Guide to Flat White Perfection

Flat White

The flat white is a café must-have, although steeped in myth and enjoyed in various interpretations around the world! This is our how to guide on producing the perfect flat white.

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 is our Roastery Supervisor and he has three years experience as a barista. He took the Redber team on a flat white ‘how to guide’:

Start with a expertly pulled espresso. We prefer to use a dark roast such as our Sumatra Mandheling.

Steam milk to just over 60 degrees, so that it’s velvety smooth.

Pour slowly over the espresso to achieve the perfect flat white.

Flat White Guide

The origins of the flat white are as diversely discussed as they are drunk. One legend claims it was created to imitate the taste of instant coffee. Espresso topped up with hot water and steamed milk, no froth, replicated that ‘flat’ texture.

We certainly owe credit to either the Australians or the New Zealanders. Both claim to be the origin of the flat white and host many coffee shops that claim they produced the first flat white.

Flat whites are smaller than a latte, but with more substance than a cappuccino. This means it is 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.

Pouring a Flat White

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!