You could say it was a good cup of coffee that changed the course of Chik Eve Von’s life. A cup of cappucino, to be precise.
Her career as a film producer gave her the opportunity to travel, and with that came the chance to visit different coffee bars in each city.
Chik doesn’t remember when or exactly where she enjoyed that life-changing cup of beverage, but the one thing for sure is, she’s no longer in film production. And she’s making coffee now. In fact, she has been pouring coffee for over three years.
Chik opened her coffee bar, Sevencups, in Empire Damansara in 2013.
“The name pretty much stands for my need for coffee every day of the week. So seven cups of coffee would be a certainty, although I do consume a lot more than that. But ‘Many Cups’ doesn’t seem quite as catchy for a cafe’s name!” she says with a laugh.
Chik learned about making good espresso – and running the business – after she quit her film producer job to work at cafes around the Klang Valley. And she has attended enough coffee masterclasses to know how to make a good cuppa.
Chik gets her beans from Singapore-based Nylon Coffee Roasters.
“They give us the best blend of coffee which they feel best showcases the season, and that changes approximately every six months. The current blend is from El Salvador and Nicaragua,” says Chik.
The blend from Nylon is usually light to medium roast, and makes for a sweet and balanced espresso. Notes of stonefruits accompanied by ripe cherries and sweet nuts inform the nose, beautifully paired with a creamy texture. Rounded and smooth, this is one coffee perfect for everyday drinking.
“It is not harsh or bitter, and is silky enough to hold milk or even drunk black,” she adds.
The barista’s affable personality is infectious. Her customers more often than not return her smile, and she almost knows all their orders before they make them.
“This is first and foremost, an espresso bar. We want to introduce people to the world of coffee, and eventually convert them to our side,” she says with a grin.
The barista prefers to stick to the original taste of the coffee, but on the other hand, she is also not a purist. Hence her willingness to experiment with the drinks.
“We like to play around with the flavours without affecting the coffee. You can find iced latte and iced black coffee anywhere, but we want to make them different here.”
One such concoction from a successful experimentation is the Iced Lime Black Brew (RM13). A squeeze of lime is added to their aged, cold-brewed coffee, before being shaken in a martini shaker.
To make aged cold brew, coffee grounds are steeped in cold water for 18 hours and the resulting brew is aged for a further three days for the flavours, especially sweetness, to intensify.
The mixture is poured into a glass holding a single whisky ice ball, and a frothy foam forms on top. The drink looks very much like stout, but doesn’t taste anything like it.
In fact, it might need a little getting used to, what with the first sip tasting like ice cold tom yum soup to me.
“It’s an acquired taste. If you like it, then you like it,” says Chik.
If a hint of lime is too much for you, then maybe the ChocolatePourover (RM15) would do the trick. Hot chocolate made with Ghanaian cocoa with grated dark Belgian chocolate is poured over crunchy Belgian dark chocolate pearls and creamy vanilla ice cream. How can anyone say no to this magical creation?
Chik managed to wrangle one of the funnest ice cream makers in the Klang Valley to set up a scoop shop in Sevencups. A display counter is right next to the coffee bar, showcasing Fatbaby Ice Cream’s finest selections such as the Madagascar Vanilla Bean, Salted Caramel and Cornflakes. One of the flavours is even one of a kind.
“Fatbaby created the Rocky Road flavour specially for Sevencups. They don’t even have it at their own store!” says Chik proudly.
If you are one of those people who can find fault with the marshmallowy, chocolatey, nutty, gooey and very delicious Rocky Road ice cream, then I don’t want to have anything to do with you. The Belgian chocolate ice cream with salted, caramelised walnuts and swirls of homemade marshmallow fluff is what heaven is made of.
A single scoop goes for RM8 and a double scoop for RM13. The ice cream is also best eaten with the waffle or ice cream sandwich. If you have to pick one, then go for the Banana Toffee Waffle (RM16.90). The soft and fluffy homemade waffle comes with freshly sliced bananas, topped with ice cream of your choice, drizzled with Belgian chocolate sauce, and finished with a sprinkle of toasted almond flakes and freshly ground coffee beans.
You know what? Have the Ice Cream Sandwich as well – I try the Vanilla Cornflakes Sandwich (RM10.90). Chik makes the marshmallow-cornflake-chocolate chip cookies that sandwich the ice cream. It is topped with a sprinkling of cornflakes and sea salt. Be warned that this monster creation is cloyingly sweet, so be a good kid and share it with someone.
The selection of savoury food at Sevencups is pretty limited, and Chik says that she only added them to the menu to pacify hungry customers.
“We had many people asking for food to go with their coffee. Eventually, we caved in. A friend of mine, who is a trained chef, created the sandwiches for us.”
Do try the Mushroom Melt Sandwich (RM15.50) if you like something oozy and cheesy. The bread is spread with mushroom sauteed with thyme, butter and garlic, and topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
I like the Sriracha Chicken Sandwich (RM16.50) with shredded roast chicken tossed in spicy Sriracha aioli and topped with olives and fresh pea sprouts.
The sandwiches are made with either sourdough or white bread, and come with a side of hand-cut potato crisps.
The sandwiches are pretty basic, but tasty and filling nonetheless. If you’re just looking for something savoury to munch while enjoying good coffee, they fit the bill. It comes with peace and quiet too.
G-25, Empire Damansara
Jalan PJU 8/8
47820 Petaling Jaya
Tel: 03-4065 0037
Opens Monday to Saturday, 11am to 11pm; Sunday, 11am to 8pm