In this tutorial, we will be showing you some nifty little secret tricks to enable you to prepare a tasty flat white at home, without the need for an espresso machine – all you need is an AeroPress and a simple flask. We will reveal all in the tutorial below.
We’ve been thrilled by the success of our recent video, in which we covered our technique for making a tasty cappuccino at home. Even though we really liked the idea of using nothing more than a French Press to recreate this drink, we know that (while the French Press has mass availability on its side) there are other options and tools that would make the process easier.
That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate this recipe to showcasing the AeroPress as the coffee maker of choice while using a simple flask to foam the milk.
What does Flat White really mean?
Before we get started on the recipe, let’s begin by talking about Flat White. For me personally, a Flat White is a beverage you’d choose if you wanted to drink coffee with milk, but still, be able to taste more coffee than milk. It’s usually done using a double shot of espresso and served in the same (or possibly a slightly smaller) cup as a cappuccino, which means there is the same amount of coffee, served with less milk.
To make our flat whites, we use Loveramics cups that have been created in partnership with the world barista champion, Dale Harris.
- For a Cappuccino, we use the 200ml cup.
- For a Flat White, we use the 150ml cup.
Within this, we aim to add about 50ml of coffee to 100ml of milk.
Making espresso strength coffee with the AeroPress
The first thing we need to do is to brew the coffee. In this method, we will be using the AeroPress because it’s the next best way to make strong coffee brews (perfect for homes that haven’t gone the whole hog and bought an espresso machine).
For this method, you need to:
- Finely grind 14 grams of freshly roasted coffee (to the same grind size as you would use for an espresso).
- Put the AeroPress in a regular position, add 70 grams of 93°C water and stir for about 20 seconds.
- Then slowly press it down. You should have about 50 grams of strong coffee in your cup, ready to be diluted with milk.
We used a naturally processed coffee from Uganda roasted by Fiftybeans in Brno. I think that African naturals with a sweet taste and fruity flavours (in this case, red apple and blueberries) are the perfect notes for mixing with milk.
How to heat the milk?
The most important thing to note here is that you should be using good quality full-fat milk. To make one Flat White, you will need about 100 ml of milk.
You need to heat the milk up to about 60°C. It doesn’t matter too much if the temperature doesn’t quite reach this point, but make sure that you avoid heating the milk to above 70°C.
You could use either a microwave or a stove, and then just keep an eye on the temperature of the milk by using a thermometer (or you could test this by tasting it with a spoon – you just heat it up to your desired drinking temperature).
A simple way to foam milk for Flat White?
I got the idea of using a flask to prepare milk for Flat Whites when I was making baby milk for my little daughter. When I looked into it, I found that there were a lot of people who were using this technique on the internet, so I decided to test it out for myself, and I can report that it works really well.
The main thing is that you need to have a flask that you can fully close. I found these two small insulated flasks at home that were ideal. You shouldn’t fill the flask over halfway, because you need to leave some space inside for proper shaking, and also to accommodate the pressure building up inside of the flask. If it is too hot, you can use a kitchen towel to protect your hands.
Now, you need to shake it out and create the foam in your milk. There will be way more bubbles (and the foam won’t be as thick) with this method, than if you were using some pro kit to froth or steam the milk. But, by persevering and swirling it about a lot, you can bring it all together and create some decent milk for a great Flat White!
The final step for Flat White at home
Now, this is where the magic happens – it is time to mix the coffee with the milk. You can pour it straight from the flask, but I would recommend pouring it into another vessel first. At home, I would use a small measuring cup with a spout (or ideally a latte art pitcher). This will help you to mix the foam and milk, burst any big bubbles and improve your pouring.
In the first stage, you pour in the most milk and mix it carefully with the coffee, and then in the second stage, you pour more microfoam into the cup and eventually use that to draw latte art.