Big Bad Wolf Coffee

An El Salvador single-origin espresso from Clifton Coffee Roasters in a classic white espresso at Big Bad Wolf Coffee.Big Bad Wolf Coffee first opened its doors in September 2018 in Streatham, South West London. I must confess that I don’t know this part of London well, having only ventured as far as Balham and the likes of M1lk and Escape the Daily Grind on previous visits. A stone’s throw from the southeast corner of Tooting Bec and just north of Streatham Station, Big Bad Wolf is on the opposite side of Streatham Green from the Streatham branch of Brickwood. Indeed, I only discovered it after a tip-off from Clark at Estate Office Coffee who sent me on the short stroll down Streatham High Road to pay Big Bad Wolf and its owner, Andrew, a visit.

It’s a fairly simple space, long and thin, with the seating down the right-hand side and the counter on the left. The coffee all comes from Clifton Coffee Roasters, with an El Salvador single-origin and guest on espresso, plus two options on pour-over through V60 or Chemex, along with Canton Tea and Kokoa Collection hot chocolate. This is backed up by comprehensive breakfast and lunch menus from the open kitchen behind the counter, plus sandwiches, crepes and cakes which are available all day.

You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.

  • This is what happens when you wait until after closing time to take your photos...
  • At least the sign's still up. It's Big Bad Wolf Coffee in Streatham, by the way.
  • Here's a look in the window when the shutters aren't down...
  • ... where you can see the brew bar, a clear statement of intent from Big Bad Wolf.
  • Stepping inside, and there's a three-person bar against the wall just inside of the door.
  • There's more seating along the right-hand wall, immediately beyond the bar.
  • There are three of these four-person, low-backed booths...
  • ... which run along the wall under this wonderful logo.
  • Another looks at the logo, including the howling wolf in front of a full moon.
  • The booths run parallel to the open kitchen, which is behind the counter to the left.
  • Beyond the booths, there's a coffee table and this cosy sofa under a window at the back.
  • This is in a litle nook with a doorway off to the left...
  • ... which leads to a windowless back room.
  • There's more seating back here in the shape of this long, thin, six-person table.
  • Back in the main room and this is the view from just beyond the end of the counter.
  • The view from the other side of the counter...
  • ... and from a little further up level with the open kitchen behind the counter.
  • The decor is lovely, with plenty of wood and exposed brick, plus, despite the windows...
  • ... lots of lightbulbs!
  • My favourites were these bare bulbs in metal lattice cases.
  • Last one, I promise.
  • A closer look at the howling wolf logo.
  • There's also a picture, at the back, of Little Red Riding Hood, and here she is...
  • ... placating the wolf with a cup of coffee. The full story is on the website.
  • More art on the walls, this time the coffee tasting wheel above a fireplace at the back.
  • There's also a bookshelf on the opposite wall...
  • ... while each table or seat has a pair of power sockets and USB outlets.
  • To business. The menu is on the wall behind the counter...
  • Dairy alternatives, old friends Kokoa Collection and Canton Tea, all on a shelf.
  • Another shelf has coffee supplies and various bits of coffee kit.
  • Back on the counter itself, and there's a selection of pastries and cakes to the right...
  • ... with sandwiches down below.
  • There's also a full breakfast/lunch menu if you want something more substantial.
  • The espresso machine, a La Marzocco Strada, is at the front end of the counter.
  • There are two Mythos One grinders, one with the house espresso, the El Salvador...
  • ... while the second has a guest. Details of both coffees are on the counter.
  • Naturally, I had to have a shot of the El Salvador single-origin house-espresso.
  • The counter has a reminder that there's also filter coffee available.
  • We've seen the brew bar, but here's the hot water boiler and EK43 grinder in the corner.
  • There were two options on the brew bar, an Ethiopian and another El Salvador.
  • While I was there, Andrew brewed up a sample for me to try.
  • Classic V60 pour-over technique...
  • ... topping up the fiter with a single, continuous pour.
  • And here's the coffee in a tall, cylindrical server.
  • I rounded things off with this awesome toasted sandwich and equally awesome salad.
Slider Script by v4.6

Big Bad Wolf Coffee is on the northern side of the busy Mitcham Lane in Streatham. It has a relatively small front which is all glass, the single glass door located on the right-hand side. Inside, it goes a long way back, with the counter on the left, starting at the window, where the brew bar, with its V60s, Chemex, grinder and boiler, faces the street for all to see. Next comes the espresso operation, with its La Marzocco Strada espresso machine and twin Mythos 1 grinders, while there’s an open kitchen behind the counter at the back. That leaves the cakes and pre-prepared sandwiches in the middle, along with the till.

The bulk of the seating is on the right, starting with a three-person bar against the wall just inside the door, where you sit with your back to the espresso machine. Next come three wooden, four-person low-backed booths, arranged back-to-back along the exposed brick wall, which run to the end of the counter. Beyond these is a single window on the right-hand ­side of the back wall, under which you’ll find a sumptuous two-person red sofa.

There’s one more seating area (for now), which is right at the back, where a small doorway gives access to a short, narrow extension on the left, home to a long, narrow six-person communal table., seating provided by a box-bench against the left-hand wall and three stools on the opposite side. However, at the far end is a door, currently just a fire escape, but if all goes well, will lead to the garden at the back, hopefully opening later this summer.

The doorway to the back room also gives access to a flight of stairs which run down along the left-hand wall and under the counter to a large basement which, for now, just contains the toilet and some storerooms. However, this is the next project after the garden, so expect even more seating in the future!

The décor is lovely, by the way, with wood predominating, from floorboards to ceiling, and including the counter and furniture. There are also plenty of exposed lightbulbs with metal lattice shades, plus exposed brick walls. Every table has a bottle of water, a small stack of glasses and twin power sockets with USB outlets.

All the coffee is from Clifton Coffee Roasters, with an El Salvador single-origin as the house espresso, where it’s joined by a guest in the second grinder. In an interesting twist, during my visit the guest was the EQ v.15 blend, which most would assume was the house-blend. Naturally I had to try a shot of the El Salvador, which was a lovely, well-balanced espresso, with a touch of acidity.

The two filter options during my visit were another El Salvador and an Ethiopian, available through the V60 or Chemex. Along with the espresso, these change every week or so, Andrew switching them over as the current stock runs out. While we were chatting, Andrew made a sample of the El Salvador, which he served in a tall, cylindrical, ceramic jug from Loveramics which I’d not seen before. The coffee itself was smooth, with a subtle, fruity flavour.

I rounded things off with a hummus and roasted vegetable toasty, complete with side salad. This was beautifully presented, and it seems to me to do it little justice to refer to it as a toasty. It was lovely too, stuffed full of veggies, with just enough hummus to give it the flavour without overwhelming it, while the toast was wonderfully crunchy. Oh, and the salad was awesome as well. All-in-all, just superb!

December 2019: Big Bad Wolf Coffee was a runner-up for the 2019 Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting Award.

12 MITCHAM LANE • STREATHAM • LONDON • SW16 6NN +44 (0) 020 8677 7788
Monday 06:00 – 18:00 Roaster Clifton Coffee (espresso + filter)
Tuesday 06:00 – 18:00 Seating Tables, Bar, Sofa
Wednesday 06:00 – 18:00 Food Breakfast, Soup, Sandwiches, Crepes, Cake
Thursday 06:00 – 18:00 Service Order at Counter
Friday 06:00 – 18:00 Cards Amex, Mastercard, Visa
Saturday 08:00 – 20:00 Wifi Free (with code)
Sunday 08:00 – 16:00 Power Yes
Chain No Visits 4th April 2019

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

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