2020 Awards – Best Flat White

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.The second of today’s 2020 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is for the “Best Flat White” Award, which was won last year by First Draft Coffee & Wine.

Although I love black coffee, espresso with milk is very much its own thing. This award recognises those who have produced the perfect blend of coffee and milk with the smoothest, silkiest flat white (although awesome cortados, etc, also qualify).

You can see the shortlist after the gallery.

  • Our first entry is from Mythical Coffee, with one half of a one-and-one...
  • ... which is followed by another one-and-one from Verve Coffee Roasters, Palo Alto.
  • Back in the UK, I had some awesome flat whites from The Flower Cup in Chester.
  • Returning, briefly, to the US, this is the rare Eugenioides species at Terremoto Coffee.
  • Back in the UK with Notes, Trafalgar Square, and my first time in a coffee shop for months.
  • Chester's second entry is from Little Yellow Pig, serving up some flat white magic.
  • Moving on to Quarter Horse Coffee in Birmingham and half of the awesome tasting flight.
  • Next, it's Liverpool and Bold Street Coffee, where I had this great flat white.
  • Back to London to round things off with a decaf flat white at Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee.
  • And finally, Caravan Exmouth Market, with another decaf flat white.
Our first entry is from Mythical Coffee, with one half of a one-and-one...1 ... which is followed by another one-and-one from Verve Coffee Roasters, Palo Alto.2 Back in the UK, I had some awesome flat whites from The Flower Cup in Chester.3 Returning, briefly, to the US, this is the rare Eugenioides species at Terremoto Coffee.4 Back in the UK with Notes, Trafalgar Square, and my first time in a coffee shop for months.5 Chester's second entry is from Little Yellow Pig, serving up some flat white magic.6 Moving on to Quarter Horse Coffee in Birmingham and half of the awesome tasting flight.7 Next, it's Liverpool and Bold Street Coffee, where I had this great flat white.8 Back to London to round things off with a decaf flat white at Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee.9 And finally, Caravan Exmouth Market, with another decaf flat white.10
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There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.

A lovely one-and-one (espresso and macchiato) plus a glass of sparkling water, beautifully presented on a triangular tray at Mythical Coffee in Gilbert, Arizona.Mythical Coffee

Let’s start in Gilbert, Arizona, where I had an amazing one-and-one made with an Ethiopian single-origin. It’s already earned Mythical Coffee a place on the Best Espresso shortlist and it was just as good in milk, which is why it’s on this shortlist as well. Finally, Mythical Coffee is also on the shortlist for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Award and Most Popular Coffee Spot Awards.

Bringing a new meaning to the phrase "well-balanced", it's a one-and-one (split-shot espresso and macchiato) from Verve Coffee Roasters in Palo Alto, with the espresso cup precariously balanced on the edge of the saucer.Verve Coffee Roasters, Palo Alto

Staying in the US, I paid two visits to Verve Coffee Roasters, Palo Alto, having one-and-ones on both occasions. The first was made with the house decaf and the second with the Ethiopian Gugu Abalelesa single-origin espresso. Both one-and-ones were superb, particularly the macchiatos, hence its inclusion on this shortlist. Verve Coffee Roasters is also on the Best Outdoor Seating and Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station shortlists.

Detail from a drawing of a wreath of the wall of The Flower Cup, a Botanical Coffee Shop in Chester.The Flower Cup

The Flower Cup, in Chester, has made its name as a brunch spot, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the coffee. I had a pair of excellent flat whites there this year, both with some lovely latte art (if I had a “Best Latte Art” Award, it would be up there without a doubt). The Flower Cup is also on the Best Breakfast Award and Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award shortlists.

The Terremoto Coffee logo, taken from the A-board outside the coffee shop on W 15th Street in New York.Terremoto Coffee

It’s not often you get to try a new species of coffee, but that’s what happened when Amanda and I visited Terremoto Coffee in New York City, where we had the rare Eugenioides species, roasted by Neat. On its own, it was too weird for me, but in milk it tasted like cereal milk, which was weird in a different way. Terremoto Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot and Most Passionate About Coffee Awards.

A cortado, served in a glass (a rarity during COVID-19) at Notes, Trafalgar Square.Notes, Trafalgar Square

In July, after months of coffee shop abstinence, I sat down in Notes on St Martin’s Lane and had a cortado, made with the Acevedo espresso, a single-origin from Huila in Colombia. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder and that may be true, but even so, it deserves a place on the shortlist. Notes has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Brian’s Coffee Spot Special Award Awards.

A lovely flat white, made with Colonna Coffee's Trio espresso blend, served in a cup at Little Yellow Pig.Little Yellow Pig

Returning to Chester, to Hoole, in fact, and Little Yellow Pig, another place that has made its name as a brunch spot. However, it’s also one where you would do well not to overlook the coffee, as evidenced by this lovely flat white, made with Colonna Coffee’s Trio espresso. Little Yellow Pig has also been shortlisted for the Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot and Best Breakfast Awards.

The Quarter Horse Coffee logo: a profile of a knight from a chess set, surrounded by an oval with the words "Quarter Horse Coffee" written around the outside.Quarter Horse Coffee

When I was at Quarter Horse Coffee in Birmingham, I had an espresso flight made with the Roan blend (natural Ethiopian and natural Rwandan). The Roan achieved that rarest of things: being superb both on its own (good enough for a place on the shortlist for the Best Espresso Award) and in milk, which is why it’s here as well. Quarter Horse Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Physical Space Award.

The Bold Street Coffee sign, back outside the shop on Bold Street, Liverpool.Bold Street Coffee

Moving on to Liverpool, I was back at Bold Street Coffee for the first time in ages, where I was rewarded with an excellent flat white while waiting for my brunch. Made with the bespoke house blend from Has Bean, the coffee went well with the milk, producing a sweet and fruity flat white. Bold Street Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Breakfast Award.

Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee on the corner of the street, the door recessed in a cut-away at 45° to the windows.Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee

Our last two entries see us in London, with starting with Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee, where I had an excellent flat white made with the Allpress decaf, which was smooth, rich and well-balanced. Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee has also made it onto this year’s shortlists for the Best Cake and Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Awards.

 

The Caravan logo from the sign outside the original Exmouth Market branch.Caravan Exmouth Market

Our final entry also features a decaf flat white, which I had with my dinner at Caravan Exmouth Market. I followed that up with a regular flat white the following morning, allowing me a rare opportunity to compare and contrast. Both were excellent, but very different. Caravan Exmouth Market has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Happiest Staff Awards.


And the winner is The Flower Cup
Runners-up: Quarter Horse Coffee and Black Rabbit Speciality Coffee

Don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2020.


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11 thoughts on “2020 Awards – Best Flat White

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