Tag Archives: Coffee is God

Steal This Meme: Flat White

karloff frank flat white AAARRRRR

What is a Flat White? According to Wikipedia:

A flat white is a coffee beverage invented in Australia in the 1970s and further developed in New Zealand in the 1980s. It is prepared by pouring microfoam (steamed milk with small, fine bubbles and a glossy or velvety consistency) over a single or double shot of espresso. It is somewhat similar to the cappuccino or the latte although smaller in volume, therefore having a higher proportion of coffee to milk (closer to a cortado), and milk that is more velvety in consistency – allowing the espresso to dominate the flavor, while being supported by the milk.

Echoing his book BLINK, in his Ted Talk on Howard Moskowitz, spaghetti sauce, and food industry marketing research, Malcolm Gladwell states:

If I asked all of you, for example, in this room, what you want in a coffee- You know what you’d say? Every one of you would say “I want a dark, rich, hearty roast.” It’s what people always say when you ask them what they want in a coffee. What do you like? Dark, rich, hearty roast! What percentage of you actually like a dark rich hearty roast? According to Howard, somewhere between 25 and 27% of you. Most of you like milky, weak coffee. Which you will never, ever say to someone who asks you what you want- that I want a milky, weak coffee.

I am one of the 27 percent who actually wants dark roast. When asked how I like my coffee, I am wont to reply, “Black, black as my heart.” When called a pessimist I say I am a dark roast realist. I’m also an Aztec Baptist; when I crack open a bible it’s the King James Version, and I brew full gospel coffee strong and bitter. To me, coffee is god, Old Testament God. So I’m all for a higher proportion of coffee to milk and allowing the espresso to dominate. The rest of you can be supported by the milk.

Speaking of marketing, Starbucks has recently added a Flat White to its menu.

what is flat white

I haven’t had one yet, but I doubt that the Starbucks flat white is the King James Version. I have told Trevor and Mickey at McQuixote Books & Coffee what I want.

I want a late baroque flat white with Michelangelo’s Last Judgement in foam (microfoam!) on top.