Barista Tips: Make a Flat White

One of the most ordered drinks in any coffee shop is the flat white: pure espresso mixed with microfoam, making it lighter and smoother than even a cappuccino. The flat white is a blend of coffee-lovers’ preferences from all over the world, and is actually quite easy to make yourself despite the seemingly fancy nature of the drink. While latte art is common with the flat whites thanks to the microfoam and lack of hot water mixed into the drink, you don’t need the foam art to make a good cup of the stuff. I’m going to teach you the most straightforward way you can put together a flat white, and it will definitely be cheaper than anything you buy at Starbucks or other chain.

The two main ingredients you’ll need are milk to produce the velvety microfoam, and really good quality espresso. Since you only need two ingredients to make a flat white, you have to make sure that they’re the best you can find and reasonably afford. Also keep in mind that you can only really make microfoam with steamed milk, which you can only manage with a steamer or espresso machine.

How to Make the Perfect Flat White

  1. For every cup of coffee you’re planning on making, pour a cup of milk into your steamer.
  2. Briefly turn on your steam wand briefly to remove any water stored in it, ensuring that the foam you create is as velvety as possible.
  3. Place the steam wand in the milk at 15°, and and begin stretching the milk by steaming the milk with the wand in just below the surface of your milk. Stretching the milk is tricky the first couple of times, but you’ll be a pro in no time: the trick is to make sure that the wand is barely submerged and that you are slowly moving the jug for a few seconds.
  4. After the volume of the milk has increased by just over half, you can submerge the wand deeper into the milk. You’re looking for fast movement that aggressively mixes the foam you’ve created, so the angle is largely dependent on your machine and when it starts creating the quick spin you’re looking for. Once the milk jug reaches 67° or the jug is no longer comfortably cool to hold, your microfoam is ready.
  5. During this time, you will hopefully have made a shot or two of espresso and poured it into a cup. Swirl the microfoam and tap the jug on the table twice to make sure it is uniformly bubbly, and fill your cup.



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Hi, I'm Dale. Some of the things I like to do are box, lift weights, and spend time with my beautiful wife Crystal. I also enjoy watching shows on Netflix or playing video games with my son when I can find some free time.

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