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Aug 28, 2012 02:15 PM

Flat White coffee in SF

Hi everyone,
We'll be in SF next month on vacation and will be looking for a barista in SF who knows how to make a flat white coffee. Nothing fancy, just plain old coffee and full cream milk. We're staying on Bush St and wouls appreciate your advice on where to find this elusive bev.

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  1. Is this what you are referring to? . Because that is not plain old coffee and full cream milk.

    Philz is not simple but does do drip coffee to order and has full cream milk available (I believe).

    1 Reply
    1. re: goldangl95

      I'm interested to hear Sacster's reply, as we've been having a bit of a debate as to the correct execution for a flat white on my home board starting here:

      This is just a search on y*lp but might get you started: The first place mentioned, Jane, is rather a nice coffee bar, as is Contraband.

      One thing I do know: don't get between an Australian and his/her preferred coffee beverage :-). Good luck in your search, Sacster.

    2. The only place I know of that even serves a flat white is Blue Bottle Coffee in the Ferry Building.

      1. Hmmmm. Interesting.
        Goldang...when I say "plain old" I mean a shot of barista coffee. No additives like vanilla for example. yes your link is what I'm looking for but don't confuse barista coffee with ...ugh...drip.
        Grayelf...Yes, you should be wary! But where oh where do I find a savvy barista? There is a place called (I think) Coffee bean & tea Leaf in the Fin district ob Bush. Thanks, I'll certainly check your link.
        sfcarole... Thank you. BB is on my list

        3 Replies
        1. re: Sacster

          *shrug* Drip Coffee has its own place and following in SF and has its own art. I think due to my American background "plain old coffee and full cream milk" sounds like drip to me.

          Just for other people following the thread Flat White Coffee it turns out is an Australian espresso drink that has made its way mainly to New York at this point. It's a single or double shot of espresso with a wet, almost latte like microfoam on the top.

          Ritual Coffee
          Sightglass Coffee
          Four Barrel

          Know how to make 'em as well. Not sure whose would be the best.

          1. re: Sacster

            How does a "flat White" differ from the Gibraltar that's available (off-menu) at Blue Bottle?

            1. re: Sacster

              We have found from bitter experience over the years that there is no really good coffee close to Bush Street (if you are near Bush and Powell as I am presuming) -- Contraband and Blue Bottle Mint Plaza are prolly the closest and both are a bit of a hike. There are Peets and Starbucks but this is not the kind of coffee we are looking for :-).

              I believe Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is a chain originating in LA so if you are keen to try more SF-centric options that's probably not the best choice. The Embarcadero CB&TL and the Market Street one are both a bit of a hike, not much closer than Blue Bottle Mint really, depending where you are on Bush.

            2. Anywhere. If the barista doesn't know "flat white," you could order "cappuccino with no foam, just the milk from the bottom of the pitcher."

              1 Reply
              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                Or, on a more helpful note than "Anywhere.", you could venture over to Caffe Roma on Columbus Ave, where the owner Tony offers to make a flat white whenever he detects an order placed with an Australian accent. I'm usually a cappuccino person in the morning, but I tried one and thought it would have made Proud Mary in Melbourne proud..

                You could also try the Gibraltar (as someone else noted) or the SG120 at Blue Bottle, both of which are excellent, off-menu, and similar to a flat white.

                And if you care enough to research your coffee destination in advance of your trip, please do yourself a favor by avoiding the mediocre Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf chain. Enjoy your vacation and your coffee, Phil.

              2. If your visit is taking you toward the financial district, there's a good coffee truck called Reveille Coffee parked on Pacific between Sansome and Battery. Single origin coffees, good baristas. I've never asked for a flat white, but you can call and ask. Leaps and bounds better than Coffee Bean or other chains. Personally, I prefer them to Blue Bottle.


                1 Reply
                1. re: JojoSF

                  We really enjoyed our coffees at Reveille, good suggestion for the area. Still 12 blocks from Powell and Bush where we stay so not what I would call close enough for a coffee emergency :-) and also no indoor seating or snacks if the OP cares about either.