Ask Hot Dish: Where can I get a Flat White?

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A flat white: It's not just a little latte.

I just moved back to the Twin Cities after living in the UK for several years. Over there, they have a coffee drink known as a flat white, which I understand originated in New Zealand. I've made do with traditional Italian cappuccinos from the likes of Dogwood and Kopplin's for now, but I'd love to be able to order a flat white somewhere in Minnesota. 

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In poking around to find an answer for this week's Ask Hot Dish question, we learned three things. First, a flat white is not just a small latte. As our recently transplanted reader pointed out, the coffee drink did originate in New Zealand and is distinctive for its ultra-creamy foam and high ratio of espresso to milk. Some people describe it as halfway between a latte and a cappuccino, but instead of the stiff foam or milk being blended into the espresso as is characteristic of those other drinks, the flat white requires the barista to pour a thin layer of shiny mircofoam (a.k.a super-charged foam made of tiny bubbles) over a double shot of espresso.

Second, we got proof that flat whites are definitely back in the zietgiest, as fans of Girls will note that a customer ordered one at Ray's coffee shop in a recent episode.

And finally, we figured out that very few places around the Twin Cities make a true flat white, although a few places we contacted, including Parka in Longfellow, said they would modify a five- to six-ounce cappuccino to be closer to the ratio and foam quality of a flat white. It's also worth noting that Angry Catfish Bike Shop + Coffee Bar makes a mean cortado, which they describe as being somewhere between a macchiato and a cappuccino. But the one place we found that has a straight-up flat white on its menu is Royal Grounds in East Harriet. Perhaps it's the Stony Creek Dairy Farm cream and milk they use that makes the difference? 

Do you have a secret spot you go to for flat whites? Share it with the group in the comments below.

 

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6 comments
Stephany Achter
Stephany Achter

It seems to me that you can get something very close to the elusive flat white just about anywhere that serves decent coffee. Though I don't know if all of these places have it on their menu, I would bet that any of the following would be more than happy to make you a traditional cortado/gibraltar (~4.5oz) or less-fluffy cappuccino (~6oz): Quixotic Coffee, Kopplin's, Blue Ox Coffee Company, Bull Run Coffee Bar, Spyhouse Coffee, Angry Catfish, Dogwood, Urban Bean.

KnittingRad
KnittingRad

You can get a flat white at Victory 44 in North Minneapolis

Marc Petersen
Marc Petersen

Mircofoam? Zietgiest? Somebody needs a proofreader ...

David Kay
David Kay

Stuff that .... Where can I get a Long Macchiato?

erinsikink
erinsikink

McDonalds uses Newmans Own coffee and its actually pretty good

DarbyMiller
DarbyMiller

Nobody makes a flat white in Minnesota. However, as someone who lived in Melbourne for years,  a flat white really is just a small latte. The gibraltar at spy house is as close as you are going to get, and in fact is how cafes in NYC and LA make them. (you can get one at Deux Ex in Venice, or Grumpy's in NYC)

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