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How to make a flat white


How to make a flat white

Posted by Pumphreys Coffee ,7th Mar 2023
How to make a flat white

Originating from Australia (or New Zealand depending on who you ask) that flat white is relatively new to the coffee world, only gaining momentum in the UK during the mid-2000s. However, since its gradual introduction to the coffee market, it has become extremely popular, especially with people on the go looking for something smaller and stronger than a latte but keeping the milky element that you wouldn’t get from an espresso on its own. Let’s go through the key steps that create a delicious flat white below.

What you need to make a flat white

  • 18-19g Coffee (finely ground, traditionally lighter roast)
  • 100ml of milk
  • Thermometer
  • Milk jug
  • Espresso machine

Steps to making a flat white

Prepare the espresso

Use your machine to pull a double shot of espresso into your cup. For a flat white 2 shots of coffee are required.

Steam the milk

Before you brew your espresso, you will need to get your milk into a smooth foam like consistency. When steaming the milk with the steam wand on your machine, you will need to create around 1-2cm of foam. During steaming the milk should reach between 55 and 70C, use your thermometer to check the temperature.

Check the milk is the right consistency

Steaming the milk too much will lead to a stiff dry foam forming which is not what you want for your flat white. Once you reach the point where you think the milk is at the right level, lightly tap the jug on the table to get rid of any remaining large air bubbles. Steam the milk whilst shot is pulling through so you finish at the same time.

Pour the milk onto the espresso

Pour your steamed milk into your espresso shots. With the first pour mix the milk into the shots by moving the cup in a circular motion, then add the rest of your milk to the cup. This creates contrast in your latte art.

Experiment with latte art (optional)

If you’re working as a barista you will want to master different patterns of latte art for the top of your flat whites. Alternatively, if you are making flat whites at home, you can enjoy them without the art or at some designs simply for fun or for if you have visiting guests.

Is a flat white better than a latte?

This is a question often asked by those who are just learning about flat whites and their similarities and differences with a latte. There isn’t really a clear answer unfortunately because it all depends on your personal tastes and preferences.

If you’re someone who likes a strong coffee flavour and picking out the subtleties of a variety of blends and single origin coffees, then a flat white might be better for you as it has less milk. However, if you aren’t as bothered about the specifics of the coffee you’re drinking and like having a lot of milk in your coffee beverages then a latte will probably suit you better.


Pumphreys Coffee has a wide range of coffee beans and various other products whether you’re a home brewer or a professional barista and coffee shop owner. Find everything you need through our online store and don’t hesitate to contact our friendly team of coffee specialists if you have any questions.