Jean Demirjian has a long history in coffee. But while he’s fronted a number of popular cafes over the years in neighbourhoods from Crows Nest to Surry Hills, he’s back in Lane Cove after more than a decade to open his own little coffee hole-in-the-wall, Story Espresso.

Story has been open for just over a week and already regulars are flocking back for pastries from Luxe, Liege waffles with Belgian chocolate and NYC Reuben sandwiches. But more importantly, they’re returning for the coffee (a house blend with a Central American leaning) and the friendly smiles from Demirjian as he works his magic on the Synesso, chats about the merits of filter coffee and encourages the AeroPress curious.

But there’s nothing daunting about this little cafe. There might be single origin on offer, but you won’t find siphons stealing the show. It’s just about great, straightforward coffee. And the clean look of the place (courtesy of Demirjian himself) has a hint of a Scandinavian sensibility, thanks to influences from trips to Stockholm.

“I like laneways,” says the barista from behind the copper bar of his tucked away cafe, with its white tiled walls, pale blue accents and clean black logo. “The name has been with me for a long time,” he smiles, “because there’s a good story behind everything that happens.”

Things are still settling in – there are street-side tables still to come and hours are yet to be nailed down – but you’ll find the door open from Monday to Saturday, usually from about 6am until late afternoon.

Story Espresso
20 Birdwood Lane, Lane Cove

Hours
Mon to Sat (usually from 6am, hours TBA)