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How To: Flat White

How To: Flat White

Chris Foulkes |

The flat white is a café must-have, although steeped in myth and enjoyed in various interpretations around the world!

From Australia to here in the UK the basic principles of a flat white remain the same: combine espresso with steamed milk. However, the presentation and the final cup vary from barista to barista and certainly from cafe to cafe.

Chris, our Roastery Supervisor who has three years experience as a barista, took the Redber team on a flat white ‘how to’ – starting with a perfectly pulled espresso, steaming velvety milk to just over 60 degrees and practising the slow pour that will make a lovely flat white.

The origins of a flat white are as diversely discussed as they are drunk, but one legend has it that this particular hot drink came about to replicate the preferred tastes developed by the coffee drinker who routinely enjoys instant coffee, by topping up an espresso with hot water and steamed milk, with no froth – that giving the “flat” to the name.  We certainly owe it to either the Australians or the New Zealanders, of which both will fight bitterly to claim credit, and both hosting a great many coffee houses claiming to be the home of the original flat white.

Being smaller than a latte, but with more substance than a cappuccino makes it the perfect go-to drink for anyone looking for a strong, milky coffee! At its most basic, any flat white is a short, strong, latte, with little to no froth: anyone insisting on a more specific definition will find a horde of baristas lining up with their own.

Flat whites are now commonly presented with a coffee art style top, mostly to encourage artsy Instagram photos - hello free advertising! However traditionally the espresso and steamed milk duo should be successfully folded so there is only a little micro-foam resting on the surface, a drop of pure white foam is then added to the centre. The perfect flat white!