Flat White, what is it?
Do not panic. A flat white is definitely a “Normal Coffee” It simply has a different yet interesting name, texture, consistency, taste and history to the more common place Latte or Cappuccino.
One of the defining characteristics of the flat white that sets it apart from the others is the preparation of the milk and the milk to coffee ratio. A flat white should not “dome” in the cup like a Cappuccino it should be finished with a smooth layer of velvety micro foam hence the “flat”. So what’s micro foam I hear you ask? Simply put its steamed milk consisting of small, fine bubbles with a glossy or velvety consistency. Ask your barista to show you the milk before its poured and you should see milk that looks almost like gloss paint or melted ice cream.
The Flat Whites origins can be traced back to 1980’s Australia where it became a menu must have for the upcoming 3rd wave coffee shop owners. It is conventionally prepared using a single espresso (in Australia) or a double ristretto (in New Zealand) and served in a 5-6oz ceramic cup. The Argument over whose method came first is one that still goes on today. Why not ask your local barista which method they prefer?
Due to the success of the flat white on Australian shores its popularity brought it over to the UK by 2005 and it had found its way onto Starbucks menu by 2010. By 2013 it was available in New York’s thriving coffee shop scene with the endorsement of everyone’s favourite X-man Hugh Jackman who owns an Australian café there. That’s right folks Wolverine loves coffee too.
Due to its global success and commercial popularity that flat white has now been taken on by the majority of large coffee shop chains and I would expect it to be the norm across all café’s, coffee houses and everything in-between by 2018.
In summary, a flat white is smaller than a Latte, less foamy than a cappuccino and if prepared correctly tastes amazing. So what are you waiting for? Come see us in the roastery for your flat white fix!
By Michael Jaeger
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