Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Flat whites at Prufrock Coffee, Present.

Having the current world barista champion on the next street is A Very Good Thing if you're smacked out of your head on sleep deprivation. (See last post.) Gwilym Davies (world champ!) and Mattias Björklund (current barista champion of Sweden!) operate a beautiful Victoria Arduino espresso machine at Prufrock coffee counter in sleek menswear shop Present on Shoreditch High Street.

The shop is long and narrow, so the coffee bar as you walk in (almost) makes perfect sense. Mattias told me that they often have a queue right down the shop, their coffee is so popular. Everyone in the line was talking about the coffee and just so you know, if you're single, the clientele was 100% cute guy when I was there.

But, more importantly, the coffee. They are famous for their flat whites, a drink invented by our Antipodean friends: a shorter version of a latte using steamed milk from the bottom of the jug, no froth. It's the only drink to order in London at the moment if you are a true coffee ponce, which I am proud to say that I am.

Mattias made flat whites for myself and two workmates and we were enraptured. No trace of bitterness, robust but smooth, I tasted licorice, Natalie tasted walnut and my boss said he tasted berry-fed badger. But I think he was taking the piss.

[At this point in writing this post I had to actually get up and go and get another flat white, I was craving one so badly. Mattias made it again. Just so good. Sigh.]

The shop itself stocks boy essentials such as wallets, shoes, Aesop shaving products, socks and striped blazers by labels such as Raf by Raf Simons, Trickers, Vans, Eley Kishimoto. I love that they've kept the original signage.

Present, 140 Shoreditch High Street, open from 10:30am.


  1. wow! lucky you! I definitely fancy an excellent coffee made in an special place. Thanks for the tip! x LZ

  2. Present is expensive though. Good and nice but expensive. Almost spent £300+ on a holdall I really didn't need in a pre-Christmas buying frenzy. Thankfully I didn't as I like eating in January...

    The coffee sounds good tho. Need to visit. For the coffee. Not the expensive holdalls.

  3. Note to self: Work the word "ponce" into American lexicon, starting today.

  4. Not to be a tool, but now that Costa is advertising flat whites, doesn't it take away all of the ponciness of them?

    That said, I've had a few lattes there myself. The swedish dude makes the prettiest designs and he's so soft-spoken. Really, really love. Super jealous you work so close to it!

  5. Times like this I almost wish I liked coffee.

  6. 365 - Ooh, I saw those hold-alls. Similar to the Longchamp ones, with leather handles? £300 a bit steep but you are a man of taste.

    Kerry - I think it might have a different meaning in the States? Tread carefully. ;p

    Abby - yes, it probably does! I googled them and even Starbucks sell them - I tweeted this post yesterday saying 'Have you all been drinking these without telling me?!' The Swedish dude did a heart on mine. I'm sure he was sending me a secret message. ;p He was v soft spoken, what a sweetheart!

    WFI: Learn to like it. If there's a poncy trend around you two need to be all over it!

  7. Oh, this looks great, I wish I was still in London, great pics, love them

  8. I *heart* this place! Great review and pics btw Mattias has no 'h' :)