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The flat white is a newcomer, breaking its way into the coffee world in only the last few years or so. Unlike a cappuccino or a latte who are established friends of our taste buds, this coffee type is relatively new in our homes and coffee shops, begging the question of what is a flat white?

What is a flat white?


A flat white is a blend of micro-foamed milk poured over a single or double shot of espresso. This microfoam is steamed milk infused with air, which creates tiny air bubbles, to create a smooth and velvety texture and creamy taste.

Correctly pouring and steaming the microfoam is essential in making a flat white correctly. To prevent the steamed milk from breaking into large bubbles, and to keep it balanced on top of the espresso shots, it must be steamed at a consistent temperature throughout.

Flat white origin

The origins of the flat white have caused a strong debate. Both Australia and New Zealand claim to have invented the flat white in the 1980s. The answer is still unclear and it’s likely that the flat white evolved in both countries.

Flat white vs latte – what is the difference?

Now we know what a flat what is, what is the difference between a latte and a flat white?

Whilst a flat white and a latte are both espresso-based drinks, they are in fact quite different. The most noticeable difference is the size. The ideal serving size for a flat white is a 160-165ml tulip cup—much smaller than the glass size typically used for lattes and cappuccinos. 

This has an impact on the coffee to milk ratio, which naturally affects the taste. As the flat white is a more compact drink, the ratio of coffee to milk is much higher than in a latte. The espresso in a flat white tastes stronger than in a latte, even though the same amount is used. Lattes simply dilute the espresso more.

When it comes to a flat white vs latte, which will you choose? If the latte has won your heart, try the Nescafé Gold Latte.

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