You have heard of a Starbucks Flat White? I bet you want to learn how to recreate this recipe. You can soon make your own flat white coffee that will taste just like it does when you go to a fancy coffee house.
What is a Flat White Coffee?
Before we get into how Starbucks makes their special coffee drink. Let’s talk about what a flat white really is. The origin of the flat white with its velvety texture can be thought of either as a happy accident, or someone that stumbled onto the right coffee to milk ratio for so many of us.
A Starbucks flat white is a super strong espresso, topped with a creamy froth. So, I know you must wonder was, is a super strong espresso? It is a ristretto. A ristretto is much like an espresso, but it has even less water.
Alan Preston from New Zealand claims he invented this drink in the 1970s when he was making a cappuccino and he could not get the milk to rise, so he called it a flat white. So you could think of this as a failed cappuccino, it’s basically a cappuccino that has no foam.
How did it really get started? We will never know, but what you can enjoy is a coffee with milk that has a layer of foam on top. You can read more about the history of the flat white. Learn more about an espresso vs a ristretto at Go Coffee Go.
What Makes a Starbucks Flat White Extra Special?
There’s something warm and cozy about this classic coffee drink. It’s reminiscent a chilly night with a fire going being wrapped in a blanket. It gives you a case of the warm fuzzies and makes you nostalgic for the past all at once. If that’s what you’re looking for in a coffee drink, then flat white is your answer. It’s a Starbucks classic, and it’s made up of only two key ingredients. But don’t let the two ingredients for you, it packs a punch.
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How You Can Recreate a Starbucks Flat White At Home
What is the secret? It’s all about the equipment!
If you don’t have an espresso machine, making extra strong coffee won’t quite cut it. You are going to need to push steam through your coffee maker. Personally, I love the inexpensive Bialetti 6-Cup Stovetop Espresso Maker, for about 25 bucks you can recreate espresso at home. You could also use Mr. Coffee 4-Cup Steam Espresso System with Milk Frother, ECM160, this is a fairly inexpensive dependable espresso maker. You can also try espresso powder, Medaglia D’Oro Instant Espresso Coffee, 2 Oz.
Espresso is different because the water goes through the coffee as steam, not just water dripping through like many of our favorite coffee makers. It is the steam pushing through the coffee that gives it its signature taste. For lattes, I think a super strong coffee is ok, but if you want this coffee flavor, you need to step up your toolkit.
Starbucks has been introducing new drinks regularly now. It seems like every time you look at the menu are one or two new drinks. It’s fun to try the new drinks, but sometimes you just crave a classic. That’s the flat white; it’s a classic drink that’s easy to make at home. All you need is espresso and milk. It seems easy enough but the key to the flat white is the consistency of the milk. You need absolutely frothy milk to pour over the piping hot espresso.
Let’s talk about the froth now. One way to make milk nice and frothy is to simply heat milk, place it in a jar with a lid and shake it. If you want to get fancy you can buy a milk frother, I personally love this handheld mode, MatchaDNA Handheld Electric Milk Frother (Silver Handheld).
So what’s next? Armed with your knowledge of how to make a flat white coffee, you can learn how to pour the milk and make some of your own latte art. Who doesn’t want to make some fancy latte art dot work with foamed milk?
Do you love Starbucks? Check out some of these Starbucks CopyKat Recipes.
How to Make Your Favorite Starbucks Flat White
- 3 ounces espresso 2 shots
- 1 cup milk steamed
- sugar to taste
- Prepare your shots of espresso and pour them into a glass over the sugar (if desired). Steam your milk and then using a frother, froth the milk for at least a minute.
- The key to making this drink is a microfoam. Pour the hot frothy foamed milk over the espresso and enjoy!