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The flat white coffee takes on the cappuccino

We show you how to make a flat white coffee

Coffee beans

Buying your coffee from an independent cafe could be significantly cheaper

The arrival of the ‘flat white’ coffee in UK coffee shop chains appears to have captured the interest of the nation’s coffee drinkers – with internet searches for phrases including ‘flat white’ now on a par with ‘cappuccino’.

According to internet-monitoring company Hitwise, UK web users searched for over 650 different terms containing the phrase ‘flat white’ between the weeks ending 23 January and 6 March – including ‘flat white coffee’ and ‘how to make a flat white’, along with ‘Costa flat white’ and ‘flat white Starbucks’ – putting it ‘neck and neck’ with cappuccino-related searches.

Starbucks started selling flat whites in its London coffee shops in December 2009 before rolling it out nationwide, and Costa Coffee introduced the flat white to its all its shops in January this year.

How to make a flat white

Thought to have originated in Australia or New Zealand, the flat white is a velvety coffee made using a single or double shot of espresso and steamed whole milk – stronger and less milky than a latte, and less frothy than a cappuccino. If you’ve got a espresso or coffee machine at home, you can make one yourself.

  • Pour smooth steamed milk over one or two shots of espresso – don’t blend the milk with the coffee.
  • Make sure you hold back the frothy, foamy part of the steamed milk – pour the milk from the bottom of the milk jug to create the creamy, velvety texture.
  • Serve your flat white coffee in a cup rather than mug or glass.

Which? puts coffee to the test

Which? can help you enjoy cafe-quality coffee in the comfort of your own home. We’ve tested more than 50 different coffee machines from brands including Bosch, Gaggia and DeLonghi and can reveal the 22 coffee machines we recommend and the two Which? Don’t Buy coffee machines we think make the worst coffees.

Plus, consult our advice on choosing the best coffee maker for your tastes.

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