2019 Awards – Best Flat White

A flat white, served in a classic black cup, at Amsterdam's Black Gold.Next we have a new award for 2019, the “Best Flat White” Award. This replaces the old “Best Overseas Coffee Spot”, which was won in 2018 by Amsterdam’s Black Gold. When I set up the Award in 2013, I made two or three trips a year outside of the UK. In the last two years, I’ve spent less than half my time in the UK, which is reflected in my posts, with fewer than half of the Coffee Spots coming from the UK.

As a result, Overseas Coffee Spots don’t need a special award category of their own any more. Instead I’ve replaced it with the “Best Flat White” award, although technically this should be the “Best Piccolo, Cortado, Gibraltar, Cappuccino, Flat White or Latte” Award. Basically, any espresso-based drink with milk. So, without further ado, let’s get on with things!

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Press Coffee Waterfront, where I had the Ethiopian Kochere Chelelektu in a lovely cortado.
  • Presta Coffee, Mercado San Augustin, and another cortado made with the 120PSI blend.
  • Atkinsons, Mackie Mayor, with yet another cortado, this time a Colombian decaf.
  • Fortitude, and another Colombian, this time in a flat white, the first on the shortlist.
  • % Arabica, Xintiandi Plaza, with a latte made with a washed Ethiopian single-origin.
  • Stoney Point, and the first piccolo on the shortlist, made with Monmouth’s organic blend.
  • Verve Coffee Roasters, Market Street, and another piccolo, part of a one-and-one.
  • Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Paddington Central and another decaf piccolo.
  • Party at Moorgate, and the third piccolo in a row, made with the Captain blend.
  • Blue Bottle, Shinagawa Station, with several cappuccinos using the Hayes Valley blend.
  • 65mm Coffee and a flat white made with a washed Colombian Caturra de Altura.
  • First Draft Coffee & Wine, and another flat white, using a El Mirador from Guatemala.
  • Little Nap Coffee Roasters, and a Gibraltar using the house blend.
  • Fuglen Asakusa, where I had two cappuccinos (a Colombian and Brazilian single-origin).
  • Madcap, Downtown Market, with the third decaf on this year's shortlist (in a cortado).
  • The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn, with some lovely latte art in a flat white.
  • Society Café, The Corridor, with another flat white with awesome latte art.
  • Fortitude Bakehouse, and this naturally-processed Ethiopian Ana Sora, in a 6oz with milk.
Press Coffee Waterfront, where I had the Ethiopian Kochere Chelelektu in a lovely cortado.1 Presta Coffee, Mercado San Augustin, and another cortado made with the 120PSI blend.2 Atkinsons, Mackie Mayor, with yet another cortado, this time a Colombian decaf.3 Fortitude, and another Colombian, this time in a flat white, the first on the shortlist.4 % Arabica, Xintiandi Plaza, with a latte made with a washed Ethiopian single-origin.5 Stoney Point, and the first piccolo on the shortlist, made with Monmouth’s organic blend.6 Verve Coffee Roasters, Market Street, and another piccolo, part of a one-and-one.7 Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Paddington Central and another decaf piccolo.8 Party at Moorgate, and the third piccolo in a row, made with the Captain blend.9 Blue Bottle, Shinagawa Station, with several cappuccinos using the Hayes Valley blend.10 65mm Coffee and a flat white made with a washed Colombian Caturra de Altura.11 First Draft Coffee & Wine, and another flat white, using a El Mirador from Guatemala.12 Little Nap Coffee Roasters, and a Gibraltar using the house blend.13 Fuglen Asakusa, where I had two cappuccinos (a Colombian and Brazilian single-origin).14 Madcap, Downtown Market, with the third decaf on this year's shortlist (in a cortado).15 The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn, with some lovely latte art in a flat white.16 Society Café, The Corridor, with another flat white with awesome latte art.17 Fortitude Bakehouse, and this naturally-processed Ethiopian Ana Sora, in a 6oz with milk.18
Photo Carousel by WOWSlider.com v4.6

There are 18 Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

My cortado at Press Coffee Waterfront, served on a wooden tray with a glass of sparkling water.Press Coffee Waterfront

My first speciality coffee experience in Phoenix was at Press Coffee in Scottsdale Quarter, so I was pleased, on my return at the start of the year, to find a new Press Coffee in the heart of Scottsdale Waterfront development where I had the Ethiopian Kochere Chelelektu, a washed coffee in the lovely cortado shown here. Press Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Happiest Staff Award.

My espresso, made with the 120PSI house-blend at Presta Coffee, Mercado San Augustin, and beautifully presented on a wooden tray with a glass of sparkling water.Presta Coffee, Mercado San Augustin

Staying in Arizona, but moving south the Tucson we have Presta Coffee in the Mercado San Augustin where I had the 120PSI espresso blend. It was pretty decent on its own, but really stood out as a cortado, its complex, fruity notes coming clearly through the milk, yet at the same time being largely in harmony with it. Presta Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Outdoor Seating Award.

Details of the main drive wheel of the 100 year old, fully working Uno coffee roaster at Atkinsons in Mackie Mayor in Manchester.Atkinsons, Mackie Mayor

The third cortado on the shortlist comes from Atkinsons in Mackie Mayor, a restored Victoria Market in Manchester. I had a Colombian Swiss Water process decaf cortado, which was very rich, smooth and well-balanced. Atkinsons has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Cake Award and the Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award.

 

The logo from the door at Fortitude in Edinburgh: Espresso & Brew Bar, plus Coffee Merchant.Fortitude

Edinburgh‘s Fortitude is a coffee shop turned roaster, whose coffee I’ve always enjoyed. In particular, I had an excellent flat white, made with a washed Colombian, it’s fruity nature coming strongly through the milk. Fortitude also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Roaster/Retailer and Happiest Staff Awards.

 

The % Arabica logo from the floor of its latest Shanghai branch in the Sunken Plaza of the Xintiandi Plaza shopping centre.% Arabica, Xintiandi Plaza

From Edinburgh to Shanghai, where % Arabica recently opened one of its iconic coffee bars in the Xintiandi Plaza shopping mall. I had a latte in my Therma Cup (% Arabica only offering disposable cups), made using the single-origin, a washed Ethiopian. The milk, by the way, held the latte art to the bottom of the cup, always a good sign. % Arabica  has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award.

The logo / name of Stoney Point, written on the black board behind the counter.Stoney Point

Back in the UK, Stoney Point, in Brighton has taken over where Mr Wolfe, its predecessor, left off. A lovely little spot, it serves up some excellent coffee and cake, with the piccolo, made with Monmouth’s organic espresso blend getting my attention. It had the perfect ratio of milk to coffee, allowing the fruity nature of the coffee to come nicely through the milk, with neither dominating.

The piccolo part of my one-and-one at Verve Coffee Roasters, Market Street, San Francisco.Verve Coffee Roasters, Market Street

A perennial favourite, since I first discovered Verve in its hometown of Santa Cruz, this is Verve’s solitary San Francisco branch, where I had an excellent one-and-one (espresso + piccolo) using the Streetlevel blend. As an espresso, it was smooth and well-balanced, but it really shone in milk, combining to produce a rich, smooth, creamy drink.

What’s The Story?, a washed Ethiopian single-origin espresso from Wegida in Yirgacheffe, served in a glass at the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs Paddington Central branch.Department of Coffee and Social Affairs, Paddington Central

Department of Coffee and Social Affairs in Paddington Central was conveniently located across the street from the office, so I over the week I was there, I tried pretty much the full range of coffee. I was particularly impressed by the Colombian El Cascabel decaf which I had as a piccolo. The Department of Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Takeaway Coffee Award.

A lovely piccolo, made with the Captain Blend and served in a glass at Party at Moorgate.Party at Moorgate

Party at Moorgate is the second London coffee shop from Winchester-based, coffee-roasting Aussies, The Roasting Party. It’s a tiny space, located on the corner of Moorgate and London Wall, where I had an excellent piccolo. Made with the Captain blend, it was smooth and well-balanced, the milk holding the latte art all the way to the bottom of the glass. Party at Moorgate also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.

My decaf pour-over at Blue Bottle Coffee in Shinagawa Station, Tokyo.Blue Bottle Coffee, Shinagawa Station

Back in Tokyo, this is one of many Blue Bottle locations in the city, over Shinagawa Station, where I had several cappuccinos in my SoL Cup, which I was road-testing at the time. While I’m not a great fan of the Hayes Valley blend as a straight espresso, it goes superbly well in milk, and I had some excellent rich, smooth cappuccinos. Blue Bottle also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.

Details from the A-board outside 65mm Coffee in Tonbridge.65mm Coffee

65mm Coffee in Tonbridge began in the Old Fire Station, but now has its own place opposite the castle, where there’s some great coffee and awesome brunch options. I had an excellent flat white using the house espresso, a washed Colombian Caturra de Altura from the local Cast Iron Roasters, which went perfectly with the milk. 65mm Coffee is also on the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Best Breakfast shortlists.

A lovely flat white in a class white cup on a black saucer, made with an El Mirador single-origin from Guatemala, roasted by Roasted Brown and served at First Draft Coffee & Wine in Dublin.First Draft Coffee & Wine

In the quiet, residential streets of Portobello, Dublin, First Draft Coffee & Wine is very much part of the neighbour, serving coffee during the day and a wide selection of wine in the evening. I had an excellent flat white using an El Mirador from Guatemala, coffee and milk going extremely well together. First Draft has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Awards.

Detail from the sign on the wall: Little Nap Coffee RoastersLittle Nap Coffee Roasters

Back in Tokyo, Little Nap has made a name for itself with the Little Nap Coffee Stand and more recently, its roastery and coffee shop, spread over three floors of a long, narrow building about a 10 minute walk away. I had an excellent Gibraltar served in a glass jar. Made with the house blend, the milk and coffee combined to produce a biscuit-like flavour. Little Nap has also been shortlisted for the Best Roaster/Retailer Award.

A Norwegian waffle, which I had for breakfast at Fuglen Asakusa, topped with a poached egg, spinach, salsa and avocado.Fuglen Asakusa

Staying in Tokyo, Fuglen, the Norwegian vintage design outfit turned coffee roaster, has a relatively new coffee shop in Asakusa, following on from its hugely successful Shibuya shop. I had a pair of very fine cappuccinos (a Colombian in 2018, this year a Brazilian). Fuglen has also been shortlisted for the Best Breakfast Award.

The Madcap Coffee sign, with its distinctive lightning bolt symbol, hanging from the roof at Grand Rapids' Downtown Market.Madcap, Downtown Market

This is the third Madcap Coffee in Grand Rapids, located inside the Downtown Market, where it has a semi-circular coffee bar. It has a spot on the shortlist thanks to my decaf cortado, which is the third decaf on the shortlist this year. Made with a Colombian single-origin decaf, it was a lovely, smooth, well-rounded coffee with some excellent latte art.

Some lovely latte art (a rabbit) in my flat white from The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn, made with the Top Hat, a single-origin from Nicaragua.The Gentlemen Baristas Holborn

I admit that I am a sucker for great latte art, although I have tried to base the entries on this shortlist on taste. In the case of The Gentlemen Baristas in Holborn, I must confess my head was turned by the wonderful rabbit in my flat white. Fortunately, my coffee, made with the Top Hat (La Bastilla, a Nicaraguan single-origin) was smooth and sweet, the coffee and milk in perfect harmony.

The mural on the wall of the basement in Society Cafe, The Corridor, in Bath, showing flowers growing in a coffee cup, with a small animal peaking its head out.Society Café, The Corridor

This is the second Society Café in Bath, at the entrance of the Victoria Shopping Arcade, The Corridor. As well as the lovely basement (which won it a place on the shortlist for the Coffee Spot with the Best Basement Award), Amanda had an excellent flat white made with a washed Nicaraguan Las Colinas from Origin, which struck a good balance between coffee and milk.

My 6oz with milk (aka a flat white), made with an Ethiopian Ana Sora, a naturally-processed coffee from Has Bean, served in a glass at Fortitude Bakehouse, London.Fortitude Bakehouse

Fortitude Bakehouse opened last summer, tucked away in Bloomsbury. As the name suggests, it’s a bakery, but also a coffee shop, serving a single-origin from Has Bean. I had an Ethiopian Ana Sora, a naturally-processed coffee, in a 6oz with milk. Served in a glass, the coffee and milk went really well together, producing a sweet, well-balanced drink, but with fruity rather than classic chocolate notes.


And the winner is First Draft Coffee & Wine
Runners-up: Atkinsons, Mackie Mayor and Fortitude

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2019.


If you liked this post, please let me know by clicking the “Like” button. If you have a WordPress account and you don’t mind everyone knowing that you liked this post, you can use the “Like this” button right at the bottom instead.


Don’t forget that you can share this post with your friends using the buttons below.

10 thoughts on “2019 Awards – Best Flat White

  1. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Happiest Staff | Brian's Coffee Spot

  2. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award | Brian's Coffee Spot

  3. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Best Outdoor Seating | Brian's Coffee Spot

  4. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot | Brian's Coffee Spot

  5. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Best Takeaway Coffee | Brian's Coffee Spot

  6. Pingback: 2019 Awards – Coffee Spot with the Best Basement | Brian's Coffee Spot

  7. Pingback: First Draft Coffee & Wine | Brian's Coffee Spot

  8. Pingback: Atkinsons, Mackie Mayor | Brian's Coffee Spot

  9. Pingback: Fortitude | Brian's Coffee Spot

  10. Pingback: Fortitude Update | Brian's Coffee Spot

Please let me know what you think. Guidelines for comments are in the "Posts" drop-down menu.