How to Make Flat White Coffee Without a Machine (Easy)

a man holding a cup of coffee in a transparent cup.

Flat white has started to make its way as one of the most loved drinks into more and more menu boards all around the world due to its rich and bold quality.

It’s quite popular in households as well, giving a wonderful taste to different coffee varieties. If you’re new in the coffee world, a flat white is a shot of coffee with a steamed milk layer over the top. It may contain microform at the surface sometimes and offers a smooth, velvety texture in the mouth.

It’s generally smoother than long black and is easy to prepare at home even without any coffee maker.

Short answer: You can make flat white in your home without using a coffee machine. The method is conventional and easy as the replacement of the machine is simple, the stove.

However, if you’re planning to use other traditional methods to make flat white, you need to take notes of a few important keys that will be explained in the following sections.

Enjoy your reading!

What are the things you need to prepare flat white at home?

a flat white in a small white cup

Preparing flat white without the coffee maker may sound troublesome for you. But trust me, that’s pretty easy and simple to make since most of the ingredients are already available in your home.

The things you’ll be needing are:

  • Freshly grounded coffee (if possible)
  • Fresh milk
  • Milk steamer
  • Thermometer to test the temperature
  • Large coffee cup or mug

Even if you’re not using a coffee machine, you may get hold of the other ingredients. In case you don’t have a milk steamer, you may use a spatula for whisking the liquid.

Do you need espresso to prepare flat white at home?

Yes, you’ll be needing espresso to prepare the flat white. Making a good quality flat white depends on how good the espresso is.

To prepare the perfect espresso for your flat white you need:

  • Good quality coffee beans
  • The correct brewing method
  • The correct grind consistency
  • The right temperature for water
  • Balanced amount of coffee

While making espresso manually at home, you might find it troublesome but a good quality of coffee starts from the espresso base and it’s best to make the content yourself. It gives more flexibility and ensures the quality of the products well than shops or cafes.

The reason you’ll be needing good quality coffee beans is obvious as you need to get the finest flavor. Better quality grinds are required to extract better flavor and prepare a strong coffee.

The volume of the coffee grind helps in getting the correct strength for the drink.

Water temperature is also important to handle as too hot water can burn the coffee beans and give a bitter taste.

If you aren’t using machines like the Aeropress coffee maker, then you might be cautious of these key points while making a decent espresso.

How do you make a flat white coffee at home?

flat white in a blue ceramic cup

Preparing your flat white coffee at home will allow more flexibility in terms of adapting the procedure. You can control the strength of the flavor and most importantly, will know how the contents are blended.

Look up to the following steps to know better about the procedure:

  • Make the perfect espresso shot using the procedure mentioned in the article. Weigh your coffee dose, the yield of espresso, and the overall time taken for brewing. This will ensure the correct brewing proportions.
  • After that, steam your milk and add a texture to the milk. The steaming temperature for the milk is between 55-62 degrees celsius.
  • Don’t forget to keep your milk moving and swirl the espresso shots to avoid bubbles in between the two ingredients.
  • Mix them together by pouring gently and dispersing the milk evenly.
  • You can add some latte art over the surface and taste it.

Remember to take the milk off the stove right before it starts to boil. You better not burn it.

This video may help you in understanding the process better.

Can you make a flat white with instant coffee?

You can make flat white using the instant coffee on your shelf.

This is very easy to understand that the flat white prepared by using the coffee machine will taste better. However, if the instant powder is what you got, then you don’t need to wait to prepare your cup of happiness.

To prepare the flat white from instant coffee powder you need to prepare the espresso by dissolving 1 teaspoon of the coffee in a single shot of very hot water.

After that, you may heat the milk that you’ll be using. remember to be gentle with the dairy content if you’re using the microwave or stove to warm it up. Whisk the milk properly to give a velvety texture ad avoid breaking the surface of the milk.

You can then pour the shot of espresso coffee into the milk and serve the hot drink.

The consistency of the cream floats on the surface might not be glossy enough compared to one found with a coffee machine but the taste will transcend your worries.

How many calories are in a flat white?

a tape measurer wrapped around a fork

The calories in your flat white will depend on the number of shots used in the drink.

Typically, single shots of espresso with two parts of steamed milk contain 120 calories on average. In the case of steam milk, the calorie count decreases dramatically within 60-70 calories.

The flat white in shops may contain a relatively higher calorie content which might range between 150-195 calories depending on the serving size you’re planning to buy.

Using steamed milk may add to the fat count of the drink by up to seven grams.

If you compare it with black coffee varieties, then the calorie count is significantly higher. However, the calorie intake won’t harm your daily diet when you’re consuming moderate cups of coffee per day. Make sure not to dose on multiple cups in a day for maintaining a healthy intake.

Let’s have a look at the calorie count for some different varieties of coffee:

Coffee TypeCoffee Calories with Full-Cream MilkCoffee Calories with Skim Milk or No Milk
Espresso1 calorie1 calorie
Long Black3 calories3 calories
Mocha394 calories164 calories
Flat White155 calories68 calories
Chai Latte224 calories127 calories
Cappuccino134 calories68 calories
Piccolo Latte46 calories26 calories
A table containing the calorie content of a few coffee varieties.

How much coffee do you put in a flat white?

When you’re using 4 ounces of milk for the mixture and trying to pull a double shot of espresso, you’ll probably need 14-18 grams of coffee.

For a single shot of espresso, the number of coffee grounds will be significantly less.

You’ll be needing about 35 ml of espresso so use coffee according to this proportion. Try not to use too much coffee, otherwise, the espresso will turn undesirably bitter and so will the coffee.

How to make the perfect microfoam for a flat white?

After creating the perfect espresso for the flat white, you need to make the perfect microform as well.

The perfect microform shows the finely bubbled and thick texture of the frothed milk. You might be needing a steam wand to steam the milk.

The microfoam is smooth and velvety at the same time and as the name suggests, the bubbles here are a key factor to take note of.

The quantity of foamed milk in a flat white may vary but usually, it is 4 ounces. Getting this proportion correct is very crucial to get the correct combination of the blends.

The milk’s volume tends to double while steaming so make sure to measure 2-2.5 ounces per cup for steaming and try to use cold milk as it makes better bubbles.

Then the final task is to make the perfect microbubbles out of the milk. For this, hold the tip of the steamer at a slight angle and swirl it around the dish as it warms up. Don’t make the milk too hot since overheated milk may show a burned flavor.

Does the flat white prepared without the machine taste the same?

instant coffee powder in a jar.
Instant coffee may offer you a similar taste if prepared with care.

The flat white prepared without the machine tastes the same if not better.

For habitual drinkers, many may find the coffee with instant coffee powder or prepared on the stove, to not be as rich compared to the one made by coffee makers.

Flat white has this specific taste that coffee lovers enjoy, I talked about it here in my other article if you don’t know what that taste is.

According to my personal experience, if you have a good command over the temperature and ingredients content, then you can make the best coffees even without your maker.

If you notice it closely, then there isn’t much difference in the preparation method involved and thus no significant changes in the flavor and taste. You can search on your own through the internet if you have any confusion regarding the procedure of preparation.

Although flat white is already an integrated variety of coffee, you can add a couple of spices and additives to make it more appealing.

You can add classic spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, and nutmeg that’ll give the drink an additional visual appeal. Go through the general rules of adding the quantity required and this will not only make the coffee delicious but also help in building immune-boosting properties.

Be careful about the brand you’re choosing and it’s better to choose an organic brand. If you’re using creamers, avoid the low-fat and artificial ones. Most of the advertised non-dairy creamers contain questionable ingredients. so whether you use a coffee maker or stove, just leave this out of your list.

If you feel the stove-made coffee is blanc, then try adding some cocoa powder to the drink. It will give you a taste of the similar Caffe mocha and a simple version of a chocolate-flavored latte.

Last, of all, be careful while handling the temperature of the water. Try to use filtered cold water to give the best brew.

Why do you need to make a perfect blend for preparing flat white at home?

Mastering the perfect blend is important as it helps in combining the taste of espresso and microfoam.

When you’re pouring the milk into the cup or mug, do it gently and hold the jug a little above the cup.

Try to pour the milk into the center of the cup for the perfect blend. Blending the coffee and other ingredients perfectly ensures to derive the best taste profile out of the beans and create a well-balanced flavor.

Also, the perfect blend ensures to take advantage of the various characteristics inherent in the beans and complements the flavoring of all the ingredients used. This is why you need to be careful regarding how you’re putting the contents and how clean your process is.

Final Thoughts

In short, you can prepare flat white without using the coffee machine. Nowadays people are dependent on machines for little things that include making coffee.

But we never know when the machine may stop working and you would be in a fix without your daily caffeine fix throughout the day.

It’s better to understand how the procedures work so that you can make the flat white easily whenever you want.

The best part of flat white and similar varieties is that the ingredients involved as easily purchasable and always stored at home.

Before preparing the coffee, follow up the instructions properly and if possible take help from someone experienced so that you don’t mess up any of the steps.

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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