Chairs and Coffee
512 Fulham Road SW6 5NJ
Chairs and Coffee have been serving Fulham Broadway coffee since 2013. Owners Simone Guerini Rocco and Roberto d’Alessandro met in London in 2006, working together in a restaurant. Roberto grew up in a coffee shop in Verona and Simone has worked in coffee roasting, training and engineering. In 2008, Roberto temporarily returned to Verona and Simone moved to Central America, where he worked in a coffee exporting company and judged barista competitions in Guatemala and El Salvador. He also secured 2nd place at the Italian coffee cupping competition in 2012. The two friends met again in London and at the beginning of 2013 they opened Chairs and Coffee. There is a delightful ‘silly’ element to their decor which pops any potential bubble of pretentiousness – not that there is much chance of that.
Roasting their own coffee was an ambition, even before opening the coffee shop. In 2014, they bought a 5kg F.I.M.T, (Fabbrica Italiana Macchine Tostatrici) coffee roaster produced in Turin in around 1960. (FIMT was bought by Scolari more than 30 years ago). Refurbishing the machine themselves, they roasted their own coffee from 2015 under the branding of 80 Stone Coffee “…because we kind of figured out that the roaster weighs about 80 stone, plus we were born in the 80s!’)
It’s well worth the trip to Fulham to see Simone fire up the roaster with a blowtorch and taste the espresso and filter coffee but their 1963 Faema E61 espresso machine is a piece of art and history. The E61 was revolutionary when introduced and very much the template for the modern espresso machine. The machine itself had been sitting for more than 30 years in a priest’s basement of the priest of Simone’s village. When the priest passed away in 2012, the coffee machine was discovered, and given to Simone’s parents. It was restored to its former glory by Simone.
Apart from coffee, a brunch menu changes frequently and there are stenaldebrørd (multi-seed bread baked in-house) open sandwiches with topping such as salmon, horseradish and sourcream and lumpfish caviar.
Cakes are also baked in-house and their most popular item is their banana bread Canadian style (with crispy pancetta, maple syrup, fresh bananas and yoghurt). Bread is from locals The Artisan Bakery and teas from Solaris Botanical.
Rightly, Chairs and Coffee is hugely popular and locals and regulars have had a major input such as Matt from Phatmonk who designed their websites and Virginia Fonderico who designed their logos. It’s a very friendly place and one that you ought to visit.
Reviewed by the Best Coffee team.
Coffee + Drinks
- House Roaster
- 80 Stone
- Mazzer Major, Mazzer Superjolly, Mahlkonig EK43
- Coffee Machine
- Faema E61