The Flat White Experience: Bringing an extra kick to Manchester.

This week I was invited to attend a special preview at the Starbucks coffeehouse on Oxford Road, to premier a new coffee coming to Manchester. The Flat White, which is originally from Australasia, comes as a response from Manchester coffee drinkers asking for an extra shot or a different syrup in their coffee.

Alan Hartley, who is the coffee ambassador for the UK and Ireland, was there to guide me through what it takes to make a Flat White. Alan informed me that the Flat White is perfect for coffee lovers who are looking for a drink with a more intense flavour. It is made up of two shots of 100% Fairtrade certified espresso which is then topped with whole milk. The milk has an extra smooth taste to it as it “stretched and spun” which then allows the espresso to rise up through the milk.

If like me, you love coffee but your coffee making skills stretch as far to putting a teaspoon of Nescafe into a mug and adding hot water. You can imagine how daunted I was when Alan offered to show me how to make my very own Flat White. I donned the renowned green Starbucks apron and followed Alan behind the Starbucks counter where he demonstrated how to make a Flat White. Now we all know that every Starbucks’ Barista can whip up any coffee we ask for in under five minutes, so when it came round to making a Flat White I thought it would be a breeze. Oh how wrong I was!

Alan produced a perfect example of a Flat White accompanied by some very impressive “foam art” in under five minutes. My attempt however was not so successful. Even though I managed to not break anything, I will now think twice before if I begin to grumble about having to wait for my coffee whilst in a Starbucks’ queue.

As well as introducing the Flat White to Manchester, Starbucks are also offering the public the chance to book an appointment with their local Coffee Master or attend events in store to find their perfect coffee. I was given my very own “Coffee Master Class” in which I was able to taste a variety of coffee ranging from Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Nevertheless, before I began to indulge myself I had to be taught the proper method to sample coffee. This involved slurping the coffee in such a way that it sprayed evenly across my tongue – not very attractive I have to say. However, after much slurping and strange looks from strangers I finally came to the decision that it is in fact coffee from Latin America which makes my taste buds happy. Alan informed me that unlike Asian Pacific and African coffee which has a much more fruity, bolder taste to it, Latin American coffee is much milder with slightly nutty flavour to it, making it perfect to drink throughout the day.

As my “Coffee Master Class” came to an end I was delighted to receive my very own bag of Latin American coffee (which has been put to good use I assure you) along with some extra coffee-related trivia. I thoroughly enjoyed my morning with Starbucks and I urge any coffee fanatics out there to go and try the new Flat White – you will not be disappointed.

Go taste your very own Flat White now at Starbucks for £2.25.

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