The flat white is the new kid on the block when it comes to espresso-based coffee. It originally came from the land down under, and it is now filling menus in cafes and coffee shops around the world. But what makes a flat white popular with coffee drinkers?
Let us take a deeper look at its definition, the history of the drink, and how to make one. Find out what sets it apart as a favourite among other espresso-based beverages.
A flat white is an espresso-based drink that consists of steamed milk and microfoam. The microfoam consists of milk that is gently infused with air. The result will be silky textured milk with tiny, barely visible air bubbles. A flat white traditionally comes in small sizes, smaller than typical lattes and cappuccinos.
The flat white is available in both local specialty cafes and large-scale chain coffee shops. Its international popularity increased in 2015, when Starbucks introduced this style of coffee across the world, as Flat white latte. That led to a sudden surge in global internet searches for ‘Flat White.’.
When making this coffee drink, make sure the espresso is in a higher concentration than the milk. In that way, the coffee flavours become more prominent over the sweetness coming from the milk. It’s also a good practice for both professional baristas and home baristas alike to only add a thin layer of foam onto a flat white. It will prevent any distraction due to multiple textures.
The artistry that goes into producing an excellent espresso can often go unnoticed due to the focus on steaming milk. The key to successful and delicious-tasting flat whites lies in making the two important ingredients: a quality macrofoam and a well-balanced espresso shot. It means steaming the milk to consistent tiny bubbles while not losing the original espresso recipe.
If done by a qualified barista, the flat white can be an extremely delicious work of art. Making a flat white is a great way to showcase the intrinsic flavour of espresso in a milk-based drink.
Flat white is said to originate from the countries down under—Australia or New Zealand, depending on who you are talking with. The discovery of this drink comes from the desire to create a more interesting version of coffee found at home.
Some reports said the term ‘flat white’ was coined in Sydney. Others say that Melbourne discovered milky marvel and put a name to it around the 1980s. There are also claims that New Zealand’s baristas developed both the original and modern form of the flat white in Wellington during the late 1980s.
It is much more precise coffee than a standard latte, which is why many coffee drinkers and baristas worldwide rank it at the top of their list.
To make a flat white, you will need the following tools and ingredients:
To make an epic flat white, you will need an espresso shot and velvety microfoam. The flavour is often determined by the type of coffee you will use. If you are making your espresso with your preferred blend, you are already halfway to being in love with your flat white.
To make the velvety microfoam, use steamed milk. If done the right way, you will have a thick, velvety texture: flat white with no large bubbles. The better your steamer, the better your microfoam will be.
If you go to your local specialty coffee shop, your barista will prepare a flat white for you.
However, if you want to create your own flat white, try following these simple steps:
One way to make the coffee stay warm longer is to rinse the cup with hot water before brewing. This technique gives the cup a nice rinse as well. It also provides a much warmer surface to preserve the heat from the coffee itself.
There are a lot of coffee options out there, and while the flat white is popular on its own, it can easily be confused with other espresso-based beverages. The best way to learn how to make truly excellent flat whites is to take a course. There’s nothing like being guided by an experienced professional. Naturally, we suggest something like our Barista Basics course.
The flat white is the perfect choice for coffee drinkers who like to have milk with their coffee but are not big fans of the extra froth. If you are looking for a soothing drink to kick start your morning, the flat white could easily become your new favourite. And if you would like to learn the skills to make the perfect Flat White from experienced industry professionals, simply follow the link and sign up today.