What is a Flat White Coffee? All You Need to Know

photo of a barista holding a flat white coffee in a mug with words in the bottom left corner saying: what is a flat white coffee?

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Are you ready to learn what a flat white is and how to make this ultimate coffee concoction? Say hello to the flat white, a delicious and creamy coffee that will have you buzzing all day long!

The Answer

First, let’s start with the basics. What is a flat white, you ask? Well, it’s a tasty and creamy coffee that originated in Australia and New Zealand. It’s made with a double shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a thin layer of velvety foam on top.

But don’t let the simple ingredients fool you because a flat white is so much more than just a cup of coffee with milk. The key to a perfect flat white is the way the milk is steamed.

Unlike a latte, which has more foam and a more velvety texture, a flat white has a silky microfoam that is expertly poured to create a beautiful, creamy texture.

The Origins of the Flat White

In the 1980s, Australian and New Zealand coffee culture was heavily influenced by Italian-style espresso drinks. However, the locals wanted something a little different. They wanted a smooth, velvety milk-based drink that was somewhere between a latte and a cappuccino.

In 1985, Sydney coffee shop owner, Alan Preston, created this delicious drink after hearing complaints about his customers being bored with cappuccinos and americanos. And thus, the flat white was born.

But the flat white didn’t stop in Australia and New Zealand. In the 1990s, it began to gain popularity in the UK and eventually made its way to the United States. Today, you can find the flat white on menus at many coffee shops across the world.

So next time you sip on a delicious flat white, remember its humble beginnings Down Under and raise a toast to the Aussies and Kiwis who created this tasty coffee treat.

What’s the Difference Between a Flat White and a Latte?

Although they both look similar, there are in fact quite a few differences between the two. 

Let’s start with the latte. A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk, with a generous dollop of foam on top. The milk is steamed to create a thick and creamy texture, and the foam adds a bit of airiness to the drink.

A latte is typically served in a tall glass, and it’s a great choice if you want a smooth and rich coffee experience.

Now, onto the flat white. This drink also starts with espresso and steamed milk, but it has a slightly different ratio of ingredients. The milk in a flat white is steamed to create a velvety texture, but it’s not as thick and creamy as the milk in a latte.

The foam on a flat white is also much thinner, creating a more even balance of espresso and milk.

So, what’s the main difference between a latte and a flat white?

It all comes down to the ratio of espresso to milk, and the thickness of the foam. A latte has more milk and a thicker foam, while a flat white has a more even balance of espresso and milk, and a thinner layer of foam on top.

How to Order a Flat White

So, how do you order a flat white? It’s simple! Just head to your local coffee shop and ask for a double shot of espresso with steamed milk (or you could just ask for a flat white).

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even ask for a flat white with a flavor shot or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.

But the best part about a flat white? It’s the perfect size for those days when you want a strong and satisfying coffee without feeling overwhelmed.

It’s the Goldilocks of coffee drinks: not too big, not too small, just right.

Four Reasons As to Why You Should Try a Flat White

In addition to its delicious flavor and creamy texture, there are a few other reasons why a flat white has become such a popular coffee drink. Here are just a few:

1. It’s a great way to enjoy the flavor of espresso without the bitterness. The steamed milk in a flat white helps to balance out the intensity of the espresso, making it a perfect drink for those who find straight espresso too strong.

2. It’s a versatile drink. You can enjoy a flat white on its own and customize it with different flavors or toppings. You can add a shot of vanilla or hazelnut syrup or even top it with a sprinkle of cinnamon or cocoa powder. The possibilities are endless!

3. It’s a healthier option. Unlike other coffee drinks that have loads of sugar and syrups, a flat white has only a few simple ingredients: espresso, milk, and a little bit of foam. This makes it a lower-calorie option that won’t derail your healthy eating habits.

4. It’s a trendy drink. In recent years, the flat white has gained popularity in cities all over the world, from Sydney to New York. So, not only will you be enjoying a delicious coffee drink, but you’ll also be on the cutting edge of coffee culture.

So, why not give a flat white a try the next time you’re at your local coffee shop? I guarantee you’ll love the smooth, creamy flavor and the perfect balance of espresso and milk.

However, if you don’t want to head over to the coffee shop and want to experience this delicious coffee at home, the recipe is extremely easy to make. 

How to Make the Perfect Flat White

Now, let’s get down to business and learn how to make the perfect flat white. Here’s what you’ll need:

• A double shot of espresso (make sure you freshly brew it nice and strong!)

• Steamed milk (use whole milk for the creamiest and most delicious flat white)

• A milk frother (or you can use a whisk if you’re feeling adventurous)

Now you’ve got all the ingredients, here’s how to make the perfect flat white:

1. Start by brewing a double shot of espresso. If you’re using a coffee machine, make sure you properly calibrate it and set it to the right temperature and pressure. If you’re using a stovetop espresso maker, make sure the water is at the right temperature and you distribute the grounds evenly.

2. While the espresso is brewing, steam your milk. If you’re using a milk frother, fill the frothing pitcher with milk and turn it on. If you’re using a whisk, heat the milk in a saucepan until it’s warm and frothy.

3. Once you’ve brewed the espresso and steamed the milk, it’s time to combine the two. Carefully pour the espresso into a mug and top it with the steamed milk. Use a spoon to gently stir the milk into the espresso to create a smooth and creamy mixture.

4. Finally, it’s time to add the finishing touches. Use the milk frother (or whisk) to create a thin layer of foam on top of the flat white. This will add a velvety texture and a rich, creamy flavor to the drink.

Finishing Thoughts

And there you have it, the perfect flat white! Now grab a spoon, sit back, and enjoy your delicious creation. However, we must warn you, once you try a flat white, you’ll never go back to regular old coffee again!

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