Flat white drink

If you are a coffee lover like us, and you are looking for a way to switch up your coffee brewing method, then you shouldn't look any further- try the flat white. 

What does flat white mean? If you haven't tasted this delightful drink up till now, then this post will tell you all you need to know. Get your brewing equipment ready, you are in for a treat.


It is an espresso-based drink. The flat white consists of two shots of espresso and a small layer of microfoam that is gotten when milk is steamed. The drink comes in a smaller volume and some coffee drinkers compare it to a cappuccino or latte

This is because it has a small amount of milk with little foam. But note that it is not the same thing with the other drinks. Because of the construction of this delicious beverage, many coffee lovers enjoy it so much. This is because it has a higher proportion of espresso to milk, and it has a pleasant consistency. 


This delightful drink is usually served in a mug with a saucer. The flat white has a beautiful look, the crema from the espresso just blends with the microfoam from the milk- experts call it meniscus. This is the key characteristic that makes the flight white delicious and enjoyable. The mixture now creates a dark brown caramel foam on the surface of the drink. 


The origin of the flat white dates back to the mid-1980s. It all started in Australia and New Zealand. There are some reviews from different coffee shops in newspapers that explain how the drink came about into the country.

Different coffee shops began to add the flat white to their menu in the 1800s especially the Moors Espresso Bar in Sydney that had to add the drink to their menu around 1985 because of the way people loved it. The shop owner, Mr. Alan Preston said that he got the inspiration to start serving the drink when he saw cafés in his home, Queensland that served the flat white. These cafés he talked about, served the drink in the 1960s and ’70s, and it was called the ‘white coffee-flat”.

However, the New Zealanders also claim that the drink originated from them. This claim is mostly by the people in Auckland because 2 café owners Derek Townsend and Darell Ahlers claimed to have made the flat white while they were attempting to make an alternative to another popular drink known as the latte. Another bar named ‘Bar Bodega’ also made claims that they created the flat white when they were trying to make the cappuccino. 

As we said, there are many claims as to where this drink originated. The thing is, we may never know who first created the drink or how it was done. However, ‘white coffee’ has been trending since the 1980s and the popularity has spread to other parts of the world. 


Let's tell you a short story, back in the 1980s before some coffee shops and lattes into existence, coffee drinkers in some countries referred to coffee as ‘black coffee’ and coffee that contained milk as ‘white coffee’.  With these descriptions, it was easier to distinguish between the two categories. Since there has been immigration, and some cultural shifts, more doors have been open for a variety of coffee preparation. 

According to the legends it was after the post-WWII immigration from Europe that the coffee culture in Australia and New Zealand began to change. Did you know that some individuals thought that the term ‘black coffee’ meant ‘masculine’? This implied that those who were not able to take the coffee black (with all the strength and robustness) shouldn't be considered as the ‘real coffee’ drinkers. 

Because of this silly stigma, some people had to make a compromise by adding milk to the espresso. By doing this, they were able to cut the strength of the drink, making it easier for them to consume it. This adjustment really appealed to people that didn't need coffee with so much strength. This option was a bit strong, creamy, and really soothing. 


There are many coffee drinks to choose from, some are similar, but the flat white is a bit different. It is sometimes confused with some espresso-based drinks. So are going to take a quick look at some of them. This way, you’ll stop confusing flat white with other drinks that are similar to it.


This is another drink that is similar to the flat white. Cappuccino is made with espresso and milk foam, but it has a larger amount of milk foam, unlike the flat white. Most coffee lovers like this drink because it is creamy, frothy and gives you rich foam and mouth as you drink. 

Note that the flat white contains more milk than a cappuccino but has less foam. Don't get confused. The flat white is even more similar to the famous Italian cappuccino that is made with one shot of espresso and a small layer of microfoam. 


The cortado is also similar to the flat white. It is made with half espresso and half milk. It doesn't have any frothy texture. Since the cortado has only steamed milk, it is thicker, silkier, and smoother than the flat white. As for the flat white, it is more velvety in texture since it has microfoam. 


If you want to order a flat white, a barista will quickly make one for you. But if you will be preparing the drink at home. You should follow these steps. 


  • An espresso machine
  • Milk frother (If your espresso machine doesn't have one)
  • Milk steaming pitcher 
  • A grinder for the freshly roasted coffee beans
  • Milk of your choice A cup to put your brewed coffee

Now that you've gathered all your ingredients, it's time to start brewing. This simple recipe will have you sipping a hot cup of flat white in a few minutes. 


You’ll have to grind your coffee beans. Use a burr grinder instead of a blade grinder as it gives consistent grinds. You’ll have to grind enough coffee- up to 16 grams. Then pour about 4 ounces of milk into a frother for steaming. 


After you are done grinding your beans, it is time to put them into the portafilter and start the extraction process. It is time to pull two shots of espresso. Put the mug you want to use underneath the filter head so that the espresso is poured directly into the mug.

IMPORTANT TIP: There is one way to keep your cup warm so that the espresso can stay hot for a longer time. What you need to do is to rinse the cup with hot water before you start the brewing process. It will not only warm your cup, but it will provide a warm surface that will better preserve the heat of the espresso. 


While the espresso is brewing, you can start steaming your milk. You can use another cup or a pitcher to start steaming the milk. Ensure the milk is steamed in circular motions. You have to steam it to the point where the pitcher becomes just a bit too hot for you to hold.      


When you are done brewing the espresso, it is time to pour the steamed milk into the mug. Ensure that you pour the milk slowly. This will help you create a good blend between the surface of the coffee and the foam in the milk. Once you have done this, you can now sit back, relax and sip your delicious beverage. 

The flat white is a perfect choice for individuals who like to add milk to coffee but don't want the froth that is usually in other coffee drinks like a latte. If you have been looking for a new way to drink coffee, you should try this recipe, it may just become your favorite. 

Note that before you start brewing any type of coffee, you’ll have to use high-quality coffee beans. Imagine investing so much time into brewing a coffee beverage, and it comes out stale? Nah, not good. So you should buy from reputable roasters like us that roast coffee every day. Click here to order the coffee beans. 

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