They say London is part of the global metropolis club -you know, those select few cities that are known for their throbbing pulse that subliminally drives an unrelenting capacity for keeping, keeping, KEEPING ON through all hours of the day and night. And this weary blogger can attest to this fact –London does not sleep. Occasionally however, it does push the clock back a few decades to a time since past. And Flat White cafe is just that, a funked out and deeply soulful shout-back to the days of the shaggy seventies when revolution, freedom fighting and a refusal to accept the status quo were the order of the day. This decidedly rebellious spirit sprawls across the walls in the form of gritty black and white militia portraits, all lit with the raw incandescence of exposed bulbs that seem to be saluting the modern revolution that Flat White embodies.
And just what is Flat White so defiantly rebelling against?
Glad you asked! The answer can be found in two nasty words that have been skulking along London’s streets for far, FAR TOO LONG- bad coffee. Combating the enemy in a full-frontal attack led by a solid showcase of direct trade’s finest, each bean of which is served up with the expert craftsmanship that only comes through love and attention to creating artisan coffee. Spearheading this freedom fight is the Costa Rican single origin espresso, proudly roasted and supplied by Square Mile. Such delectable specialty coffees as these proudly fly the flag for the Third Wave coffee movement which has been has been raging through the street for nearly ten years now, hell-bent on introducing high-quality coffee to the London masses as an artisanal foodstuff alongside fine wine and cheese -rather than as a bland commodity. All in all, this little power-punch of a café leaves no question that change is in the air for London’s coffee scene!
This decidedly rebellious spirit sprawls across the walls in the form of gritty black and white militia portraits, all lit with the raw incandescence of exposed bulbs that seem to be saluting the modern revolution that Flat White embodies.
For Per Svensk, the Swedish head barista/coffee aficionado/captain at the helm of the four group Synesso Hydra espresso machine, the focus is on one thing and one thing only –the coffee. Not wanting to distract from the main event, everything else in the place pales into far-distant insignificance.
“The whole experience is about getting that perfect brew even if you’re only dashing to work or between meetings,” explains Svensk as he sits back to enjoy the view of his patrons savouring perhaps their most luxurious time of day.
As this blogger reclines with a cup of the heavenly brew in hand to share the result of a hard-won upheaval for specialty coffee, there is just one phrase that comes to mind –VIVE LA RÉVOLUTION!
Words and images by Josh Morshead