Coffee is more and more popular and become one of the most widely consumed beverages around the world. Nowadays every local and chain coffee offers a wide range of coffee which most are espresso based to meet a diversified demand of customers. Today, we want to show you some interesting thing about flat white- the coffee drink taking the U.S. by storm recent year and how to make a flat white.

1. What is Flat white?

As the flat white becomes increasingly popular, more and more coffee shops are beginning to serve it. They are listed on the chalkboard of many coffee shops alongside lattes, cortados, and cappuccino. But even coffee lover seem to have confusion: what is a flat white?
Flat white is delicious, full flavored coffee made with espresso and steamed milk, and ideally often decorated with a shape of a fern or a leaf. It is richer than latte and creamier than Cappuccino, with a velvety texture of milk and made from the purest extract of the coffee bean.

As Starbuck introduction, “the Starbuck Flat white is made with two ristretto shots, combined with a thin layer of velvety steamed whole milk and finished with a latte art dot. This beverage build is for short and tall version of the beverage” (Ristretto is traditionally a short shot of espresso coffee made with the normal amount of ground coffee but extracted with about half the amount of water).


History of Flat white

The Flat Whites origins can be traced back to 1980’s Australia where it became a menu must have for the upcoming 3rd wave coffee shop owners. It is conventionally prepared using a single espresso (in Australia) or a double ristretto (in New Zealand) and served in a 5-6 ounce ceramic cup.

Flat white was soon popularized in Australia and New Zealand before making its way to the Europe in early 2000s. But it is really become a fever to all coffee aficionado in North America in the past ten year especially when Starbuck first launch its own Starbuck Flat white in USA 2015, after five years of selling them in UK and Australia.

The naming of the flat white likely comes from how Australians refer to their coffee drinks. A regular espresso is a “short black,” one made larger with the addition of hot water is a “long black” and one with added milk is a “flat white”.

2. Difference among Flat white, Cappuccino and Latte?

how to make a flat white

Flat white looks like a cappuccino and broadly called “a small latte” and people tend to confuse when order but they are very difference drink. If barista decorates 3 cups of latte, cappuccino and flat white with same shape of fern and in same size of cup, almost people could not tell them apart at the first glance. You have to taste to find out the difference in term of texture, taste and flavor.

They all made with espresso and steam milk but the difference is the ratio of coffee and milk, and how they steam and pour milk into a mug. Milk is hidden ingredient in a modern coffee. Most people forget how important good milk is to a good coffee. When milk is frothed with a steam wand there are three layers that form: heated liquid milk at the bottom of the pitcher, velvety microfoam in the middle of the pitcher (these are very small bubbles) and stiff froth (these are larger bubbles). So when pouring milk into coffee, they could blend or mixed and create different flavor depend on how we texture milk.

– Flat white has an even mix of liquid milk and smooth velvet foam so it feels like drinking an espresso, only yummier. It often served in an 8-ounce cup so that it has more espresso than the ratio to milk compared to a latte.

– Cappuccino has stiff foam and feels like drinking bubbles with a bed of coffee hidden at the bottom and often topped with chocolate.

– Latte is milky, has a little foam on the top and feels like drinking a milky coffee.

The best way to really test out the difference between a flat white and a latte is to be to go to a few small local cafes and order both a flat white and a latte. If you are looking for a coffee that is creamier than a cappuccino but less milky than a latte, flat white is your perfect choice.

3. How to make a flat white?

Even you could go to cafeteria to order a cup of flat white, it is very amazing if you could make yourself and friend these delicious drink at home. A right flat white should has microfoam blend with espresso and little velvety in the surface, with the sweet flavor of creamy and enough bitter of espresso. In this topic, we want to show you how to make a fancy flat white with 2 layer above.


Let’s start out with the “ingredients” list. For prepare, you need a raw coffee, a coffee maker, coffee grinder, milk, water and a mug with ratio below:
– 23gr coffee bean
– 44ml fresh water.
– 100ml of fresh milk
– A pre-heated 165 ml / 5.5 oz ceramic cup(you could choose ceramic cup with flexible size).

Step to make flat white

• First, put coffee bean into coffee grinder and grind them into a fine powder.

• Next, clean and dry the equipment thoroughly, then put the coffee powder to coffee maker to make espresso with hot water flow into coffee. You could put one or double shot of espresso to make flat white depend on your taste into a pre-heated mug.

• For making a single flat white, we use a little under 3 ounces( or 100ml) of cold milk in a cold pitcher. Then froth the milk with steam wand for the right length of time be heated to approximately 60° C / 140° F. It takes about 30-40seconds to steam milk.

When steaming, try to get little bits of air in early because milk takes the air better when cooler. Then tap the pitcher on the counter or swirling the milk smoothly to break up bubbles and blend them with liquid milk to create velvety micro foam with uniform consistency in the pitcher. If done well, the milk will have a shiny surface, no large bubbles, creamy and consistent.

• Finally, gentle pour a milk and draw a pattern on the coffee with a leaf, a fern or whatever you like.

Tips for making one of the great Flat white

Now you know how to make a flat white, remember some tips below to have perfect drink.

– Always use fresh water to make good espresso. Water plays an important role in making coffee. In coffee shop, you could learn that they always use two water filter system for making coffee.

– Choose high quality coffee bean to make great espresso. Robusta and Arabica coffee is currently preferred to make espresso with sweet and natural flavor.

– Try to heat the cup before put espresso into it. You should pay attention to temperature of the cup because pour hot coffee into a cold cup can break the flavor.

– The secret to frothing milk is keeping the steam wand just at the surface of the milk (that pleasing noise you hear in busy cafes).

Today I have wetted your appetite for a flat white, why not try making a cup of coffee at home? Follow these steps, all going well then you have made your first delicious flat white. The Flat White is an absolutely delicious drink, it lets the espresso come through and compliments it with a sweet and creamy texture. Hope that you will have great snack and coffee with your family and friends. Enjoy!

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