Gwilym Davies has sworn off lattes and flat whites. The 2009 World Barista Champion has also removed cappuccinos and cortados from the menu of his Prufrock Coffee trolley at London’s Present. Gibraltar, SG-120 and all the other groovy terms for an espresso with hot milk have been banished from his vocabulary. Henceforce all his milk-marbleised coffees will be identified by their cup sizes: 4 oz, 6 oz or 8 oz.
The trouble with his old menu, according to Gwilym, was that the coffee names mythologised what were, from his hands, fundamentally the same drink: a double espresso blended with varying quantities of milk he steamed and textured in the identical manner. Furthermore, the terms were confusing and meant different things to different people from different places. It was problematic to figure out what each customer’s understanding of a flat white or a cortado was and frustrating when what the barista champion served measured below – or above – each one’s expectations.
His new 4-6-8 system is simpler and clearer, except for metric minds who don’t really know what ounces are and don’t wish to do conversions before they’ve had their caffeine fix. For these aliens, Gwilym first takes out his three white paper cups and then performs his usual coffee magic show.