Have you overheard more people ordering a flat white at your local coffee bar lately? Are you wondering what a flat white coffee even is, and whether you should get one? Maybe you’ve already tried one and you’re still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about.
def: A flat white is a coffee beverage that originated around the 1970s-1980s in Australia and later in New Zealand. It is prepared by pouring microfoam over a single or double shot of espresso
For anyone pondering “What is a flat white?” or “What’s the inside story on the flat white coffee craze?” we’re going to fill you in on the scoop.
So Where Did It Come From?
New Zealanders and Australians have been drinking flat whites for years. The espresso drink is said to be the creation of Derek Townsend, a New Zealand café owner who is reportedly a supreme master at steaming large quantities of milk at a time, grinding the perfect size of coffee particle, and putting out more than a thousand flat white coffees in an hour.
We’re not sure how much of this rings true, but it is nearly common knowledge that the flat white is a long-time Kiwi coffee concept. It’s also a drink that is just now making its way to becoming an American craze.
What Is a Flat White?
The drink is made with espresso and milk, just like a latte or a cappuccino. “What’s the difference?” you may ask and “Why are people going crazy over it?” Well, it is kind of like a latte and a bit like a cappuccino. Maybe you could just call it a latte-ccino, but flat white coffee sounds so much more intriguing, doesn’t it?
A flat white coffee has less foam than a latte, and less volume, too. It’s small like a cappuccino, but again, it has less foam. And, the foam on it is called “microfoam.” It’s velvety and thick, unlike the foam on a cappuccino. To make a one, you pull from the bottom of the milk-frothing pitcher, where the liquid is richer in texture.
The flat white served is served in a ceramic vessel, whereas a latte usually comes in glass. The drink is basically just creamy milk over the same amount of espresso, which is typically a double shot.
Why the Current Craze?
So does the flat white coffee taste that much better than a latte or espresso? Is there a reason why coffee lovers around the country are jumping on this coffee bandwagon (other than it’s a new bandwagon to jump on)? Should we be that excited to finally have something New Zealanders and Australians have for decades thought of as just another coffee drink?
The flat white is good – in face, it’s really good. But just how good it is depends on what your idea of good coffee tastes like. Some people like a straight-up espresso. Others find lattes lovely. Still, more can’t wait to catapult their day with a good-old cappuccino.
The inside story on this coffee craze is that flat whites are just another fabulous way to enjoy coffee – a beverage that is so agreeable because it manages to give us exactly what we want, exactly when we want it.