Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Starbucks offers Brits a new coffee. Are we next?

Starbucks is trying a new sort of hot coffee drink across the pond, according to CEO Howard Schultz. He mentioned U.K. operations' new Flat White to U.S. investors recently, but didn't divulge details. A query to the chain's offices across the Atlantic brought this description:
Starbucks Flat White is a small strong coffee made with two shots of 100% Fairtrade certified espresso in an 8 fl oz cup topped with creamy, steamed whole-milk. The milk is given a velvety texture by being "stretched and spun", which allows the espresso shot to rise through the milk. Patterns or "foam art" can be made in the top of the cup with the contrasting colours of the coffee and milk. The Flat White has become increasingly popular in cities throughout the UK in recent times, although its origins are in Australia and New Zealand.
By "stretched and spun," Starbucks apparently means that steam is injected deep into a pot of milk and the bubbles that rise are mixed with a spoon back into the less-aerated portion of the liquid, judging from other sources. The bubbles rise again, "stretching" the creamer. The milk poured over the espresso is taken from the bottom of the pot, where you have no froth and the least aeration. Hence the "flat" descriptor.

Aficionados say the process gives the milk a silky quality. They note that whole milk has to be used, rather than the 2%-fat variety that's Starbucks' staple.

Starbucks U.K. noted that "this is the first major addition to our UK and Ireland espresso-based drinks line-up since we entered the UK market in 1998."

1 comment:

daniel said...

Have you tried Starbucks VIA Ready Brew? It's awesome.