And so the the pursuit for the best flat white continues. I must add a disclaimer here that I have a soft spot for a few of these coffee spots. I love the west end and I love coffee- here's how these overpriced milky coffees fare compared to their east end counterparts.
Let's start with Tap Coffee, just off Oxford street. They have a minimalist wooden interior with a big sink for cold drinks and sandwiches and pastries at the front. An interesting combination of up-cycled objects and wooden slabs. You order your coffee on one side and get given a little playing card as a number so they can bring you your drink or you can go to the takeaway bar on the other side to watch their coffee drips and get your coffee to go. I really like the ambiance of this place and think it's great for going with a friend to chit chat away or take along your laptop and blend in with all the other solo Mac book users who are busy working on their latest internet start up company as they sip on a cold brew coffee. The coffee itself is fine. There is no wow factor for me but it's very drinkable and not acidic at all. A fine flat white.
193 Wardour Street
Next up is Caravan coffee. A bit tucked away behind Kings Cross Station but a short walk away from Camden Market, Caravan had its own in house roastery. The set up of Caravan is very industrial- the coffee bar is partitioned off from the rest of restaurant with the exposed roastery on the other side, scattered with bags on bags of fresh beans. The price of a flat white here is a bit of a shocker and the size of it is rather small. For some reason everything inside me wanted to dislike this coffee but I just couldn't. I really liked it. Smooth, creamy and rich- my perfect trio. This ticked all of the boxes for me.
1 Granary Square
And then we move on to the Monocle Cafe. There are l only two- one on Chiltern Street, just off Marylebone High Street and one in Tokyo. I am particularly fond of the Monocle Cafe, not just because of the All Press beans that they use here but also because of happy memories I've had there. My family and I would go every Sunday before going to the farmers market (which is in a car park and not very glam at all). I also went to the Monocle Cafe the day before I set off to university and I can remember sitting outside with a flat white and a humungo cookie and thinking about how my life would have changed by the next time I would be back there. The cafe is a physical manifestation of all the components that make the Monocle magazine so chic- this place is a haven for monocle readers and coffee lovers alike. Okay, I'm getting a bit carried away here. Back to the coffee. All Press beans are consistently good- they produce a rich flat white, undoubtedly pleasant and a strong staple.
18 Chiltern Street
Price: £3 (I know... I know.)
So here is my tiny sample of West London's finest flat whites. Taste wise I'm going to say that I enjoyed the Caravan sample the most but in reality I will always go back to the Monocle Cafe because I love the familiarity of the place. But this is not the end! My ULTIMATE favourite flat white deserves a whole post in itself. Watch this space.