What Is Flat White Coffee?

Looking to mix up the type of coffee you order when you go out? You can't go far wrong with trying a flat white. Everyone knows the latte, cappuccino, and Americano, but Flat White is relatively new to the scene. Now it seems like every coffee shop or outlet selling coffee sells the Flat White. However, it is very easy to make it wrong. 

What is a Flat White?

The Flat White is a delicious creamy mix of espresso and finely textured milk. When made right, it is a thing of beauty and deliciousness!

  • Typically, it should be 5oz - 6oz or 150ml -190ml in size.
  • It should have a double shot of espresso
  • And really fine-textured milk with some lovely latte art on top to showcase the barista’s skill and show the milk is textured just right. No big frothy bubbles, please.

The balance between espresso and milk is crucial. The espresso needs to be bold enough to hold its own against the milk. Chocolatey espresso works great in a Flat White.

The milk is ideally thick and creamy, whole milk works best, but a skilled barista can get this creamy texture with any style of milk or non-dairy milk.

Where is the Flat White from?

The Flat White originates from Australia in the 1980s. Italians emigrated to Sydney and Melbourne and bought their espresso machines with them. Many locals couldn't speak Italian, so they named their drinks in pretty simple terms, long black, short black, flat white and frothy white, as my grandmother used to call it.

But it seems the Kiwis were the ones who went on to perfect the Flat White as we know it today. Rugby, sailing and Flat Whites is how they built their Empire!

So, look for a coffee shop selling Flat Whites in the correct size and great textured milk, and you will know why they have become so popular.

How to make the perfect Flat White at home

  • Prepare your double shot of espresso. The La Marzocco Linea Mini is a great device if you’re looking for high-end espresso technology at home.  If you don't have an espresso machine, the AeroPress is an inexpensive substitute.
  • Foam your milk to create a nice smooth microfoam, and after frothing, gently tap the milk pitcher to remove any unwanted bubbles.
  • Gently pour the frothed milk into the espresso.
  • Enjoy your Flat White.

 Paul,

Owner, Coffee Hit