Wednesday, 23 January 2013

How much for a flat white in London?

If you are a regular reader of Muesli Lover, you may well have formed the impression that Mr Muesli Lover is a sophisticated fella, considerate with his breakfast choices and fastidious about making the first meal of the day the best meal of the day.
Unfortunately, you would be misguided.

Mr Muesli Lover is simples. Pure and simples. Grateful for all of the breakfast places that he has visited but always woefully unprepared and bemused by the smorgasbord of variation that so pleases Muesli Lover.

But I, Mr Muesli Lover, do appreciate a coffee. I like a Flat White, as it is a cross between a latte and an espresso, right? Like a strong coffee with a decent slosh of frothyish milk. Anyway, being as simples as I am, what gets my goat is the different prices across the various coffee shops. I cannot be doing with ensuring that I have the correct change or working out if it is overpriced. I just want to know what a Flat White will cost me. I tend to find myself in and around the environs of Holborn, London a fair bit. So...I went and investigated. Becoming increasingly jittery and paranoid as I was consumed by the subject of my investigation. Prices* are below to save you the time and hassle:
The Liberty of Norton £2.40
The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs £2.40
Fleet River Bakery £2.00
Store Street Espresso £2.40
Ginger & White £2.50
Taylor St Baristas £2.40-£3.50
Sourced Market £2.00
Prufrock Coffee £2.80
Espresso Room £2.60-£3.10
Wild & Wood £2.20
Wired (@Wired189) £2.40
Salt £2.40
Flat White £2.50

For what it is worth, my personal fave is The Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. I do not think that they have ever served me a bad coffee and are a very welcoming team, which always makes a difference. You get the impression that they take coffee seriously (it is after all the primary reason to visit these places) but not overly so. Staff members are knowledgeable and happy to discuss your coffee requirements without you in anyway feeling patronised.

An honourable mention** must also go to Fleet River Bakery. At £2 for a Flat White it is almost unbeatable (well, just beaten by one it would seem!). Very occasionally the coffee is a little too bitter for me but when you add in their wonderful food selection (including cakes that snap your willpower as if it were a mere twig when you thought it was a towering oak) Fleet River Bakery pushes the winner close.

* some of these establishments offer loyalty cards. This would impact on the value of a coffee at that particular place but it would also require an element of mental arithmetic from me. Hence, this review of prices is based upon the one-off visit and a takeaway coffee. All prices correct at the time the photo was taken.
** Honourable mention number two goes to Wired in West Hampstead. An independent coffee bar, serving great coffee, that opened recently and is going great guns. It’s good to see people head there despite the presence of two larger chains on the same road.


  1. Being a self-confessed 'Flat White Aficionado' I have to say the only place to go for a flat white has got to be 'Monmouth Coffee' in Seven dials Loving the blog x

  2. Thank you for the comment. Monmouth itself had slipped my mind, perhaps because so many coffee shops use Monmouth Coffee beans, I had forgotten that there is an actual coffee shop. For research purposes only, I went and consumed. £2.35. 5p cheaper, a welcome start. I found the Flat White smooth but firm, persistent in strength. Noticeably less milk than other Flat Whites. *I have no idea if this is good or bad*. Closer to Ozone than, say, Fleet River or Department Of Coffee and Social Affairs. It wouldn't impact the results of my recent survey but is a welcome addition to places to stop at...
    Mr Muesli Lover