To road-test – or in this case St. John’s Hill test – a little independent roastery in my soon-to-be neighbourhood, my companion and I – who had been chatting about this place for some time – finally made it to Story for some Saturday morning caffeine. Saturdays are for story-telling after all, ideally over a brew.
Story’s story is all about coffee. Even their name reflects the essential feature of speciality coffee: transparency of origin. Signalling the arrival of Square Mile Coffee in Battersea, they combine dedication to quality coffee with a community-orientated space serving a range of filter options and espresso. I love their short and simple menu: written on a sharp white wall in black ink, it outlines the different types of coffee (and tea) on offer. It cuts straight to the chase without any fuss. And to provide total clarity, “Espresso + Milk” are written up, pointing out that cappuccinos, flat whites, lattes et al are all variations on a theme. Just FYI.
Though we didn’t have any food, their pastries, Pollen & Grace sweet treats and brunch plates – featuring quinoa pancakes – all looked like good stuff.
The space is beautiful. Though very small, it makes use of light wood, whitewashed walls and utilitarian fittings to create a clean and airy feel. It’s also very well-lit through the huge windows next to which we enjoyed our soya lattes. Light and breezy, it feels like something out of a Scandinavian lifestyle magazine. And the coffee bar, home to the Story branded coffee machine and lined with hexagonal wooden planks, is gorgeous.
Their ethos is very refreshing: whilst they have an artfully simple Instagram, posting white-bordered shots of their small room and reflections of their coffee, the café itself – like Workshop Coffee – consciously does not have wifi. It seems like this has become the only method to make people truly enjoy the quality of the beans they’re drinking, the company they’re with and the space itself, all against the backdrop of a very well-curated playlist.
Sitting here, watching the world go by and enjoying a long coffee is the perfect weekend wake-up call. I loved it.
Story, 115 St John’s Hill, London SW11 1SZ