Cappuccino and lattes are passé. Flat white is the latest choice for coffee lovers around the world
‘Flat white’ coffee has gained a lot of popularity in the West and epitomises the best of artisan coffees. Here’s everything you need to know about it.Updated: Apr 11, 2018 11:46 IST
At Starbucks or Costa Coffee and at a few other coffee shops, you might have noticed ‘flat white’ coffee on the menu. Among cappuccinos, americanos and lattes, these days flat white comfortably sits on the top of the menu, and has gained popularity, at least in the West.
It is a coffee, but “not just coffee”, as journalist Harriet Marsden likes to put it. In her article, which has appeared on The Independent website, she mentions how this unique hot drink (which has come from Australia or maybe New Zealand), is becoming popular among coffee-drinkers in the United Kingdom.
“It epitomises the Third Wave or artisan coffee scene, now accounting for often more than 10% of coffee beverages ordered in quality UK coffee shops,” Jeffrey Young, founder of The London Coffee Festival, tells The Independent.
So, what is it?
It is a double shot of espresso blended with steaming and slightly frothed organic milk, according to the McDonald’s UK website. And in Marsden’s words, it is “richer and stronger than a latte, creamier than a cappuccino, smaller than an Americano, with a drier foam or “microfoam”.
Further, this foamy drink should be served in a cup no larger than 5 or 6oz, according to Ian Boughton, editor of trade magazine Boughton’s Coffee House.
Now, what is so unique about it?
Its uniqueness lies in the way it is crafted (made). First, only whole milk should be used and the milk-heating technique has to be perfect. It should be heated to about 65 degrees. According to Lavazza’s head of training Dave Cutler, the milk “needs to be very well-stretched and well-spun to make sure it has plenty of tight bubbles — a micro foam — which makes it very, very creamy.”
“Whole milk is steamed and folded through the coffee, creating a velvety texture before the drink is presented, usually with latte art on the surface,” Cutler adds. It is the uniqueness and the craftiness, with which it is made, the flat white is slowly gaining popularity among the public.
“Since its arrival into the UK, the popularity of this now king-of-coffees has skyrocketed. This can be put down to the fact that the public’s interest in coffee, in general, has seen unprecedented growth,” says, Andrew Knight, founder of independent coffee roaster Andronicas.
“People now understand the difference between a really great coffee and a substandard one.” And going by its popularity among experts, it may eventually challenge the “global ubiquity of the cappuccino and the American consumerist latte”.
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