The second of today’s 2022 Coffee Spot Awards shortlists is for the “Best Flat White” Award, which was won last year by Speckled Ax, Thames.
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.
There are ten Coffee Spots on the shortlist this year, all listed in order of publication.
We start the shortlist with this cortado, which I had at Elephant Coffee in Neston. Made with the Dé Jà Brew house blend, roasted by old friends Neighbourhood Coffee, its classic notes of chocolate and nuts came strongly through the milk. Elephant Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Coffee Spot with the Best Lighting and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.
I have a soft spot for Chicago-based Intelligentsia, but this is the first time I visited its Boston location on Post Office Square. I had this classic cappuccino, made with the ubiquitous Black Cat blend (my first time having Black Cat in over three years). It was as pleasing as ever, the coffee coming strongly through the perfectly-steamed milk, which held its latte art to the bottom of the cup.
Moving to Berlin, Nano Kaffee has a very concise menu offering espresso, long black and (with milk) small (cortado/macchiato), medium (flat white/cappuccino) and large (latte). I had this medium, made with the naturally-processed O Pássaro from Brazil which produced a rich, smooth classic flat white. Nano Kaffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Cake Award.
Staying in Germany, but moving to Köln, The Coffee Gang served me this flat white, made with the exclusive house blend, roasted by JB Kaffee. The milk and coffee in perfect harmony, producing a smooth flat white with classic chocolate notes. I also tried a cortado, where the coffee cut through just a little bit more. The Coffee Gang has also been shortlisted for the Best Filter Coffee Award.
Staying in Köln, where I had another a flat white, this time at Ernst Kaffeeröster. Made with the house blend, this was a well-balanced, classic flat white with some beautifully steamed milk. Ernst Kaffeeröster has also made it onto the shortlist for this year’s Best Roaster/Retailer Award.
Back to Berlin and to the Coffee Circle Café – Mitte. Coffee Circle roasts all its own coffee, offering a house espresso, the Cerrado, a naturally-processed coffee from Brazil, plus a second single-origin which changes on a regular basis. I had this flat white, made with the Cerrado, served on this intriguing non-circular saucer. The flat white itself was excellent, with the rich, fruity coffee going really well with the milk.
Returning to the UK and to Guildford, I enjoyed many flat whites at Canopy Coffee, my go-to spot in town. Made with the bespoke Canopy blend, roasted by Skylark Coffee, my flat whites were invariably excellent, rich and smooth, with the Canopy blend producing a particularly sweet, fruity drink. Canopy Coffee has also been shortlisted for the Smallest Coffee Spot Award.
Back in Berlin, I visited the Five Elephant coffee bar in the KaDeWe department store on several occasions. I had a flat white made with the naturally-processed Brazilian Sítio Canaā, where coffee and milk were in perfect harmony. However, a prefered it in this cortado, the character of the coffee coming more clearly through the milk. Five Elephant has also been shortlisted for the Most Unlikely Place to Find a Coffee Spot Award.
Returning to America, this time to Atlanta, I had another fine cortado (known locally as a Gibraltar) made with Bellwood’s The Reservoir, which I enjoyed at its coffee bar in the lobby of 1776 Peachtree. The Reservoir went perfectly with the milk to form a rich, smooth drink with chocolate notes. Bellwood coffee has also been shortlisted for the Best Coffee Spot near a Railway Station Award.
We stay in America with Flat Track Coffee in Austin, where I had another cortado served in a glass. Made with the house blend, this was a rich, complex, coffee with some long-lasting latte art, the perfect start to my time in Austing. Flat Track Coffee has also been shortlisted for this year’s Best Outdoor Seating and Best Neighbourhood Coffee Spot Awards.
The winner will be announced on Monday, 2nd January. In the meantime, don’t forget to check out the other 19 Coffee Spot Awards for 2022.
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