How to Make a Mansfield Perk-approved Flat White

Disclaimer: I do not own a $1,000 espresso machine, and I’m not a trained barrista. I suck at using a steaming wand. (Think exploded milk everywhere.) These techniques work for me and produce a decent microfoam, which is the key to a flat white. Coffee snobs avert your eyes.

I’ve been posting about the glories of the Flat White in the last few months. Someone [Hi, Jakki!] asked on Instagram how I made this delightful beverage at home. So I’m sharing my recipe.

Being a multitasker, I thought I’d combine the Flat White recipe with the current Holidays with Jane Fall into Austen promotion. It’s Mansfield Perk approved.


See. There’s a seal and everything. (If you don’t understand this joke, go download Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet for free on Kindle.)

Anyway, Starbucks describes a Flat White as:

Bold ristretto shots of espresso get the perfect amount of steamed whole milk to create a not too strong, not too creamy, just right flavor.

Let’s break that down: a ristretto shot is a short shot of espresso. Stop pulling before the espresso turns that light umber color at the end. This produces a sweeter shot.

Whole milk is specified. Whole milk seems to be the key to producing microfoam. In my experience, milk with less fat produces more of a meringue-style foam above the steamed milk. There are two distinct layers: foam and steamed milk. In a flat white, the goal is to achieve one layer of rich, thick milk. You want tiny, little air bubbles evenly dispersed throughout the milk. The finished product should be a single layer of shiny milk.

The milk should have teeny tiny bubbles and a shiny surface.

But whole milk? Ugh. I hear you. I’ve tried to save calories and use skim, but you just can’t get a decent microfoam with anything but whole milk. I find the the PET brand whole milk produces the most consistent result. Maybe that’s just me.


  • Espresso machine or espresso creating device of your choice
  • Milk frother (You can use the wand, but I prefer this frother. I also use it for the French Drinking Cholcoate recipe I’ve raved about.)


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • double shot espresso
  • sweetener of your choice, optional (I use 1 tsp of Sugar in the Raw.)


  1. Warm your mug. Seriously. Fill your mug with hot tap water and set it aside. It’ll keep your beverage warm longer.
  2. Start your milk frother. I use the low heat setting with the frothing disc on my Capresso frother. It heats the milk but doesn’t overwork it.Milk Frother
  3. Pull your espresso shot. Be sure to dump the hot water out of your mug first!
  4. Add sweetener. I like to add it to the espresso. It seems to distribute evenly, and I’m not agitating the foam by stirring the drink too much after the milk is added.
  5. As soon as your frother stops, add the milk to your espresso. Don’t wait! Time is of the essence. If you allow your milk to sit idly by, the micro-foam bubbles will rise to the surface, and you’ll end up with steamed milk/foam and not micro foam.Pour it in
  6. Enjoy.

HwJ Coffee Cart

6 thoughts on “How to Make a Mansfield Perk-approved Flat White

    1. It was one of the best investments I’ve made. I can make Starbucks-like drinks for way less than $4-5 a cup. But heart attacks would be bad.

  1. Yes! Thanks, Jennifer. I have been waiting for this recipe. I do enjoy a flat white. It’s my favorite drink. Although, my problem is I can’t have the dairy. So at Starbucks, I get soy milk, but at home I use almond milk. I have a frother wand and have the same success as you. :/
    BTW, have you tried a breve? Totally not healthy, but oh so good! I deal with the dairy consequences for this on rare occasions.

    1. I’m all about that milk frother, in case you couldn’t tell. It makes the task so much easier. I haven’t tried a breve and didn’t even know what it was. Then I saw the ingredients: 1 part espresso + 1 part steamed half and half! You are so evil! I must try it!

    1. It does seem like a lot of work just to get a drink! But as a coffee addict, I am willing to put in the time. Actually, the milk frothing machine makes it so much easier. When I tried to use the frothing wand, I had to add ten minutes just to clean up the mess I made.

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