What is a Flat White Coffee And How To Make the Perfect Cup Every Time

What is a Flat White Coffee And How To Make the Perfect Cup Every Time

Flat White has started echoing in the cafés quite recently. They are on the menus of popular coffee shops. People do not have an established taste in coffee, so they often mistake it for a latte and cappuccino. From a small latte to a cappuccino with less foam, flat white coffee has all sorts of definitions.

But what actually is Flat White, and how does it differ from other coffee drinks?

Here is everything you need to know about Flat White Coffee Beverage.

What is a Flat White Coffee?

Flat White is another espresso-based coffee drink with steamed microfoam milk. It is made by pouring steamed milk over one or two espresso shots and topped with a thin layer of foam. The mixture results in a foamy and silky texture with a creamy taste along with the bitter coffee flavour. Flat White is a perfect coffee for people looking for a bold espresso flavor and creamy richness of steamed milk.

The key to a good flat white is the microfoam steamed milk. This milk has very tiny air bubbles that are hardly visible to the drinker, but the texture and creaminess it creates are simply exceptional. Flat White Coffee is usually served in 5 to 6oz or 160-165ml tulip cups.

But some coffee shops are even serving it in 10oz cups. It alters the traditional coffee-to-milk ratio and further dilutes the boldness of the drink. The espresso-to-milk ratio must not be overpowering; it should create a perfect balance between the taste and texture with a thin layer of micro-foam. If done right, Flat White Coffee type is a great way to showcase the fantastic flavor of coffee in a milk-based drink.

Origin of Flat White Coffee

The origin of flat white coffee has been quite a debate. It originated somewhere in New Zealand or Australia in the 80s. Both countries take credit as the birthplace, but no one is sure where it came from.

There are various stories like New Zealanders claim that the drink was created by Derek Townsend at DFK Café in 1984, while Australians are adamant that Fraser McInnes used the term Flat White to describe incorrectly frothed cappuccino in 1989 at Café Bodega.

Another backstory says people transitioning from instant coffee to espresso-based drinks in the 80s were looking for something familiar. The cappuccino had loads of foam on top, so they asked for it "Flat." So, the drink was made flatter than a cappuccino.

Without going deep into history, it evolved in both places and has become a big part of large-scale chain coffee shops menus.

How to Make a Flat White Coffee?

The key to a delicious Flat White Coffee is the ability to create quality micro-foam milk and a balanced espresso shot. The ratio of coffee to water also matters.

Flat White Coffee has almost double the amount of foamed milk, which creates a sweet and creamy flavor with the intensity of espresso. The ingredients are pretty much obvious.

  • High Quality fresh roasted coffee beans or coffee grounds.
  • Liquid Milk
  • An espresso machine with a steam wand.

Now you have all the ingredients, let's start preparing.

  1. Add your preferred coffee grounds to the portafilter, place it into the coffee maker and start the brewing process. The amount of espresso is up to you. Usually, we like to have a double shot of espresso for a stronger coffee flavor.
  2. Now take your milk in a cup or jug and froth it with the steam wand. To create a fine microfoam layer on top, try to generate a whirlpool effect in the cup. Keep it under the steam wand until the milk is hot. Again, the choice of milk is yours; you can use dairy milk or plant-based products like Oat Milk, Almond Milk, Soya Milk, etc.
  3. Pour the textured milk over the coffee, and try to replicate the barista's method. Hold the cup at an angle towards the milk and pour it slowly while rotating the stream of milk to ensure milk and espresso combine perfectly.

Related Article: Aeroccino Vs Steam Wand

Flat White is among the best drinks due to its excellent coffee flavor and the creaminess of the milk. Moreover, it is not a difficult beverage to prepare if you have an espresso machine.

Difference Between Flat White and Cappuccino

Flat Coffee and macchiato

Flat White is also considered the flat version of cappuccino. The similarities are more apparent than the differences in both beverages. Both drinks have frothed creamy milk with single or double espresso shots; the serving cup or glass size is almost the same, around 6oz.

The drinks are suited for excellent latte art; it can be slightly tricky on Flat White because of the thin foam layer. Baristas also use cinnamon and chocolate powder over cappuccinos.

The main differences are in the milk's consistency and the foam's layer.

Flat White has very fine-pored velvety milk; the air bubbles are almost invisible to the drinker. But the bubbles provide a silky texture to the coffee.

Moreover, the quality and boldness of espresso become dominant due to less foam. Fine pore allows espresso to blend evenly, making the taste of coffee more consistent.

On the other hand, a typical American cappuccino has a thick foam layer on top. The foam is stiff and feels like drinking bubbles with a bed of coffee at the bottom.

The texture is not smooth, and the flavors are not evenly distributed. The top layer often does not have the intense espresso flavor, while the bottom has an overpowering taste.

Final Thoughts

Those who like the original flavor of coffee, flat coffee is more appropriate. The proportion of coffee to water is like regular coffee. Adding a dash of warm milk gives it a slight variation and as compared to Latte it remains a stronger drink.  It is a small, flavorful espresso drink with a smooth, velvety texture, a strong coffee taste, and the creaminess of frothed milk.

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