What is a Flat White ?
Learn the truth behind the most talked-about coffee drink in America and what it takes to make a flat white at home
Although it might seem like the flat white coffee drink is new to the specialty coffee scene, the popular drink has been around for a long time.
The origin of flat white is controversial. Both Australia and New Zealand have claimed ownership of the drink: Kiwis credited a barista at DKF Café for inventing the flat white in 1984 while Aussies believed the term, which was used to describe cappuccino made with low-fat milk that failed to rise, originated at Café Bodega in 1989. At least one source claims the drink is even older, dating back to the 1960s when Australian coffee shops served white coffee, flat.
As the debate rages on, two things remain clear: The flat white coffee drink has been around for at least three decades—long before it appeared on coffee shop menus in the United States in 2015 and became one of the hottest drinks in the nation. So, what is a flat white?
A flat white is a coffee drink made with a double shot of espresso and micro-foamed milk. Unlike the stiff foam in a cappuccino or the foam on top of a latte, a flat white has an even mix of steamed milk and froth.
Thanks to the rich coffee flavor in each sip and ideal balance of coffee and milk, the flat white coffee drink is hailed as the ideal drink for coffee lovers who think cappuccino lacks flavor and lattes are made with too much milk.
Using a steaming wand to heat the milk at a consistent temperature helps to achieve the smooth, velvet-like texture. To prevent the milk and coffee from separating from each other, the flat white coffee drink is served at a cooler temperature than a cappuccino. Flat white is often poured into a six-ounce cup, making it smaller than other specialty coffee drinks.
Making the perfect flat white might seem complicated but, with the right machine, it’s possible to get a flat white fix at home. Upscale espresso machines dispense the right amount of coffee and heat milk to the perfect temperature; some machines, including the Jura E8 Chrome and the Jura Z6 will make a flat white at the push of a button.
Instead of standing in line at the coffee shop to order a flat white, purchase a coffee machine that makes the most talked about coffee drink in America at home.