How To Make A Flat White Coffee: Simple Recipe

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Discover the art of crafting the perfect flat white coffee with our step-by-step guide.

Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a coffee enthusiast looking to elevate your home brewing skills, this post will walk you through the essential steps to create a velvety, rich, and balanced flat white that rivals your favorite café.

Let’s dive in!

What Exactly Is A Flat White?

A flat white is a popular espresso-based coffee beverage that originated in Australia and New Zealand.

It’s known for its smooth and velvety texture, achieved by combining a shot of espresso with steamed milk.

Unlike a latte, which has more milk and a thin layer of microfoam, a flat white typically has a higher coffee-to-milk ratio and a thicker layer of finely textured microfoam.

This results in a strong yet creamy coffee with a balanced flavor profile, making it a favorite among coffee enthusiasts seeking a rich and satisfying drink.

How To Make A Delicious Flat White: A Simple Recipe

Creating a delicious flat white coffee is easy! You’ll need a double shot of espresso and some steamed milk.

Here’s a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Start with a double shot of espresso in your cup or glass.
  2. Steam your milk until it’s comfortably warm, ideally between 55-62°C.
  3. To make your milk super smooth and get rid of any bubbles, gently tap the milk pitcher on the counter and give it a light swirl.
  4. Pour the steamed milk into your espresso cup, using a spoon to hold back the foam.
  5. When your cup is almost full, pour the remaining foam on top to create a delicate layer of microform.

Other Things To Note

For an extra touch, get creative with some latte art to make your flat white visually stunning.

Keep in mind that the foam quality is mainly influenced by the milk’s protein content and the right foaming temperature, not so much by the fats.

Good microfoam forms a lattice structure of air, protein, fat, and sugar, creating a glossy and creamy texture.

The finer the grid, the smoother your milk foam will be.

What Is The Ratio Of Milk To Coffee For A Flat White?

A classic flat white usually blends one part espresso with two parts steamed milk.

But as long as you stick to that 1:2 ratio, you’re on the flat white track!

Think of it as a compact cousin of the latte, packing less milk punch.

This lets the rich espresso flavor shine brighter.

In fact, the milk in a flat white not only contributes but also enhances that delightful espresso taste.

Do You Put Milk In Flat White Coffee?

Absolutely, milk plays a starring role in flat white coffee.

This delightful drink blends espresso and milk, creating a compact cousin to the latte with a stronger espresso kick.

While whole milk is the classic choice, you can also opt for almond or oat milk for a dairy-free twist.

The magic of flat white lies in its espresso-to-milk ratio, which tilts the flavor scale toward espresso’s bold taste.

And if you’re curious about Starbucks’ take on the flat white, they use whole milk to create that luscious foam.

What Type Of Milk Is Used In A Flat White?

Traditionally, a Flat White uses whole milk, but some coffee shops also offer plant-based options like almond or oat milk.

Whole milk is the go-to choice because the Flat White is a short and robust coffee, and the richness of full-fat milk complements it perfectly.

To get that creamy and sweet touch, the milk is steamed to a specific temperature and texture, resulting in a velvety microfoam that’s delicately poured on top of the espresso shot.

This microfoam is what makes a Flat White stand out from other espresso drinks like lattes, which typically have more foam and less steamed milk.

Why Is Flat White Only One Size?

Many coffee shops stick to a single size when it comes to flat whites, and there’s a simple reason why.

A flat white is a straightforward beverage – it’s essentially an espresso shot with some foam on top.

So, it’s usually on the smaller side and served in just one size.

Flat White Variations

While the classic flat white consists of espresso and steamed milk, there are several delightful variations and regional adaptations of this beloved coffee beverage:

Caramel Flat White

This sweet twist on the flat white incorporates caramel syrup for a rich, buttery flavor.

It’s a delightful choice for those with a sweet tooth.

Coconut Flat White

Instead of regular milk, coconut milk is used to create a creamy and slightly tropical version of the flat white.

It offers a unique flavor profile and is perfect for those who enjoy coconut accents.

Mocha Flat White

Combining the best of both worlds, the mocha flat white combines espresso, steamed milk, and a touch of chocolate.

It’s a harmonious blend of coffee and cocoa, often topped with whipped cream.

Vanilla Flat White

Infused with vanilla syrup or extract, this variation adds a subtle sweetness and aromatic warmth to your flat white.

It’s a comforting choice for those who prefer a mild sweetness.

Iced Flat White

Ideal for warmer weather, an iced flat white is made by pouring espresso and cold milk over ice cubes.

It’s a refreshing take on the classic, maintaining the smooth texture and rich coffee flavor.

Almond or Oat Milk Flat White

Catering to dairy-free preferences, almond or oat milk can replace traditional dairy, creating a nutty or oat-y undertone in your flat white.

These options are vegan-friendly and often favored by those with lactose intolerance.

Honey Flat White

For a natural sweetness, honey is added to the espresso and milk mixture.

It imparts a delightful honeyed note, making it a cozy and soothing choice.

Spiced Flat White

Spice lovers can experiment with cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom, infusing their flat white with warm, aromatic flavors that elevate the coffee experience.

Hazelnut Flat White

By incorporating hazelnut syrup or liqueur, you can enjoy a flat white with a delightful nutty twist, adding depth and complexity to the flavor profile.


Mastering the art of crafting a perfect flat white coffee is within your reach.

With a double shot of espresso, steamed milk, and a bit of practice, you can savor this velvety, rich, and balanced coffee at home.

Cheers to your newfound barista skills!

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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