Created in either Australia or New Zealand – take your pick – the flat white is one of the most popular styles of coffee around the world. It is similar to a latte but contains less milk, meaning the coffee flavour is more concentrated.
Tip > A helpful trick to steaming your dairy milk without a temp gauge is steam until it becomes too hot to touch. Once the jug hits that temperature, you’re good to go.
Glass or Cup
1 Espresso Shot
First, purge your group head and preheat your portafilter, then remove and dry before grinding.
Next, grind your freshly roasted beans. Give the portafilter a few gentle taps to settle the grounds before tamping on a level surface. Remember, consistent pressure is key. Use the Razor tool after tamping to ensure you have the correct dose - it precisely controls the height of the tamped coffee.
Place the portafilter into the group head. Twist until it’s firmly in place. Before you start the shot, make sure you set your cups underneath. Hit the two cup button. Espresso should drop from the spouts after 8-10 seconds with a flow that resembles warm honey.
Note: In this video, the shot is split between two cups. The reason for this is that most baristas use the double basket to split shots to create a balanced extraction.
The coffee machine used in this video is the Dual Boiler. Like cafes, this machine has a dual boiler, which allows milk to be steamed while extracting a shot. If your machine has a single heating element, brew the shot first then texture the milk.
Pour cold milk into the jug, up to the bottom of the spout, but remember to purge the steam wand first. Place the wand about a ½ inch or 1.5cm into the milk. Open the steam valve and lower the jug to introduce air to the surface of the milk. A Flat White should have a thinner layer of microfoam compared to a Latte or Cappuccino.
Aim for a temperature of around 140-150F, or 60-65C. A good manual indicator would be when the milk jub becomes too hot to touch. For non-dairy, try not to go over 130F, or 55C, as the milk can start to separate or curdle. Look for a velvety and silky-smooth texture. Swirl the jug and then tap it on the counter to ensure the milk is integrated and the bubbles removed.
Before the pour, don’t forget to purge the steam wand to clean remaining milk inside then give it a wipe with a damp cloth. Aim to pour a head depth of around ¼ inch or 5mm, so it’s flat on top. To create latte art on your flat white, pick up the cup and, with your jug angled a couple of inches above it, pour slowly and evenly in a circular motion so the milk and espresso combine. Move the jug closer and let the microfoam slowly move across the surface of the coffee, then bring the jug slowly across to create your heart shape.