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.