Can you tell my face was red when I wrote this? A few weeks ago in Milan I was laughed at for ordering a cappuccino at suppertime. I replaced my order with a latte and they laughed even more! Apparently the Milanese only drink milky coffees (cappuccinos, lattes) at breakfast and prefer a tiny espresso after supper. To be honest, I find espressos a bit strong so I asked for an espresso with loads of milk. Blank stares!

The enormous roaster inside the window was a good start

This week, I’m feeling a little less embarrassed because I discovered Allpress on Redchurch street with my friend Mark. I mentioned my Milanese experience to them and they introduced me to my first “flat white” — or “flattie” as it’s known in its native Australia and New Zealand. The enormous roaster inside the window at Allpress was a good start. Sure enough, the “flat white” they suggested made from the finest of beans was exactly what I was asking for (but couldn’t get) in Milan.

I didn’t know initially why I liked the “flat white”, it’s less foamy than a cappuccino but stronger than a latte, with a double dose of espresso, it’s basically a double espresso topped up with textured heated milk (milk from the bottom of the jug (no foam)). In the past I’d head up to Monmouth in Borough Market for a good drip coffee (they roast and sell some of London’s finest coffee beans) but it may be a while before I have to go again… I’ve been sucked into the underworld of the Australian coffeehouse and the “flat white” coffee.

The Flat White coffee store (they initially introduced the “flat white” concept to London) and Milkbar both based in Soho do a good “flat white”. Kaffeine (has one of the few Synesso Espresso Machines in London and does a great “flat white” too). A quick skip across Oxford street to Fitzrovia where Lantana located near Goodge Street station / Tottenham Court Road does a brilliant one. All four places are within walking distance of Oxford street and Topshop but a quick hop on to the tube to Liverpool street and then down Redchurch Street to Allpress is my fave experience. Allpress do alot more than a great “flat white” coffee, there’s a great communal table, fluffy white scones, and a Green Goddess sandwich; a poached egg, jamon, salad leaves and green herby mayonaisse stacked on ciabatta bread. The whole experience is adorable!

Flat White map of London

Flat White: 17 Berwick Street, Soho, London W1F 0PT (tel: 020-7734 0370)

Milk Bar, 3 Bateman Street, Soho W1D 4AG (tel: 020-7287 4796)

Kaffeine, 66 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7QJ (tel: 020-7580 6755; )

Lantana, 13 Charlotte Place | Fiztrovia | London W1T 1SN (tel: 020 7637 3347, )

Allpress Espresso, 58 Redchurch St London E2 7DP  (tel: 020 7749 1780; )