When I arrived in London, July last year, the pace of life suddenly picked up. I’d read about the coffee culture in London and heard things had progressed since I was last here several years ago but I didn’t really know what to expect. I quickly found that most coffee shops had called East London their home for one reason or another.
Well, this week I am heading south of the Thames to share some love for a personal favourite shop of mine. Finding quality coffee in this neck of the woods isn’t as hard as you might think.
Story Coffee on St John’s Hill in Battersea is a getaway destination within London, that every now and again we all need. Owners Sof and Jo are some of loveliest people you’d hope to find managing a coffee shop. Sof is the happy chap behind the counter, who makes a point of speaking to every single customer (which I often miss in this bustling city of ours).
If you catch a glimpse of Jo you’ll be fortunate, as she tends to be very busy downstairs making delicious treats for everybody.
Sof and Jo had a dream, and more importantly a vision, to create a space that people could connect with. Coffee and coffee shops alike are an institution, they have represented many things to people all around the world for centuries, and the couple wanted to be a part of that.
They spent countless hours meticulously planning every inch of the shop: From the finely crafted, clean-cut table legs to the stand out, dye stained soft cedar wood brew bar. The interesting decor throughout creates a particularly relaxing and unassuming ambience.
18 months before opening Story Coffee, the pair attended the London Design week in Clerkenwell and met an innovative British table designer whose work struck a chord immediately. Two years down the line, the designer wasn’t just making the tables for Story Coffee, he was fitting out the entire shop.
What I love about Story Coffee is the sheer attention to detail throughout. Little things like the table legs have been crafted to replicate the shape of the Kees van der Western Spirit espresso machine sitting on the brew bar – a beautiful machine in itself, that certainly takes its pride of place for all eyes to see.
Apart from the brew bar, almost all the fittings in the shop have been made from the wood of one tree, picked by Sof. (Look out for the little brown croissant paper bag stuck to the wall, I’ll let the duo tell you the story behind that one.)
Story Coffee has been open for just over a year now and its been a joy to see it blossom.
Proudly serving Red Brick through their primary grinder (Mythos), a rotating guest coffee offering keeps the second grinder busy. A selection of locally made cakes fill up one end of the bar, and if you are after something a little more substantial Story boasts a simple but distinguished mouth-watering food menu.
Sof and Jo bring love, care and attention, and their customers add a lovely atmosphere.
Whether you travel by bus or overground, from Clapham Junction it’s a pleasant 10 minute walk to this superbly located corner shop. I’ve got a lot of love for Sof, Jo and Story Coffee. Pay the guys a visit, you wont be disappointed.
115 St John’s Hill, Battersea SW11 1SZ