Anything but flat in taste – the Flat White coffee

Written by: Smilla H.



Time to read 3 min

You've probably already spotted him on the menu in some cafes. The Flat White is an indispensable part of hip coffee shops these days. But where does the milky coffee with the cool name actually come from? What is the difference between Flat White and Cappuccino? And how do you make a really good flat white coffee at home? We clarify all this in this article. So make yourself your very last milk coffee, because in five minutes you will have your new favorite coffee.

What is a flat white?

Actually quite simple. A flat white is usually a double espresso with finely frothed milk. In the end there is a total of around 180 milliliters in the cup. The place of birth is hotly debated in the scene. Australia and New Zealand started putting him on the map almost simultaneously back then.

And this is where it starts. Usually a double espresso? Around 180 milliliters? Australia or New Zealand? You'll notice that opinions differ when it comes to Flat White. In this article you will find my personal “recipe” for the Flat White. So if you know him differently, rest easy, because there's a little artistic license here!

Where does flat white coffee come from?

We've already touched on it. The Flat White comes from the south. The far south. Australia and New Zealand are still arguing about who invented it.

The Australian version of history: The year is 1985. Sydney, Australia. We are at Moors Espresso Bar. This is where the owner Alan Preston is said to have created the drink. According to him, some customers could no longer see "fluffy" cappuccinos and wanted something new. From then on, Alan served them the stronger Flat White. A little less voluminous, but all the more delicious.

Incidentally, the Flat White found its way to our region via London. Coffee fans from Australia and New Zealand first put it on the menu at Flat White Soho . Yes, I also think the name is very appropriate. No matter where the drink comes from, the flat white is more popular today than ever. Why? Because it simply tastes exceptionally good! Whether in the USA or Europe, coffee lovers from all over the world celebrate the flat white for its strong coffee taste and silky texture.

Melbourne Australia

How do I prepare a flat white coffee?

A portafilter machine is of course best suited for the preparation. With a dual circuit, you can quickly and easily get the espresso shot and froth your milk. Dual circuit means that the machine has two heating circuits. To put it simply: one for the coffee and one for the foam.

For a flat white coffee you now get a double espresso - I like the soft touch from Cycle Roasters and the Capital from Röststätte. At the end of the draw there should be around 40 milliliters of espresso in your cup. Of course, you can tailor your recipe here to your personal taste. Still need help perfecting your espresso? Don't worry, if your espresso tastes too sour, you'll find the most common mistakes here. If your espresso tastes too bitter, here's a remedy.

You can froth your milk while making the espresso. A little tip: don't just froth up 140 milliliters here, but around 200 milliliters. This way you can better adjust the right temperature. For all hobby artists: This is also a better way to pour latte art.

Flat White

Can I also prepare a flat white without an espresso machine?

Actually, I would have to say: difficult. Firstly, without an espresso machine it is not possible to prepare a proper Doppio and secondly, frothing the milk is considerably more difficult. For the Flat White you need the perfect consistency. So all lost? Flat white coffee only in the coffee shop? Don't despair, you can cheat a little! When I didn't have a portafilter at home, I relied on the classic. The espresso maker. You won't get any crema here, but coffee from the espresso maker comes closest to the desired end result in terms of taste.

Now for the harder topic. froth milk. Conventional milk frothers are pretty far from the desired consistency. You are best advised here with the Nanofoamer from Subminimal. This small device manages to conjure up first-class milk froth despite a minimal investment.

Barista pouring latte art on flat white

Don't want another appliance in the kitchen drawer? Then I have one last tip for you. With a conventional French press, quite fine-pored foam can be prepared. To do this, simply heat the milk to 60-62 degrees Celsius and pour it into the French Press. Now all you have to do is move the plunger of the French Press up and down quickly until fine milk froth forms. Admittedly, getting the perfect consistency takes a few tries. But a little challenge never hurts, right?

All in all, these tricks can get you relatively close to a proper flat white coffee. However, if you fancy a really good flat white without much work, you have another option. Namely, to visit the nearest Specialty Coffee roastery nearby. A delicious flat white is actually guaranteed here!