Cafe Review: Flat White

Flat White

17 Berwick Street, Soho, London, W1F 0PT

Map

I’ve been visiting these guys since they opened, and make no secret of the fact that I get on well with them.  It is always nice to walk into a cafe, say hi and have a cup of coffee pushed into your hand with an enthusiastic “try this!”.

The cafe is pretty small, kind of long and thin with a line of seating facing the bar.  In summer it gets unbelievably hot, but the coffee is good enough to still have it packed out.

The way they brew coffee is a long way from espresso’s origins, exported from Italy to New Zealand (the owners and staff are all kiwis) and then dragged back to London.  Some serious updosing is done here, so a single espresso is brewed from maybe 20g+ of coffee.  The result is very sweet (they use Monmouth’s espresso blend), intense little shot.  For some it could be too much, too intense, but I quite enjoy it.

They have a great reputation for their milk drinks, and they do a great job with them.  Latte art of just about everything and you get a feeling their is a little competition amongst the guys about this.  I don’t usually drink milk drinks, cos I don’t really like milk all that much, but I don’t mind a flat white or cappuccino here because they are nice and small and they taste really good.

Their hot chocolate.

A cappuccino

They’ve had plenty of good press, most of which adorns the back of their machines so you can read it whilst you are waiting to order.

A very successful cafe and rightly so.

[tags]coffee, barista, london cafe, cafe review, flat white, espresso[/tags]

9 Comments

  1. Hi Jim: wondering if you knew how ‘very sucessful’ this cafe was. I’m wondering more in a business sense, as in, those who might want to follow down the same route, quality coffee and espresso, what kind of numbers might one expect, if the business was successful, or even very successful. I’ve spoken to a restaurant owner a few doors up from FW, and have good idea what a Soho restaurant might stand to turn over in a year, so I’m just that little curious.
    Thanks,

    /K

  2. Hi Jim,

    I really liked Flat White. They certainly have the right attitude and the latte art is impressive.I agree that the straight shots are very intense and while I have nothing against that, I did find that the shots were a tad underextracted and sour… Nevertheless, I will go back for more next time I am in London :)

    Br,
    Teme

  3. Undersextracted? …really? … never experienced that… I’ve had underextracted espresso in Monmouth, but never in FW… They pack coffee very differently from the European style……so…I guess if they would (a really big IF…)get it wrong, then rather overextracted…. Sometimes the shorts are really short….but… I haven’t got one that lacks of taste and u get out of there and feeeel gooooooooooooooooooddddd ..you know this cheecky smile that a little thing has gone right ? …. :)

    ….just felt like needed to defend..don’t know why……defend the Idea of Great Coffee and those who pursue them :P

  4. I went there for the first time today, and would say that I agree with Teme to a very small amount. Generally the shot was great, with just the faintest hint of sourness, the barista was tweaking the Mazzer just after he tamped my shot, so maybe seen something there in some of the pours.

    But this is a great cafe, with an extra-ordinary ambience and great staff. They were knowledgeable and friendly, and obviously have a passion for what they do (and as you said, some serious updosing).

    Also I now have the worst case of ‘grinder envy’ ever, that Robur(?) is huge, and looks every inch a mean machine.

    So go, go, go and tell Jim sent ya(!)

  5. Also a Newbee! Went for the first time today & it must be said, you won’t find a better cup of coffee in the West End! Yes, a bold statement, I agree, however, I have been working within the Soho area for the last 4 months & on a daily basis I have sampled coffee’s from various establishments, most of them being the commercial outlets that we are all used to.

    I can’t believe I missed Flat White seeing though I work a 1 min walk away! To summarise:

    Nice Atmosphere..
    Good customer service, friendly staff….
    Best coffee….

    Nuff said! Charles recommends!

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