the A3.

Once you’ve found Bramley Hedge Farm, Copper’s is not that obvious, just a small sign to the right of the gate giving its presence away. Head in past the farm buildings, then turn right at the end, where you’ll find The Roastery at Cobham about halfway along a row of single-storey barns on the left (with plenty of parking on the right). Copper’s occupies the rear half of Unit 4, an old livestock barn, with no fewer than three signs at the front to point you in the right direction.

Big double doors on the left mark the start of The Roastery at Cobham, with a generous outdoor seating area against the wall beyond. There are four tables, two picnic-style with benches, along with a couple of large umbrellas for shade/shelter from the rain. Alternatively, head inside, where you’ll find the counter directly in front of you, with the rest of The Roastery at Cobham stretching off to your right.

Looking down the length of The Roastery at Cobham, with the doors to your right and the counter to your left, the space is neatly split into three, starting with the counter area, which is as far as you need to go if you are just ordering takeaway. Next comes a neat seating area (although you can also sit at one of two stools at the counter), which occupies the middle third of The Roastery at Cobham. This consists of a sofa and four two-person tables to the left, with retail shelves and a green bean store to the right. Finally, at the back, is the roastery itself, with a packing area on the left and the 5 kg Toper, which is unusual in that it’s electrically powered, taking pride of place in the middle.

Copper Coffee Roasters is a father and son operation, who had a background in coffee, vending machines and engineering before deciding to set up their own roastery and coffee shop. I met Simon (the father), who was serving behind the counter, and Martin, who confines himself to roasting and the final third of the building. Matt (the son), meanwhile, can also be found in the coffee shop, but has Mondays (when I visited) off.

Monday, by the way, is not the best day to visit, since as well as missing Matt, you also miss the pastries and cakes, but as compensation, it is the best day to see the roaster in action, with Martin typically turning out between 70 and 80 kg of roasted coffee.

When it comes to drinking the coffee, there’s a blend on espresso (it was the Foxtrot Oscar while I was there, a mix of beans from El Salvador, Ethiopia and Guatemala), while you can have any of the roastery’s single-origin output as a pour-over through the V60.

I decided that I would try a pour-over and, in discussion with Simon, settled upon the Rwanda Bwenda, a naturally-processed coffee, which was served in a double-walled glass cup. My coffee was very fine, surprisingly delicate and sweet for a natural, with a more subtle profile. Ideally, I’d have stayed longer, but I had a plane to catch, so was swiftly on my way.

UNIT 4B • BRAMLEY HEDGE FARM • REDHILL ROAD • COBHAM • KT11 1EQ
https://coppercoffeeroasters.co.uk +44 (0) 20 3865 3798
Monday 08:00 – 12:00 Roaster Copper Coffee Roasters (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 08:00 – 12:00 Seating Tables, Sofa, Counter; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 08:00 – 12:00 Food Cakes
Thursday 08:00 – 12:00 Service Counter
Friday 08:00 – 12:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 08:00 – 12:00 Wifi No
Sunday CLOSED Power No
Chain No Visits 8th November 2021

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