Flat White Basics
Our friends from the Mediterranean introduced us to coffee a long time ago, and since then us Aussies have enjoyed it with gusto. But as for the lingo, well it appears that we've taken it upon ourselves to add our own unique twist... The term "flat white" is believed to have originated in Australia and New Zealand in the late '80s and early '90s. Try to order a flat white in the U.S. or U.K. and more often than not you'll be met with a puzzled expression; but that's all starting to change as the humble flat white starts to make its way onto more and more menuboards across the globe. And of course at home, it's as popular as ever.
A flat white is basically a shot of coffee with steamed milk. Sometimes it can have a small amount of foam at the top, but this can be a controversial point amongst coffee aficionados. This type of coffee offers a rich, velvety texture and leaves a delicious taste in the mouth. Smoother than a long black, it's a good starting point for those new to the wonderful world of coffee.
How to make a flat white at home
If using instant coffee
Of course a flat white from a coffee machine will be better in quality and taste than an instant coffee, but if that's all you've got to work with and you need your coffee hit ASAP, simply follow these easy steps:
- Prepare an espresso by dissolving one teaspoon of instant coffee in one shot of very hot water.
- Gently heat a cup of milk in the microwave or on the stovetop. To make it a little velvety, you can use a milk whisk (but avoid breaking the surface of the milk) or shake it in a sealed jar or bottle.
- Pour the shot of coffee into the milk and serve immediately.
With a coffee machine
- Grind some fresh whole coffee beans and pull one or two shots of espresso from your machine.
- Heat some milk with the steaming wand of your machine, but be careful not to break the surface of the milk. This method is known as "stretching" and means you can warm and steam the milk without producing the foam you would need for a cappuccino. The milk will expand in size and should look glossy and silky.
- Pour the shot of espresso into a small coffee cup.
- Tap the jug of milk lightly on a hard surface and swirl it a few times to break any air bubbles.
- Pour the milk into the coffee cup -- it's important to do this slowly to ensure the cream floats to the top.
- Enjoy immediately. Yum!