We went to Copenhagen especially to go to Noma but discovered a surprisingly evolved coffee culture. Denmark has lots of coffee shops because it’s so cold and dark in Winter. Going out for coffee with friends seems to be a national pastime because it gives you an excuse to get out of the house. When the weather improves, it’s still nice to have coffee in Copenhagen and the city really comes to life.
The best flat white in Denmark at Coffee Collective Copenhagen.
Noma was voted as the best restaurant in the world for a few years running. They recently had a food safety issue, but it’s still an amazing restaurant. A real culinary adventure. We thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the creativity was truly inspiring. While in Copenhagen we went exploring to find the best Flat White in Denmark.
TimberYard cafe just opened in Old Street between Shoreditch and Clerkenwell. I’ve been waiting for a casual, friendly cafe with plenty of seating in EC1 for a long time. Look Mum No Hands (next door on Old Street) is great but the coffee isn’t perfect and it often gets far too crowded to be able to relax and think.
The Flat White at Timberyard Cafe in Old Street is not as good as it should be.
I’ve been wondering why none of the cafes in Shoreditch have opened up their basements or their un-used first floors. Some days I traipse around Dose at Google Campus, Salvation Jane, Shoreditch Grind, Goswell Rd, Fix and Look Mum No Hands just looking for a place to hang my Macbook.
The North of England seems like an odd place to be roasting coffee but York Coffee Emporium are doing a stunning job of finding interesting coffees from around the world and roasting them for delivery. Ben from The Distance hooked me up with a few bags to try and I’ve been experimenting with them in a pour-over, a french press and an aeropress.
Brewing at home makes a nice change from running in the rain to London cafes.
I tried three varieties and was surprised at just how much difference the beans made to the final taste. This blog is usually about reviewing cafes and espresso based drinks like the Flat White and Latte.
A flat white is not just a small latte. They are very different drinks. If you’re caught in a cafe that doesn’t serve a flat white, then a small latte might be a passable substitute, but they’re not the same drink. The flat white vs latte debate is common in the UK and USA where the Flat White is still new.
Flat white and a Latte from Climpson & Sons in Shoreditch. The flat white looks like a small latte, but there’s more to it.
I drink flat whites and my girlfriend drinks lattes so I’ve seen the difference between the two drinks in cafes across England, France, Spain, Denmark, USA, New Zealand and Australia. I’ve had a lot of discussions with baristas and it’s time to shine some light on the common debate about “What is a flat white?”
I’d love to hear from people about cafes in unexpected places around the world that serve a Flat White. Where is the weirdest and most of out of the way place that you’ve found a Flat White?
One of the challenges I took on this year was to visit every independent cafe in Zone One in London. So far I’ve been to about twenty cafes and filmed little YouTube clips of me talking about the cafes as I go. I’ve been shooting photos of the Flat Whites and taking notes on which cafes are the most chilled out and fun to hang out in.
Map of the Independent Cafes in London Zone 1
Because I’m only visiting cafes listed in the London Coffee Map application there haven’t been any bad cafes but I’ve seen a few stressed out customers, some over worked staff and some confusing etiquette around ordering. On the whole, the cafes have been excellent and I’ll be posting more reviews as I get to explore more.
A couple of days into the London Coffee Cups adventure a friend dared me to step it up and go to every independent cafe in Zone One in London. It’s a great challenge and I’ll be blogging and making videos as I go.
The Zone 1 Coffee project is sending me off to hunt for Flat Whites in every corner of Central London.
There are about sixty cafes listed in the London Coffee Guide and the Independent Coffee Book London that are in Zone 1. I’ll be working my way through all of them. Hopefully I’ll get to meet a lot of baristas and some cafe owners along the way that I can introduce to you.
On the way back from Yorkshire we stopped off in York. We wandered the old town, climbed the city walls and got a little bit lost. But we couldn’t find any good coffee in York. We were about to cave in and go to Costa but I jumped on FourSquare and found The Attic cafe. The ground floor looks like a normal tea rooms (The Harlequin) so we’d ignored it while walking through town. But hidden upstairs is a local focussed cafe where the owner is pulling world-class coffee shots.
The Attic cafe is hidden on the top floor above a tearooms and serves a mean Flat White.
I would have been happy enough with a Flat White. But he made a double, ristretto based Flat White that I’m still thinking about days later. Gordon has won a number of barista competitions and we had a good gossip about the London coffee roasting scene. The cafe wasn’t officially open yet but he could tell from the Kiwi accent my pained expression that I was desperate for a real coffee.
Railroad cafe in Hackney is a nice small cafe. It’s in Hackney and is part of the growing number of lovely independent cafes in the area. But it’s not quite pushing the boundaries of coffee quality.
Railroad is like a dependable old friend.
The flat white was yummy and the pottery cups added a nice touch. It’s a great neighbourhood hangout but probably not worth traipsing across London to get to.
Giddy Up has real heritage as a local coffee venue. The baristas are excellent.
The Giddy Up Coffee Cart off Whitecross Market is a real local gem
On the day, the flat white was actually only ok, not amazing. The mouth feel was a bit tart and the froth wasn’t as velvety as it could have been. But the overall experience was stunning.