Flat White Emblematic of Berlin’s Coffee Evolution

The flat white has transformed cafés in Germany’s capital Berlin, with the city’s “dreary drip brew and morbid Milchkaffee” fast becoming a thing of the past.

New Zealander Shannon Campbell – owner of café The Dairy in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district – has witnessed a coffee revolution.

While whipping up two espressos and a perfectly ornate flat white, he recalled the local coffee scene when he first arrived 12 years ago: “Absolutely shocking! There was literally nothing until five or six years ago. What was on offer was a really rough grind so they could get it through the heads quicker and fill the glass up with lots of basically filtered coffee.”

When it came to the milk, the status was equally dreadful, Campbell said. “Then they’d take some heat-treated milk and steam the shit out of it until it burned and was almost curdled. And then they’d have this really stiff foam, like you’d have in shampoo. It would look like that, and it kind of tasted like that!”

No style has become more emblematic of Berlin’s café culture evolution than the flat white. The drink is so symbolic of metro savvy that economists in England have named an entire economic sector after it: the Flat White Economy refers to young creative types with MacBooks and trendy hairdos.

The flat white was born from a marriage of tastes – the union of immigrant Italian tradition and an Anglophone love of anything creamy. In its essence, the flat white is the supreme harmony between coffee and milk, an emblem of both barista aptitude and coffee-drinker sophistication.

Original article by Julian Tompkin, Deutsche Welle, June 12, 2014.

Tags: Berlin  Deutsche Welle  flat white  Flat White Economy  Milchkaffee  Prenzlauer Berg  Shannon Campbell  The Dairy  

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