The flat white isn’t just hipper than the latte, it’s prettier – the silky foam provides the perfect canvas for creative baristas – and richer, with less milk to dilute the flavour of the roast.
One of the big-hitters of the bean scene, the Hackney-based roaster is as famous for the fine lines of its latte art as its seasonal espresso blends. Here they’re currently building E8’s finest flat white based on the shop’s Winter Edition, which is picked at high altitude in Rwanda and has subtle notes of cherry cola, peach and muscavado. 67 Broadway Market. London Fields Overground.
Beans roasted in house and handled with care come as standard, but an A-grade flat white isn’t just about the coffee – the sharpest coffee shops are just as proud of their milk. Here, the flat white has the velvety mouth-feel of top-notch milk with a high fat content that’ll have you lowing with delight. 27a Foley St. Tube: Goodge St.
Demonstrating its commitment to caffeine by roasting small batches of beans daily before your very eyes, Caravan is one of the cornerstones of London’s caffeine revolution. We love the notes of cocoa and caramel in the three-part house espresso blend, which is just as good naked as it is cloaked in a velvety microfoam. 11-13 Exmouth Market. Tube: Farringdon. 1 Granary Building, Granary Square. Tube: King’s Cross.
The free-love ethos here means that this Soho coffeehouse doesn’t commit to a single roaster – espresso blends are cherry-picked from micro-roasters across the globe. However, our money is on the house blend, sourced from Union Coffee Roasters. It’s full-bodied, rich and complex, a fine foundation for FreeState’s perfectly balanced flat white. 23 Southampton Row. Tube: Holborn.
Since first importing their native ‘flatties’ to London’s grateful caffeine lovers in 2005, this Antipodean-run joint has been flying the flag for its signature cup on Berwick Street. Based on a house espresso blend from Stockholm’s Drop Coffee Roasters, the eponymous drink is as smooth and strong as Hugh Jackman’s torso. Just don’t forget the regulation Anzac biscuit along side. 17 Berwick St. Tube: Tottenham Court Rd.