In so many areas of business and commerce there often appears to be a closed market, with no opportunities for new products and services. However, the recent rise to prominence in London of the Flat White coffee coffee shows this is not always the case.
A flat white is a coffee drink prepared by pouring steamed milk from the bottom of the jug over a double shot (30ml) of espresso. The stretched and textured milk is prepared by entraining air into the milk and folding the top layer into the lower layers. To achieve the “flat”, non-frothy texture the steamed milk is poured from the bottom of the jug, holding back the lighter froth on the top in order to access milk with smaller bubbles, making the drink smooth and velvety in texture.
A flat white differs from a latte in that it is served in a smaller ceramic cup, whereas a traditional latte is served in a glass with the steamed milk poured over the espresso shot. A latte can also be served in a bowl or a larger cup requiring more milk, obscuring the complex flavours of the coffee.
The beverage is now so popular in London it is claimed to have helped the Costa Coffee chain increase sales by almost ten percent. Even Starbucks have given in to the market pressure and introduced the drink to their range.
I wonder what will be the next ‘big thing’ for London’s cafe society to get excited about.