I've been thinking about doing a something like this for quite some time. This 'Quest for the Best' series will be a way of my documenting my search for the very best flat white... gelato... cinnamon bun... whatever it may be. As a self proclaimed coffee lover and sometimes accidental coffee snob, it isn't surprising that I start of with the eminent flat white. What is surprising though is the location. London is home to some truly excellent coffee, but I tend to stay close to my roots, sticking to the delights that the West End has to offer (Monmouth, Tap, Curators etc) but I have strayed away from my old haunts. The allure of Allpress (honestly, was heartbroken that their Shoredith cafe has relocated) and the appreciation for all things artisan which can be found in East London means that I have ended up sampling a number of (overpriced) Flat Whites.
First off is Brooklyn Coffee on Commercial Street. This coffee shop gives off a modern and cool vibe. The monochrome colour scheme and bare interior give it a stylish aesthetic but I found it quite clinical and uninviting. I am a fan of their cup designs though, the minimal print in an inoffensive font is my kind of thing. The coffee itself? Underwhelming. I found it to be too acidic for my taste and I prefer a much smoother and richer flat white. Not great but no unpleasant. Price: £2.40
Next up is Craft Coffee on Sclater Street. The shop itself is cosy but cool- emitting quite a Kinfolk vibe with the wood and enamel features. I made the unfortunate mistake of getting an almond milk flat white. Sometimes almond milk works in a flat white, sometimes it doesn't. I'm going to go with the latter in this situation. It was just a bit too sweet for me, I should have found out which almond milk they use. My all time favourite dairy free flat white (and iced coffee) is from Allpress and they use Bonsoy which is a soya milk and I find it just the perfect level of sweetness. I did try my boyfriend's normal flat white though and can confirm that it was pretty nice. Nothing WOW but definitely satisfying. Price: £2.80
Unfortunately my picture for the Nude Espresso flat white isn't very good. But I would say that this is the my favourite flat white that I have tried. The cafe is on Hanbury Street, just off Brick Lane and just across the road they have another shop for takeaway coffee. This was all that I love in a flat white: rich, creamy and smooth. There was hardly a trace of an acidic after taste and the size of the coffee was perfect. The interior is open and simple with hints of red. I'm a fan. Price: £2.70
Although I haven't included in this post- I would definitely recommend checking out the Allpress Espresso on Redchurch Street which I have been known to make the trek to East London for. Out of the three reviewed here, I'm going to go with Nude Espresso as the best. But, it must be noted that East London is extensive and the number of coffee shops opening is only getting greater. The quest continues.