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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

If you’re setting up a coffee shop, diving into the world of espresso, are you’re simply curious, you’re obviously reading this article because you want to know “what is a flat white?”, and how to make one. Continue reading or watch our 3 minute video to learn all about (and how to make) a delicious flat white.

What Size is a Flat White?

So a flat white is a small, strong coffee made up of a double shot of espresso and thinly steamed hot milk. You may have hard the ratio of 1 part coffee to 3 parts milk. This is kind of made up.

The size of the drink is a little arbitrary, as all cafes have a slightly different take on the recipe. So just make sure you’re using a small cup that you like, anything between 6 or 8 ounces is fine and you can use either a glass or mug depending on your preference and what you have available.

How Much Coffee to use in a Flat White?

You’ll first prepare your double shot of espresso, which will typically be made up of 16-20 grams of coffee and will produce 30-50g of liquid espresso. A standard recipe we like that works really nicely for medium roast coffees is 18 grams of coffee to 40g of liquid espresso in about 28 seconds. You’ll need to dial in your grind size to get the goal weight of espresso in the right amount of time, and we’ve got a video and article dedicated to that here.

How to steam Milk for a Flat White

Next you’ll want to steam your milk, so grab a small milk pitcher and fill it up with a milk of your choice so that it’s level with the bottom of the spout. An 8oz milk jug will be perfect, but use whatever you have available.

Next, purge your steam wand, and then place the wand just below the surface of the milk very slightly off centre. This will help you create a swirl motion within the milk. Start the steam, and lower the jug until you hear milk ripping into the milk gently. Keep this going until you have added a small amount of air, then riase the jug once again so that the steam wand sits below the surface of the milk and you’ve stopped adding more air.

Keep the milk swirling in a vortex until the jug is too hot to touch. This will help you break down any big bubbles in the milk and bring the temperature up to about 60-65 degrees. If you’re unsure you can place a thermometer in the milk to calibrate yourself as you learn.

Clean and purge your steam wand, then tap out any big bubbles and swirl to incorporate the milk together. Start pouring your milk from a small height to about 2/3rds of the cup, then drop your pitcher to the surface of the milk and pour slowly, making sure to tilt the cup as it fills. Lift the jug up and cut through the design to finish.

And there you go, you now have a delicious flat white. If it doesn’t look great, try not to worry too much. It can take years to get proficient with latte art so just keep practicing, and if you want don’t mind investing in your coffee journey you can kickstart your progress with a little barista training.

To learn more about specialty cafe drinks, products reviews and tips, head to our YouTube Channel.