Flat white: the Antipodean cousin of cappuccino

If you were able to drill a tunnel through the earth from anywhere in Italy, you’d find yourself close to the coast of New Zealand, so it shouldn’t surprise us that there are so many similarities amongst the cappuccino and the flat white, the Antipodean beverage that has taken the world by storm since the 1980s.

If you want to include it on your cafe’s menu, then here’s a primer for you on this amazing coffee beverage.


What’s a flat white?

A flat white consists of 60 ml coffee and 60 ml milk microfoam. You’ll need fresh whole milk and single-origin arabica coffee for the best results.


How do you prepare a flat white?

  • Make a double espresso
  • Steam the milk to 55–62 °C
  • Give the milk jug a thump on the counter and swirl the milk lightly
  • Get creative with latte art!


Flat white vs cappuccino: what’s the difference?

A flat white is a stronger cappuccino because it lacks the extra 60 ml of steamed milk that the cappuccino has and it’s also got less foam (only a thin layer of frothed milk).


Why do they call it a flat white?

Since it’s not as frothy as a cappuccino and it’s white, the name really is a no brainer!

Who invented the flat white?

There’s a bit of a rivalry between Australia and New Zealand when it comes to the origins of this coffee beverage. On one side, there’s the owner of Moors Espresso Bar in Sydney, on the other there’s Kiwi Frank McInnes who claims he invented it one day when he was unable to properly froth milk. We’ll probably never know who invented it for sure, but we’re forever thankful someone did, it’s so delicious!


And to top it off … don’t forget latte art!

It’s nice little touches like these that make customers come back, so it’s worth learning how to do it, even if it’s just the basic heart shape! Begin the pour a little high and move it in circles, as the cup starts to fill, lower the milk jug closer to the cup and tilt the cup itself as well, then strike through.
Practice with water to get all the gestures right and you’ll soon be able to serve heart-topped flat whites!



CategoriesTips & Tricks