Story Works

The sign says it all: "Story Works", from the wall of Story Works by Clapham Junction.Story Coffee on St John’s Hill in South West London is one of the capital’s speciality coffee stalwarts, having first opened in 2014. I took my time in visiting, only calling in for the first time towards the end of the September last year, when I found, to my surprise, that Story Coffee had a second lcoation, a little sibling if you like, called Story Works, just down the hill at the back of Clapham Junction.

Much smaller than the original, Story Works has a cut-down offering while retaining many similarities with Story Coffee, including a gorgeous two-group Kees van der Westen Spirit espresso machine. Like Story Coffee, there’s a single option on espresso, but pour-over has given way to batch-brew. Similarly, while there is food, Story Coffee’s brunch menu has been replaced by avocado on toast, grab-and-go salads and superfood smoothies, although there’s still a good selection of cake.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • Story Work on St John's Hill, as seen approaching down hill.
  • And here's the view front-on.
  • Let's go in, shall we?
  • Inside you're greeted by the counter which is dead ahead on the right-hand side...
  • ... although this is a better representation of the counter, which slopes away to the left.
  • The rest of the store is off to the left of the counter, starting with...
  • ... the seating in the window at the front, plus a bench-seat against the left-hand wall...
  • ... followed by another bench-seat at the back opposite the counter. And that's it.
  • This is the view out of the front of Story Works. In case you were wondering...
  • ... how close it is to Clapham Junction, the back of the station is directly opposite.
  • Here's the approach to the rear entrance to the station, and, if you look to the right...
  • ... over the side of the ramp, there's Story Works down below.
  • The sign, by the way, which is visible through the front window.
  • There's also a small set of retail shelves next to the sign...
  • ... where the reusable Ecoffee cup plays a prominent role.
  • Meanwhile, there's a grab-and-go selection in a chiller cabinet to the right of the door.
  • Down to business. You order at the till, which is at the front of the counter...
  • ... with the menu handily-placed on the wall to your right .
  • There are more choices on the counter-top itself (note that Story Works is cashless).
  • There's also a decent range of non-dairy alternative milks.
  • There were two choices for coffee while I was there: this single-origin on batch-brew...
  • ... and the Momentum blend on espresso, both from Modern Standard.
  • I went for something espresso-based, putting the lovely espresso machine into action.
  • Story Works has all the best kit, including this automatic tamper from PUQ.
  • And the end result: my flat white to go in my Therma Cup.
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Story Works opened in the first half of 2018, located directly opposite Clapham Junction, between the ramp leading up to the rear entrance and the main entrance on St John’s Hill. It’s a different concept to Story Coffee, where the focus is on sitting-in and the excellent brunches. In contrast, Story Works is all about grab-and-go and quick service, with a focus on superfoods. In support of this, it’s cashless, only accepting credit or debit cards, and only has takeaway cups, so don’t forget to bring your own.

Story Works is much smaller than Story Coffee, which wasn’t that big to begin with! A single, glass door, slightly offset to the right, is flanked by a floor-to-ceiling window on either side. If you want to sit outside, there’s a solitary bench in front of the left-hand window.

Inside, Story Works is long and thin, with high ceilings and a plain, white and dark wood décor. There’s a grab-and-go chiller cabinet on the right, beyond which is the counter, till facing the door on a sloping section that is about 45° to the wall. There’s a Mythos One grinder on the corner, followed by the gorgeous Kees van der Westen Spirit along the left-hand side of the counter.

The seating is on the opposite side, starting with a two-person window-bar to the left of the door. This is followed by two long, padded benches with narrow, projecting tables along the left-hand wall, separated by the retail shelves. The first bench, which only has one table, is opposite the chiller cabinet, while the second bench, with two tables, runs opposite the counter all the way to the back wall.

While I was there, Story Works switched between the Momentum blend from Modern Standard or Square Mile’s Red Brick on espresso, with a single-origin on batch-brew. However, at the end of last year, Story Coffee started using a bespoke espresso blend roasted by Modern Standard, which, as far as I know, Story Works is now using.

My flat white, meanwhile, which was expertly made by my barista, Vaggelis (who served me on my visit to Story Coffee the day before), used Modern Standard’s Momentum blend. This went really well with the milk to create a lovely, smooth drink in my Therma Cup.

Monday 06:30 – 14:00 Roaster Modern Standard, Square Mile
(espresso + batch brew)
Tuesday 06:30 – 14:00 Seating Benches, Window
Wednesday 06:30 – 16:00 Food Lunch, Cake
Thursday 06:30 – 16:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 06:30 – 16:00 Payments Cards Only
Saturday 08:00 – 15:00 Wifi No
Sunday 10:00 – 14:00 Power No
Chain Local Visits 26th September 2018

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

You can also see what I made of the original Story Coffee, and its flagship brunch spot in Wandsworth which opened in early 2020.

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4 thoughts on “Story Works

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