Welcome to my first blog post…..It’s about the flat white!

Have you noticed the sudden surge in flat whites

Since the article in the independent last year?
It would appear that even the big chains are
jumping on the "flat white" bandwagon!

The flat white has been a staple drink in the
"coffee" community for years, indeed regardless
of the Oz/NZ connection it has aways
been the baristas "quick drink while working"
coffee anyway! 

In my place our flat white consists of a triple
ristretto in an 8oz with lightly textured milk and
usually a tulip. I'm wondering what your local coffee
places are doing with the "flat white" and what you
think of the chains' attempts?!

Are the chains' flatty's up to scratch?

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~ by Lee Wardle on February 5, 2010.

4 Responses to “Welcome to my first blog post…..It’s about the flat white!”

  1. The quality (if I can use the word) of the drinks is variable.
    I have had a fairly well made flat white at one major chains kiosk, yet 3 days later I was utterly disappointed to have been served one of the worst drinks ever (and there have been a lot of coffees consumed over the past 14 years as a barista)

    In my opinion the reason is simple, £ and pence.
    To quantify that statement, it costs money to train staff (not just a one-off cost, but an ongoing training budget ‘per staff member’ should be in place, along with a continual training program). Additionally, retailers have large overheads (rent, rates, utilities, wages) and the maximum number of drinks per hour that the machines are capable of needs to be utilised where possible (I am making a broad assumption based on conversations with some cafe owners), but also the use of super-auto machines and the dumbing down of the process to cater for unenthused staff on slightly above minimum wage needs to be taken into account.
    These machines variables are limited to producing a consistent standard, no matter how far the staff stray from the particular chains documented process)

    For some retailers, the mentality is that it is easier to turn over a table and get a new set of bodies in than to try and retain their client who will linger and not be so profitable (in the short term, but long term, who knows, they may become your best client)

    But I am digressing.
    I would like to see chains make Flat Whites well.
    The downside is that if they don’t then the consumer associates the Flat White with a below standard drink.

    But, I have a biased opinion as I understand, and teach, the process of espresso extraction, with milk steaming and texturing a natural extension.
    What I think is below standard, may be the best coffee someone has ever tasted (or indeed made)

    I will continue to try the chains offerings when a good independent cafe is out of reach or I do not have an alternative means of making coffee available.

    • This reply was sent using my Ipod Touch so forgive the typos!!!

      Hi Glenn. Training it would seem is an ongoing issue. I think generally there is a general apathy toward training in coffee. When I worked for a distributor our training was offered free of charge. The majority of customers didn’t avail us of the service. The most used phrases were “I’ve made coffee before” and “it’s only coffee”! Indeed even the ones that did wanted me to train large numbers of staff in short periods of time. (My record was 23 staff) there is no way you can give worthwhile training to one person in two hours let alone 23 in an hour! I could never decide whether it was a time is money thong or that it was perceived as just coffee. Probably both.

      There was one memorable occasion where after a two hour session with two staff the owner said “this is all well and good but you won’t have time to do any of this when your busy” and then made himself a drink using absolutly none of the skills I had just talked about! And left the steam wand covered in milk!

      I too am digressing……..it is quite possible that a poor quality flat White from the chains could bring down the drinks perceived quality but isn’t that the same for all coffee anyway?! I have lost count of the times that a customer asks me the difference between a Capp and a latte….usually is becAuse regaress of the liquid contents the only two distinguishing features are one is in a glass and one has chocolate! Drives me balmy !

      Hopefully the effect of the quality flat White will shine through!

  2. Thats amazing!

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