What in the World is a Flat White?

What in the World is a Flat White?

Is it a latte or a cappuccino? It can get confusing, especially to a new coffee drinker but a Flat White is similar to them both but not quite it.

History of the Flat White

There's an ongoing debate on where the Flat White was invented, some say it was invented in Australia, and some say it was invented in New Zealand. 

Australia's Version

Australia claims that the Flat White was invented in 1985 in a Sydney Cafe by a coffee house owner Alan Preston. He created the name 'Flat White,' when he remembered how cafe's in his hometown Queensland, would serve an espresso that was white and described as 'flat.' Thus, creating the name "Flat White."


Photo by Rizky Subagja on Unsplash

 New Zealand's Version

New Zealand claims that a former barista named Frank McInnes invented the flat white coffee we all know and love today. According to McInnes, he was making a cappuccino when he didn't make the Milk frothy enough and told the customer that instead of a cappuccino, it's a 'Flat White.' 

Wherever the Flat White came from it became a really delicious drink that we should all try. 

What is Flat White Coffee?

Flat White coffee consists of

  • two espresso shots
  • steamed milk
  • topped with foam


 It may seem like a latte or cappuccino but Flat Whites allow you to taste the strong espresso and the creaminess coming from steamed milk. The balance between created a popular drink when it came to the States in the 1990's.

What is the difference between a Flat White, Latte, and Cappuccino?

This is a common question we get among new coffee drinkers. A cappuccino is just 1 espresso shot with think layer of milk foam. Whereas a Latte is an espresso shot with warm or cold milk, whatever your preference. Both cappuccinos and lattes usually only have one espresso shot, SOMETIMES two if you need that caffeine kick. 



 So before we all start thinking, "oh all coffee drinks are just espresso shots and milk," its good to understand how they are made, because the small changes can actually make a big difference in the drink and how it comes out!

Photo by Valeriia Miller from Pexels


























For more information about the history of the Flat White check out this reference that we used to help us write this:  https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/new-zealand/articles/the-contentious-history-of-the-flat-white/

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