Bean & Cole, Chester Market

A head-on view of the Bean & Cole stall in the new Chester Market.Regular readers know that I love a good market, so it’s fitting that today’s Saturday Short takes us to Chester, where the new Chester Market, part of the Northgate development, opened in November last year. And even better, from the Coffee Spot’s perspective, one of the founding tenants in none other than Bean & Cole, with the unit in the market joining the original coffee shop on Frodsham Street.

Bean & Cole occupies a simple counter towards the back of the new market, although you’re welcome to take your coffee to any of the market’s extensive seating areas, inside or out. Even better, the friendly baristas will bring your coffee to you and, what’s more, it will be served in a proper cup! Best of all, though, is the choice of beans, with Assembly on espresso, along with a guest roaster in the second hopper, while for filter, there’s a choice of pour-over or batch-brew (both from Square Mile during my visit). Finally, if you’re hungry, Bean & Cole has its usual range of cakes/pastries.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Exchange Square, behind Northgate Street in Chester, where you'll find...
  • ... the entrance to the new Chester Market!
  • The heart of the market is this large, central seating area at the back.
  • Various corridors head off on either side, leading past various stalls to more seating areas.
  • This one is on the right, with a selection four-person square tables...
  • ... and about half a dozen of these interesting, booth-like structures.
  • There's another, more open seating area on the left, with its glass wall and ceiling.
  • You'll also find the market's side entrance here, along with this outdoor terrace.
  • Back in the central seating area, take the first corridor on the right...
  • ... and there, second stall along, you'll find Bean & Cole!
  • Always nice to have the name(s) above the door. Not that there's a door in this case.
  • For context, here's the view back towards the central seating area from Bean & Cole.
  • You order at the counter (if you know where you're sitting, the staff will bring your drinks).
  • You'll also find the cakes and pastries here, always one of the Bean & Cole highlights!
  • Brownie, anyone? Or a cookie perhaps?
  • More of the Bean & Cole selection.
  • The menu is on the left-hand wall, along with the current selection of beans.
  • And talking of beans, if you look over to the right...
  • You'll find a full retail selection on some shelves at the end of the counter.
  • All the shots are pulled on the La Marzocco KB90 on the left-hand side...
  • ... which means that you can stand at the counter and watch your espresso extracting.
  • I had a flat white, served in a proper cup...
  • ... along with some excellent latte art...
  • ... which lasted all the way to the bottom of the cup.
  • Before I left, I gave Bean & Cole this Kochere Beloya from Code Black Coffee in Melbourne.
  • I also bought this cinnamon bun, which I enjoyed at home the following day.
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Chester Market is just off Northgate Street, tucked in alongside the old Town Hall, occupying a redeveloped space which I knew for many years as Chester bus station (before the now not-so-new bus interchanged opened just outside the city walls). From Northgate Street, head down the Coachworks Arcade, a pedestrian passageway though the wonderful façade of the old Westminster Coach and Motor Car Works. This leads into Exchange Square, where you’ll find the entrance to the market on the far side.

Stepping inside, a long, two aisle corridor leads past food retailers on either side to the central seating area, a large, open space at the back of the market, with a series of long, communal tables in middle along with smaller, four-person tables down either side. This acts as a focal point for the food hall section of the market, where you’ll find everything from pizza and pasta to street food and seafood, although there are some non-food businesses back here as well.

A pair of corridors leads off the central area on either side, each passing various stalls on their way two more seating areas. The one on the right offers a series of small, four-person tables and more secluded booth-like structures, while on the left there’s a more open arrangement of square, with four-person tables under a glass roof. The market’s side entrance is here, opening onto a large, outdoor seating terrace alongside a pedestrianised section of Princess Street.

Returning to the central seating area, take the first corridor on the right and there, second stall on the right, is Bean & Cole. The layout is very simple, with the counter running across the front of the roughly cube-shaped space. You pay and order here, which is also where you’ll find the cakes. The menu and choice of beans are on the wall to the left, while you’ll find a retail selection of beans on the right.

Like the original Bean & Cole on Frodsham Street, you’ll find Assembly’s current espresso offering (a naturally-processed Brazilian during my visit) which is joined by a guest roaster, all the shots being pulled on a La Marzocco KB90. If espresso isn’t your thing, you have a choice of pour-over or batch-brew, both options being provided by Square Mile during my visit.

However, I was very much in the mood for espresso and was intrigued by the guest roaster, Area 51, a Greek roaster based in Athens, but with a UK arm. While you’re welcome to have either of the two espressos however you like, my barista, Theo (also from Greece) recommended that I try the Area 51, an Ethiopian coffee, in milk, so I had a flat white. This proved to be an excellent choice, the fruity notes of the coffee coming strongly through the milk to provide a rich, smooth flat white.

Afterwards I got chatting with Theo, which is a dangerous exercise if you’re in a hurry, since we ended up talking for about half an hour! I left him with a bag of another Ethiopian coffee, the Kochere Beloya, which I’d brought back from Australia with me, having picked it up at Code Black Coffee in Melbourne. I also bought one of Bean & Cole’s excellent cinnamon buns to take home with me, enjoying it with my coffee the following day.

Monday CLOSED Roaster Assembly + Guests (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 09:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables; Tables (outside)
Wednesday 09:00 – 18:00 Food Cake
Thursday 09:00 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 09:00 – 18:00 Payment Cards + Cash
Saturday 09:00 – 18:00 Wifi Free
Sunday 10:00 – 18:00 Power Limited
Chain Local Visits 2nd June 2023

Liked this Coffee Spot? Then check out the rest of Chester’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Chester.

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