Aussie Flat White Coffee 101: Your Definitive Guide

Aussie Flat White Coffee 101: Your Definitive Guide

Do you know all about flat white coffee? Well, think again! This specialty coffee drink type is made with espresso and steamed milk and has a velvety smooth texture. Some people say it tastes like a latte but with less milk foam. We Aussies take coffee seriously, and the flat white is one of the highest expressions of that. But what is it exactly? Where did it originate from? What is the difference between a flat white, a latte, and a cappuccino? And, most importantly, how do you make a good one?

Let's answer those questions and more. So sit back, relax, and get ready to discover everything you need to know about this glorious caffeine fix.


What is a Flat White Coffee? Is it a Kind of Latte?

A flat white is a coffee made by pouring steamed milk over a shot of espresso, resulting in a creamy beverage with a strong coffee flavour. Unlike other espresso-based coffee, the flat white is served in a small cup with a thin layer of milk foam on top called "microfoam". This results in a smooth, velvety, and creamy drink—a signature of a good flat white. It's the way to go choice for those who crave a mix of rich and intense flavour.

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Where Did The Flat White Originate From? History Overview

Most of the evidence points out that the first appearance of the flat white in the way we know it dates back to Australia in the mid-80s. Some say it was at Miller's Treat Café, or at Moors Espresso Bar, both in Sydney. Other resources suggest it took place in the Parliament House Cafeteria in Canberra. Back in the day, they called it "white coffee – flat" or "flat white only."

Now, if we ask our neighbours, there are certain claims about the actual invention of the flat white. One is in Auckland by Derek Townsend and Darrel Ahlers of Cafe DKD in the late 1980s, where they created an alternative to the Italian latte. The other is the famous "failed cappuccino" at Bar Bodega in Wellington city, where one of the baristas accidentally added too much-steamed milk to his espresso, which resulted in a flat white. 

There are tons of stories like these. 

Although both sides of the border claim different origins, what we do know for sure is that it's from either Australia or New Zealand – making it a true Antipodean invention. Who knows, maybe one day we'll find out who was really behind this world-famous beverage. Until then, let's enjoy our cup and be grateful to whoever created this delicious concoction.

The flat white ascension in the world

Flat white coffee has been around for quite some time, but it wasn't until the Starbucks effect that it really took off. In 2015, the big franchise began to serve flat whites, and suddenly, everyone wanted one. They're now served in cafes worldwide, and people can't seem to get enough of them. Starbucks has helped to popularise the drink by adding it to its menus. This has led to baristas all over the globe learning how to make a perfect flat white. 

What's so great about flat whites? They're incredibly smooth, creamy, and much stronger coffee flavour than most other coffee drinks, making them great for caffeine lovers. And they're just downright delicious. Whether you're enjoying one on a cold winter morning or taking one to go on your way to work, there's nothing quite like a good flat white.

How to Make a Flat White – The Aussie Way

First things first, what are the ingredients? 

  • Milk (oat, almond, any kind)
  • And (1) one shot of espresso 

To make the max of your Flat White, it helps to use freshly roasted coffee beans. So why not try our monthly coffee subscription for free. It allows you to mix it up with our regular new releases, such as Guatemala coffee, beans from Costa Rica or other great coffee regions. 

The rest is how you do it. Just by blending the espresso and milk together. Here's how. 

  1. Start by grinding coffee beans and brewing espresso.
  2. Next, lightly steam 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of milk in a jug until it's 60-65°C.
  3. Texture your milk by adding about 0.5–1cm volume of froth.
  4. Once that's done, put the steam tip back below the milk surface to avoid extra air.
  5. Slowly pour from a height of about 3–4cm right into the centre of the espresso shot.
  6. Finally, top off the drink with a thin foam layer and serve immediately.
  7. Optional: add a small amount of sugar or another flavouring. 

Enjoy your delicious flat white.

What is The Difference Between a Flat White And a Latte?

Latte vs flat white, huh? Both are espresso-based coffee, but there are differences between them. A latte is made with steamed milk and topped with a foam of about 1 cm, while a flat white is made with steamed milk and a 0.5 cm microform. 

As a result, a flat white has a smoother texture and a more intense coffee flavour. The coffee-to-milk ratio also varies. In a latte, there's significantly more milk than coffee, but in a flat white, it's way less milk. Plus, a latte is served in a glass of 200ml–300ml, and a flat white in a 150ml–200ml ceramic cup. These days, you can get a flat white in larger sizes too. Just make sure you add enough shots of espresso to keep that strong coffee flavour. 

When it comes to caffeine, a flat white has slightly more than a latte because there is less milk relative to the amount of coffee. So, what's the verdict? Flat white, latte or cappuccino? 

Well, that depends on what you're looking for in a milk coffee. Strong, rich coffee with a creamy texture? Go for a flat white. Light, refreshing coffee with a subtle sweetness? Go for a latte. Coffee with lots of foam and a chocolatey flavour? Go for a cappuccino. 

Check out Flat White vs Latte vs Cappuccino: Milk Coffees Explained.

How Many Calories Are in a Flat White Coffee?

A typical flat white contains around 50–150 calories. The exact number of calories will vary depending on the size of the drink and the type of milk used. For example, skim milk will result in a lower calorie count than whole milk. Flat white coffees are also often served with added syrups or flavourings, increasing calorie content. In general, flat whites are lower in calories than other espresso drinks such as lattes and cappuccinos.

Learn All About Flat White Coffee at Coffeefusion

Flat white coffee is one of the most popular types of coffee around the world. Originating from Australia and New Zealand, this type of coffee has taken the world by storm over the past few years. This coffee is delicious and easy to make. We've outlined everything you need to know about this drink, from where it came from to how to make it yourself. So whether you're looking for a new coffee challenge or want to impress your friends with your barista skills, read on for all you need to know about flat white coffee. And if you're keen to learn even more, visit Coffeefusion online school or Perth barista courses and become a coffee connoisseur.

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