Coffee Drink Recipes, Coffee Recipes

How to Make Flat White – The Step-By-Step Guide for First-Timers

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

Wake up and smell the coffee, folks!

Only this time, you’ll have an espresso-based Flat White coffee with steamed milk and a hint of microfoam.

Fun Fact:

The Flat White is unique among the cappuccino family.

It’s been said that Fraser McInnes invented this type of espresso when his low-fat cappuccino failed to froth. That’s why he gave it the name ‘Flat White.’


Whether you like to have an intense start to your day or prefer your beverage strong, a Flat White will cater to all.

So, would you like to know how it’s prepared?

If so, you’re in the right place. Here are a few steps to follow and tips to use to prepare a proper Flat White espresso.

But first, here’s what you’ll need:


For a Flat White coffee recipe, you should have:

  • 0.67oz of finely-ground coffee
  • An espresso or coffee machine
  • Tamper
  • Milk
  • Mixing wand/blender
  • Small Jug
  • Your favorite coffee cup

Now that you’ve got what you need, here are step-by-step instructions on how to master Flat White preparation…

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Flat White


A Flat White coffee recipe looks very much like a Latte’s.

Essentially, your 5oz-10oz cup should contain one-third espresso with two-thirds milk to deliver a strong pick-me-up.


If you want a rich and velvety feel, you must add steamed milk while making a Flat White.


Well, follow the procedure below.

Step 1: Load Up Your Ground Coffee

Top up the finely ground powder in the coffee basket of your espresso machine.

Ensure that you have filled it up to the brim to maximize the intensity and flavor of your beverage.


Use a tamper to compress the ground coffee.


Removing air spaces within the coffee grind not only improves extraction but also ensures an even distribution of flavor.

Once that’s done, insert the portafilter correctly into the espresso machine.

Step 2: Place Your Mug Under the Espresso Spout


Position your 6 Oz. coffee cup directly under the espresso spout. Then start brewing.

The number of shots on your Flat White will depend on how strong you want it. A typical cup contains a single shot of espresso.

However, some contain two.

As your espresso shot is brewing, you can shift your attention to the milk part of your beverage.

Step 3: Prepare Your Steamed Milk


This is where things tend to get a little tricky.

First, pour some milk halfway into a jug. Then partially insert the steaming wand to create a froth at the top.

As soon as you see the level rise, immerse the wand deeper into the jug to aerate the milk.


First, position the wand at the center of the cup and slightly below the surface. Then, incline the jug to generate the whirlpool effect through the wand.

After a minute or so, you should have 1-2cm of foam.

If that’s the case, remove the steam wand and tap the sides of the jug to pop any big bubbles that exist.


Doing so leaves you with a silky, velvety texture required for a proper Flat White.

By now, your shot(s) of espresso should be ready.

Step 4: Add the Steamed Milk to Your Espresso


Once you’re sure there are no air bubbles, pour the smooth, steamed milk into your shot of espresso.

Ensure you do this while tilting the cup at an angle. Moreover, this process should be slow and steady to create an even finish in the Flat White blend.


As soon as your cup is about 60% full, you can try to create a pleasing coffee art (if possible). But this may require some Flat White barista skills.

Step 5: Serve

And voila!

You have yourself a nice cup of Flat White espresso.

Now, adding sweeteners to this drink isn’t recommended. That’s because it tends to dilute/mask the coffee flavors.


One of the main functions of milk is to soften the – sometimes bitter or strong – taste of raw, concentrated coffee. Thus, eliminating the need for sweeteners.

Is that all?

Yes. At this juncture, the only thing remaining is for you to enjoy your cup of Joe before it gets cold.

In Conclusion…

Simple recipe, right?

Well, apart from the last bit – adding steamed milk into the espresso cup and creating art – the rest of the process is quite straightforward.

Now that you have a step-by-step recipe on ‘how to make a Flat White,’ preparation time is the only thing keeping you away from enjoying this drink.

Questions? Or thoughts?

Well, I’d love to hear them. So, do not hesitate to post a comment below.


Frequently Asked Questions About How To Make A Flat White

How Do I Make Flat White At Home?

A Flat White coffee is an espresso drink that you can customize as per your preference. It’s made using an espresso machine. But home brewers can whisk the milk by hand to aerate and make it slightly foamy. Moreover, you can prepare the espresso shot by running hot water through coffee grinds placed in a suitable filter. Once the espresso shot and whisked milk are ready, pour each into one serving cup starting with the former.

How Is A Flat White Coffee Made?

A Flat White coffee is made with one part espresso and two parts steamed milk.

What Is The Difference Between A Latte And A Flat White?

Both of these espresso variants contain milk. However, a Latte has frothed milk on top of steamed milk, while a Flat White features only the latter.

What Ingredients Are In A Flat White?

A typical Flat White recipe contains two things – coffee brewed into espresso and steamed milk.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


Leave a Comment

Item added to cart.
0 items - $0.00