A flat white is a popular espresso-based coffee drink that originated in Australia and New Zealand and has gained international popularity over the years. It is characterized by its velvety texture, balanced taste, and distinct preparation method, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts.
The flat white is typically made with a base of one or two shots of espresso, depending on the size of the drink. The coffee is then combined with a small amount of steamed milk and topped with a thin layer of microfoam. The microfoam is essential to a flat white and is created by steaming milk to a smooth, creamy consistency with small, fine bubbles.
The key difference between a flat white and other espresso-based drinks lies in the milk-to-coffee ratio and the texture of the milk. Unlike a latte, which has more steamed milk and a thicker layer of foam on top, the flat white has a higher concentration of coffee and a thinner layer of microfoam. As a result, the flat white offers a more intense coffee flavor with a rich, velvety texture.
The origin of the name “flat white” is somewhat debated, but it is believed to refer to the smooth, flat appearance of the microfoam on top of the coffee. The drink is traditionally served in a smaller cup compared to a latte, which allows for a higher coffee-to-milk ratio and better integration of flavors.
The flat white has become a favorite choice for coffee lovers who appreciate the taste of espresso but prefer a creamier and smoother texture compared to a traditional shot of espresso. Its subtle balance of coffee and milk, coupled with the silky microfoam, creates a satisfying and enjoyable coffee experience.
In recent years, the flat white has become a staple in many coffee shops worldwide, and variations on the classic recipe have emerged, including flavored flat whites with added syrups or plant-based milk alternatives for those who are lactose-intolerant or prefer non-dairy options.
In summary, a flat white is an espresso-based coffee drink that combines one or two shots of espresso with a small amount of steamed milk and a layer of microfoam. It offers a delightful balance of coffee and milk flavors, with a smooth, velvety texture, making it a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts seeking a well-crafted and enjoyable coffee experience.