Flat white is considered the latest coffee trend, which is now on the drinks list in many hip cafes and coffee houses around the world. But is the Flat White really that new? And how is it actually made? We provide answers to all questions about the Australian latte cult.
Flat white is a special coffee specialty that many people like to confuse with the cappuccino. The new drink comes from Australia instead of southern Europe and has caused a real hype in recent years. Here we explain what is behind the Flat White and what differences it has to cappuccino.
What is a Flat White?
What at first glance looks like a simple cappuccino, on closer inspection turns out to be a separate variant of the milk coffee, which is mainly characterized by its flat surface. As the name suggests, this is not characterized by a piled-up milk foam, as is the case with a cappuccino, but closes flat with the rim of the cup.
It is precisely this “flat white” that is conquering more and more cafes and coffee bars. A flat white coffee is practically the stronger cappuccino. It uses two parts espresso instead of just one and attracts visitors with fine-pored milk foam. It is basically a drink in which some practice in the preparation can not hurt. This is especially necessary for achieving the optimum consistency of the milk foam.
Where Does The Flat White Come From?
The history of flat white began after World War II when many English people migrated to Australia. Since they took their own traditions with them, but according to tradition, they could not prepare an original cappuccino, the Flat White was created. However, it has only really become known in recent years through latte art on the foam.
The name Flat White first appeared in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s. Its real story begins much earlier, however, and goes back to the waves of immigration from the British and Italians. While the former brought their tea from home, the Italians later introduced coffee.
Since the English were used to drinking their tea with milk, they did not want to do without it with coffee and thus laid the foundation for the popular white coffee in Australia. For the morning latte enjoyment, people later frothed up the milk and conjured up the first delicious flat whites. The preparation of the milk foam is an art in itself – just like the latte art that is normally used to decorate a flat white.
The Flat White And The Right Milk Foam Consistency
To make this cult drink you need a particularly fine-pored, liquid milk foam. A steam nozzle on the coffee machine is therefore essential to conjure up the approximately 120 milliliters of liquid milk foam that you need for a flat white.
In order to make good milk foam, professionals like to use whole milk. Lactose intolerants and vegans can also use soy milk. Although it tastes a little different, it is relatively suitable for frothing. Due to the higher protein content, the foam result is significantly worse than with whole milk. On the other hand, soy milk can score points with its lower fat content.
Almond milk can be frothed much better and ensures a creamy milk foam. In terms of taste, however, you can feel a subtle almond note and a slightly sour foam. While rice milk does not foam well, it provides a pleasant sweetness in terms of taste. A good alternative with a creamy, firm foam, on the other hand, is rice and almond milk.
However, oat and spelled milk offer the best foam results. Although they taste a bit like cereals, they also deliver a slight sweetness. With the good milk foam result of these vegan milk types, you may even succeed in the latte art, which we will introduce in a moment.
If milk flakes in the coffee, it is not due to spoiled milk, but above all to the acidity of the coffee. In addition, the proteins in older milk can also lose their solubility more quickly and form lumps.
The acidity in coffee, on the other hand, is determined by the degree and type of roast. However, the longer it is kept warm, the higher the acidity in coffee.
Flat White Recipe
There are two main aspects involved in preparing a flat white. On the one hand, it depends on the espresso used, on the other hand, the milk foam must have the right consistency. Only when both are given can the result in taste be consistent in the end.
Flat White Recipe
- Espresso Machine with Steam Wand
- Flat White Cup
- 14 g Espresso Beans Or Powder For 30 Ml Espresso (14 - 16g)
- 100-150 ml Milk (3.5% fat)
- Grind your choice of espresso beans.
- Brew 30ml of espresso into your ready cup.
- Froth the milk with the steam nozzle.
- The maximum milk temperature should be 150°F.
- Pour the fine-pored milk froth into the Flat White cup.
- Decorate your drink with latte art if needed.
- Enjoy your drink
Finding the right consistency is not that easy. It is therefore worth experimenting with different quantities of milk, for example. While some swear by the full 150ml, others would use a maximum of 100ml of milk.
A variation of the drink is the Iced Flat White. This is ideal for cooling down, especially on hot summer days. To do this, five to seven ice cubes are placed in a glass and topped up with the espresso. This is followed by a small pinch of sugar before the trend specialty is completed by the milk foam.
Which coffee beans are best for coffee lungo?
Both arabica and robusta beans can be used for flat white. It depends above all on the quality of the beans whether they can survive such a preparation method without changes in taste. The Robusta beans are usually a little more frugal and patient and cope with the changes in preparation times particularly well.
But also very good Arabica beans from different regions of the world can be processed into a wonderful Flat White. In any case, it is important to try your way through different beans and countries of origin and regions in order to find the right and ideal bean for your own taste.
Basically, all the beans that produce a harmonious espresso for you are suitable. Nevertheless, the baristas of this world have of course taken a closer look at flat white coffee. They found that fruity or dry-processed coffee beans produce the best flavor profile.
A good flat white should be decorated with ornate latte art. Hearts, swans, and fantasy figures are particularly popular. However, these are not – as most people think – drawn with a stick, but are created by pouring the milk foam into the cup.
The cup with the espresso is held at an angle and the pouring height of the fine-pored milk foam is varied by pivoting. You can learn how to do this correctly only in appropriate barista courses.
What Is The Difference Between Coffee Lungo And Coffee Crema?
Flat white is to Australians what cappuccino is to Italians. However, anyone who thinks that both are the same is wrong. Both types of milk coffee are served in a 150 to 160 ml, rather wide cup – but the milk foam – as is so often the case – makes the fine but noticeable difference.
If the cappuccino is topped with a dry “foam top”, the flat white is characterized by a particularly fine-pored whipped milk foam cream. It ensures that the Australian trend drink feels velvety soft on the tongue and is becoming increasingly popular.
While the cappuccino conquered the USA cafes many years ago, the Flat White is now also on many drinks menus and is very popular in Starbucks stores. But if you want to prepare the new cult drink at home, you should practice first. Because the production of the milk foam with the typical creamy consistency requires a lot of practice. It gets even more difficult with the latte art, which should adorn every real flat white.
Flat white and cappuccino are two drinks that are prepared quite similarly. However, as is so often the case, the details are crucial.
The ingredients list is the same. But while a single espresso is used for the cappuccino, you use a double espresso for the flat white.
Where a solid and a liquid part of milk is used in the cappuccino, the only milk foam is used in the Flat White. However, this is so fine-pored that it is almost liquid.
The result is the big difference in appearance. While the milk foam of the cappuccino protrudes slightly over the cup, the Flat White is flat, as the name suggests.
The flat white, like the cappuccino and a latte macchiato, consists only of coffee and milk, but as is so often the case, the preparation and the amount make a big difference. The Flat White is also decorated with artistic latte art milk foam.
Thanks to the double espresso during preparation, the Flat White gives off a particularly intense flavor that clearly stands out from the cappuccino. Visually, however, it looks quite similar, and decorated with latte art is definitely an option for your next coffee party at home. You can be sure of surprising faces the first time you try it.