Sat at a little chipboard effect table for two earlier this week, in the coolest new coffee & cocktail spot, Alex turned to me after taking a sip of my decaf espresso Martini and said “I’m surprised you like that. You’re actually a proper coffee lover now”. I hadn’t been for a proper coffee with Alex for a long time, but I realised he was right – it’s not just about the caffeine fix and getting through the day for me anymore, piling in the sugar or ordering a milky flavoured latte to hide the taste. I actually LOVE the taste of a good cup of coffee. And this new spot does a bludy good coffee. Ok, I did only try it in a cocktail, but I could tell, it was tasty!
The little table for two we were sat at was nestled in the corner of Chapter 72, a new coffee & cocktail bar on Bermondsey Street, in between Bermondsey and London Bridge.
Opened by husband and wife team, Rod Eslamieh (Drinks Expert and Brand Ambassador for Tia Maria and Disaronno) and wife Ellie, it’s got an almost unfinished feel, with its chipboard effect tables, bar and shelves, but paired with the dark wood fittings, and clean white interior it’s super contemporary and quite unique.
You can tell that the cute window seats would make the perfect spot to perch and people watch over a coffee, whilst the tables further back were great for settling into for a drink or two (or five).
Coffee and cocktails are the order of each day, and Rod took six months deciding on a coffee supplier, before finally settling on Extract Coffee, a Bristol based roasters who carefully pick their speciality grade Arabica beans from around the world. The bar is home to a barista machine to the one end, a selection of fresh pastries and cakes from local suppliers like Bad Brownie, and at the far end, is where the magic happens – the mixology.
Rod created all the cocktails himself, but his group of mixologists are well versed with how to get the best results for each drink on the menu.
The cocktail menu incorporates seven different cocktails, all featuring coffee, Amaretto, or Tia Maria (the coffee liqueur). All of the cocktail combinations are really intriguing, with some fab names – Fake News Flat White, Netflix & Chill, and Jamaican Me Crazy. With espresso martini available as a decaf too, you needn’t worry about drinking so much that you won’t sleep – I know, we’ve all done it.
The decaf espresso martini, a combination of creamy Tia Maria, Reyka Vodka and Espresso, was absolutely delicious. Frothy on top, the strong coffee flavour shone through. I could have happily sat there drinking a few more of these, but with so many cocktails I wanted to try, I had to order another to taste.
The Dark Arts Negroni, a mix of Tia Maria, Hendricks Gin and Campari, had a bitter but sweet flavour with a slightly citrus edge. Served short, in a small glass with plenty of ice and a slice of orange, it’s a drink designed to be sipped and enjoyed.
I think Alex and I both fell in love with the Jamaican Me Crazy. Tasting like summer in a glass (Alex’s words – he’s getting better at helping describe things ha), the fresh Cucumber, Passion Fruit Syrup, Tia Maria and Mango Juice combined, strangely gave off a watermelon flavour – mind blowing! The juicy bits of cucumber in the glass made for a refreshing end to each mouthful, and my glass definitely went down a little too quickly.
With cocktails priced at £8 and coffees between £2 and £3, prices are really reasonable. With a super cool interior and friendly, welcoming atmosphere, I could definitely imagine taking family who are visiting there for a drink.
It’s a great location for if you’re in and around the area (like at my favourite food market, Maltby Street), but it’s definitely worth travelling for too – we’re planning our next cocktail evening there.
Have you been to any cool new bars or coffee shops recently?
*I was invited along to the launch of Chapter 72. All views my own.