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Flat whites and the art behind them

And just like art, they can be entirely misunderstood. This is especially true in the process of making them.

Flat whites have been an Anglia Coffee favourite for some time now but the amount of time we have seen them brewed and made in the completely wrong format is frustrating for all serious coffee drinkers!

But what is a flat white?

In short, it is 6-8oz (depending on where you have it) of pure coffee heaven. The perfect combination of 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with the tiniest layer of microfoam on the top is what you need to create a great tasting flat white. A drink that originated from down under, it has recently become a coffee shop favourite in the UK, mainly due to less milk and therefore less bloating, as well as a more smooth coffee flavour cutting through the drink. But why do so many get it wrong when making them?...

Common mistakes in the brewing process

  • Not spinning the milk in a circular motion with the frother. This means there is no creamy or smooth texture in the consistency of the milk.

  • Too many bubbles. If you hear a hissing sound whilst frothing the milk you're going to end up with too much froth. This will create a thick layer of foam that essentially will just sit on top of the coffee, which you really do not want.

  • High pitch screaming with the frother. If you hear this noise you are not frothing enough. This will essentially just mean you add milk to an espresso with no consistency.

  • Not enough milk. Give yourself enough to play around with, it's always better having a bit too much, especially for a drink that is no larger than 8 fl oz.

  • Relax on the pouring. If you pour the steamed milk too fast into your cup it will be near impossible to create nice looking coffee art for your customers. Slow and steady does it.

So there is a list of five things that contribute to a pretty poorly made drink. But what about making a good flat white for your coffee lovers?...

The art of flat whites- tips for a perfect pour

  • Pour about 200ml into your milk jug, or just enough so it is just below the milk spout

  • Put the wand into your milk jug and make sure the tip is just below the surface of the milk

  • Make the froth first. Once you feel you have enough froth (remember, minimal bubbles), raise the jug slightly so the wand is slightly deeper in the milk. This will stop the frothing but just allow the milk to heat up to about 65-70 degrees maximum.

  • Keep the jug still at this point and let the wand work its magic. Make sure the milk has been spinning in a circular motion from the start of the process.

  • Gently bang the jug to get rid of any small bubbles. Slowly pour the milk in a swirling motion until 3/4 full.

  • Once you have done this, it's time to really make it an art. Move your jug slightly closer and slowly pour the froth, making swirl patterns.

  • Some may then freehand a love heart, but this depends on how generous you are feeling!

So there you have it, the flat white. A drink that can be a masterpiece but also quite easily a disasterpiece. It wouldn't be right to not mention how important it is too that a great blend of coffee is used for this drink.

If you choose a pretty poor grade of coffee you are wasting your time. This is why we feel so passionately, because our Dolchenza Rich Roast beans contribute to a great tasting flat white. It could be quite easy for us to say this, but due to the Arabica and Robusta blending it allows for a fantastic coffee flavour that cuts through milky drinks well. The strong bean blend means that it compliments the 2/3 steamed milk well and can have you fantasising over flat whites just as much as us!

Try our Rich Roast blend today..10% off your first order!


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