‘Flat black’ gets lots of flack

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The ‘flat white’, launched in Australia a few years ago, is now standard fare on many coffee menus. Like a latte, it;s a blend of milk and espresso, but the secret lies in the exact proportion of ingredients and the way the milk is prepared. A true flat white contains a double shot of espresso with micro-foamed milk, which has been heated consistently and contains thousands of tiny bubbles for a smoother, creamier result. This results in a velvety texture throughout the drink, as opposed to a latte which is a mixture of coffee and milk with foam heaped on top.

The flat white took a while to gain traction in the UK, but now it’s commonplace. Now, UK chain Costa Coffee has announced the new ‘Flat Family range’, of which the ‘flat black’ has come in for widespread criticism on social media. If you take away the micro-foamed milk, commentators have been quick to point out that you’re basically left with an espresso topped up with water – aka black coffee or Americano. Costa have retorted that the flat white IS a different drink – apparently the different coffee extraction process results in a stronger, smoother taste than a standard black coffee, and contains the equivalent of three shots of espresso.

¬†Other variations on a theme include flat whites flavoured with caramel or vanilla. The ‘flat black’ retails at around 15% more than a standard Americano, but customers don’t yet seem to be convinced it’s worth the extra money, with the majority seeing it as a gimmick rather than a serious menu option.

Here at the Wholesale Coffee Company, we think we’ll stick to what we do best – providing great quality, fairly sourced coffee beans at excellent wholesale prices, supplying directly to UK coffee businesses. To find out more about our product range and what we offer, take a look at our main website at www.wholesalecoffeecompany.co.uk.