How we make the perfect flat white

What is a flat white?

We get asked this question a lot. Strangely there’s no universally agreed answer. Unlike a latté or cappuccino there’s no set measurements to adhere to in order to make a flat white. Having said that, the simple answer is that a Flat White is a smaller, stronger latte.

It all starts with the beans

We use the same blends in all of our espresso based drinks, a Brazilian Yellow Bourbon/Ethiopian Yirgacheffe medium roast. Our espresso is naturally quite sweet and lends itself perfectly to milk drinks like a flat white.

Weights & measures

Our grinder and espresso machine is calibrated meticulously every morning and then at least twice more throughout the day, more if necessary, to ensure absolute consistency and quality. We start by grinding 17g of coffee directly in to a 2 shot portafilter. We extract 2 shots of espresso from this. The extraction is calibrated to take 28 seconds so that you get the perfect balance of tones and can really taste the full flavour profile. If the extraction is off by more than a couple of seconds either side, we’ll make it again, there’s no cutting corners when making the perfect flat white.

All flat whites are served as 8oz drinks, the same size as our medium latte, but with a double shot, the same as our large lattes.

The milk

Probably the most important part of a flat white. This is what really sets it apart from a latte or capuccino! Because the servings are small, we don’t want too much foam, it could very quickly become a cappucino if we got this wrong! We always aim for 0.3mm-0.5mm of textured (not foamy) milk on top. You might hear this called micro foam in other places because it’s extremely smooth with no distinguishable bubbles. This is what gives the flat white it’s silky smooth creamy texture. We always aim to steam our milk to 63°C so we don’t burn the milk, but if you prefer it hotter feel free to ask, we’ll always accommodate.

The nerdy bit

As you heat milk the proteins turn in to natural sugars, this is why we use whole milk as standard, it just makes it a little sweeter and richer. You probably won’t need to add sugar to a flat white (or cappuccino or latte) but if you have a sweet tooth, go ahead, it’s your drink! If you prefer your drink extra hot the milk may lose some of it’s sweetness so you may need a bit of extra sugar.

The finish

It wouldn’t be the perfect flat white if it wasn’t worthy of Instagram! We always aim to give your drinks an artistic flourish. Not only does it look great, being able to do latte art on a flat white is a sign that it’s “just right” it’s almost impossible to get good latte art if the milk is too foamy or not frothy enough.