How to Make A Flat White at Home : Expert Tutorial

How to Make A Flat White at Home : Expert Tutorial

Welcome to our expert tutorial on how to make the ultimate flat white at home. If you’re anything like us, you absolutely love the feeling of sipping on a perfectly balanced, creamy flat white which pairs beautifully with a rich, flavoursome espresso.

When you order a flat white from your local cafe, they make it look easy don’t they?

A casual swan, heart or tulip placed on top for that finishing touch.

Well what if I told you, with the right information and practice, you can make it with a few simple steps?

I’m the perfect case study too. How? Well, I entered the coffee industry back in 2012 without any prior coffee knowledge.

At that point, I had no confidence that I’d ever be able to produce latte art either, but after a few weeks of focused barista training, I’d mastered every coffee drink from the menu, and I was able to make the perfect flat white.

Now it’s your turn – so let’s get started.

The Definition of a Flat White

Before we get into the fun stuff, it’s worth us clarifying the definition of a flat white. Why? We need to know exactly what we are aiming for if we are to produce the most amazing, delicious flattie at home.

The closest beverage to the flat white drink is the latte, both pair espresso and milk to create a creamy coffee drink. But what’s the difference?

Quite simply, the flat white is a stronger version of the latte, because it uses a smaller sized cup (5-6oz) to house the double espresso and steamed milk with a layer of micro foam. Therefore, creating a more concentrated version for those who enjoy a higher coffee to milk ratio.

What coffee is closest to the flat white but is even stronger? Well, you have the Piccolo or the Cortado if that’s to your liking.


Step 1: The Science

Let’s get down to the science behind how to make a flat white at home shall we? The flat white is broken down into two parts. Firstly, the espresso base of the drink (that comes first in the process). Secondly, there’s the milk steaming and pouring.

One of the fundamental aspects to making the perfect flat white is the espresso. If you have an under extracted espresso shot which tastes unbalanced, the milk won’t mask the flavour, it’ll showcase it. Therefore, making sure you focus on mastering the espresso first is essential before you invest time in creating the perfect foam.

Once the espresso is dialled in correctly, you can move on to the steaming process. To nail this, you’ll wait to use cold milk (or oat milk), and inject air into your jug to create what is known as ‘the vortex’.


The vortex is the swirling, circulating motion of the milk when you find the perfect angle and sweet spot for texturising milk. With some practise, this will become second nature  so don’t worry too much at the start.

An area to focus on with your milk is foam consistency, It’s easy at the beginning to get carried away with the pouring stage of the drink. However, master your steaming and the hard work will be done for you when it comes to the finished result.

Step 2: The Ultimate Flat White Recipe

How to make a flat white

  1. Pull a double espresso into your favourite cup. To make it easier for yourself, choose a coffee cup with a wide diameter. Why? This will help as you practice because you’ll have more space to work with.
  2. Steam the milk to 55–68 °C (no hotter). You can use a thermometer at the beginning and as you get comfortable, you can train your hand to judge the perfect temperature.
  3. Create the vortex effect during the steaming process for beautifully textured milk in the jug.
  4. When finished, first tap the base of the jug on your kitchen surface to remove any trapped air bubbles.
  5. Swirl the jug firmly on the surface to re-combine the milk particles. This will give you that glossy, velvety shine you desire.
  6. Pour in a circular motion whilst pouring to ensure an even base. Then drop the jug into cup and move your hand to create the latte art on top.Want to become a master at latte art? Read on.Here’s a video guide to assist you on you on how to make a flat white.

How to Make Latte Art

Everyone loves this part of the experience don’t they? It’s the icing on the cake once you’ve worked hard to learn how to make a latte art properly. Let’s give in to the the most common patterns you can create in order of easy to hard in difficulty level.

Heart Pattern:

Interestingly so, the heart is the easiest and most common design in coffee art. t looks the most difficult as the shape is very precise, but thankfully, the majority of the shape is formed as the milk naturally forms into the cup in an apple-like shape.

From there, you simply lift up the jug and strikethrough the apple shape which pierces through to create the heart.

Fern Pattern:

The fern coffee art is one step up from the heart in the difficulty level, so once you’ve mastered the heart it’s the perfect next challenge. This time, you start by pouring in the rear of the cup to maximise your space for the remainder of the pattern.

Once the outer ring begins to form, you need to wiggle left and right whilst progressively moving your hand backwards. At the end, you’ll lift up the jug and strikethrough the pattern to create the leaf effect.

Tulip Pattern:

The tulip is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful coffee designs. Check out the image below, as you can see I created this design inside our sustainable Huskee cup. Everyone loves the tulip design don’ they?

Step 3: Practise, Practise, Practise

Mastering the art of the famous flat white can’t be done overnight. You’ll need a combination of patience, technique, and tons of practise to produce an excellent barista flat white.

Luckily for you, in this article we’ve covered the core foundations required to make a flat white at home so you can follow our expert guide and make sure you get practising.

If you’d like learn more about coffee, explore more of our coffee blogs. If you have some feedback we’d love to hear from you too – simply, leave your comments below and we’ll respond

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