It’s 7 am, far too early in the morning for me, I’m staying with an old friend, recently back from the land down under. I’m making coffee as he goes through the day’s itinerary.
“Oh, pour the milk under the brown stuff?” He says, completely off-handedly.
“Under the Espresso?” I ask.
“No, the brown stuff.” He replied. I glare at him, questioning why, exactly, we had to get up this early and now desperately trying to figure out what he wants so I can try to catch a nap.
“Under the brown fluffy stuff.” He says again.
“The Crema?” I ask.
“No, no cream, the brown stuff.”
I scream internally, dump the milk into the cup and shove it at him.
“Perfect, thanks.” He says chipper as can be.
That was seven years ago and it took nearly four more years before I encountered the name, flat white and yet another year before I learned how to make a flat white.
Leave it to the Australians (or New Zealanders, I’m staying out of it) to create a drink that’s completely upside down and delicious all over.
What is a Flat White?
The flat white takes coffee and flips it on its head. Demanding that milk compliment espresso, rather than dominate the drink. Creating a creamy double shot of espresso with a velvety-sweet flavor. To do this, milk is frothed to a delicious velvet consistency and then encouraged to blend with the espresso evenly, rather than simply settling to the bottom or floating on top. The result is a frothy, rich drink that features the flavors of coffee, rather than the milk.
Note: This isn’t a how to make a flat white Starbucks copycat recipe, if you want that: just dump lukewarm milk into an espresso and drink (sorry Starbucks, I normally like you, but this one you just can’t do.)
You’ll love the flat white if you feel your current favorite has too much milk but want something more than straight espresso.
Before you learn how to make a flat white, let us get some basics down first.
- A flat white is made in a smaller cup (about 6 ounces).
- You absolutely need an Espresso machine or Moka pot.
- You’ll need to use coffee that is medium to light roasted, dark espresso simply doesn’t work.
- Your cup should be hot when starting, but your frother and milk should be cold.
- Steaming has a bit of a trick to it, you want thick velvet foam, not tall fluffy whip[/content_box]