What is a Flat White

What is a Flat White? Good Tips and Tricks

What is a Flat White?

A flat white is a popular coffee drink that originated from Australia in the 1980s. It has long been contested as to whether or not it is simply a cappuccino without the froth, and while that argument may still rage on, I believe the flat white to be slightly different from both of these coffee drinks.

It has a higher milk to espresso ratio than an Americano and no foam, yet still manages to be creamy with hints of nuttiness. The key ingredients are espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk which are then finished with some chocolate powder for sweetness and texture (though this is optional). Flat whites are usually served in large ceramic cups so as to allow plenty of room for the fluffy head on top!

The word “flat” refers to the lack of crema or foam on top–this means there’s less air between you and your caffeinated beverage. This also makes it easier for those who want their latte without any fuss.

The flat white is not known by many around the globe, however when you mention it to an Australian or New Zealander they will quickly be able to tell you what it is. It is not surprising considering coffee plays such a large part in these two countries cultures, and in fact, more coffee is drunk per capita in Australia than anywhere else on earth (excluding Turkey).

What is a Flat White

This of course makes sense if we consider the fact that there are over 200 different species of native plants which produce fruit containing caffeine. The plant genus of Coffee even originated right here in Australasia so perhaps its unsurprising Australians have developed a taste for one of their own creations.

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In the United States, the flat white is quite a foreign concept. When talking to people who have never heard of such a thing it has been referred to as “a bowl of froth with coffee in it” and other similar comments.

This is probably what confused me most when I first tried one – initially I thought that i was drinking a milky latte (which wouldn’t be an unusual occurrence in America) however not long after my surprise turned into delight at trying something new and unique.

I know you’re waiting so here we go! A flat white is made up of 4 main components: Ice, Sweetened Condensed Milk, Espresso and Milk. It’s also important to use good quality ingredients – this is not only for your own enjoyment but also to make sure you’re not getting down right ripped off.

The flat white is served in a similar kind of cup to that of a cappuccino, however the difference may seem subtle at first glance:

Cappuccino Cup Flat White Cup The four components are blended together and topped with ice Milk (at least one part) is poured over espresso before pouring cream A small amount of sweetened condensed milk is added prior to pouring milk over ice One or two spoonfuls of beans on top. No frills – just coffee! Expect a higher quality Single Origin for your money if compared Two thirds full. At most it should be three quarters full.

Flat Whites vs Cappuccinos

The differences between a cappuccino and flat white are quite subtle in the cup. The visual difference is quite obvious with the flat white generally appearing to be more rich and creamy. This creamy appearance comes from the cream that has been added on top of the ice as well as the milk having been poured over top of a shot (or two) of espresso (which is much stronger than just long black).

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If you’re not sure which one to order, my advice would be: share it with someone else and see what they think! It’s best to experiment before you make up your own mind.

What is the difference between a flat white and a latte?

Don’t worry – you’re not alone if you’re confused. The simple answer is that they are both a combination of espresso and milk but the way they are made is different. To put it simply, latte’s have more texture and body to them while flat whites have been steamed for less time meaning that the texture is much thinner on top. Basically, it’s all about personal preference!

Personally, I prefer drinking latte’s over flat whites because I like how complex their flavor can be but as with anything else in life – these tastes come and go so don’t stick your head in the sand when everyone starts talking about flat whites!

It is true that lots of cafes will do both so please don’t think you’re strange if you prefer one over another! Latte’s are definitely more popular in Perth than flat whites so let us know on our Facebook Page which type of coffee you prefer when you try out some new places.

I’ll be sure to comment or like your post too so we can discuss it further! Also, make sure you check back soon because we’ve got more articles coming up soon where I talk about my favorite types of milk and how to foam them perfectly every time.

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Feel free to share this article with your friends by clicking on the social media buttons at the top of the screen and make sure you subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss out on any new articles that we release! It’s free, it’s easy and it means you get some great content sent directly to your inbox.

I hope my flat white tutorial has been useful to you so if you know anyone from Perth who wants a nice cup of coffee then please be sure to send them here too! I hope they’ll read all of this info and love coffee as much as I do. If not… well there’s nothing wrong with them but just remember that everyone is different and enjoy what makes you happy!

How To Make A Good Flat White?

Start with the correct espresso shot – if you’re not sure what’s right for you, ask your barista! If they don’t know, then the next best thing would be to order a single (or double) shot of their house blend. This way you can see whether it has enough body or flavor for your tastes. At this point I will usually say I want “something like that” as my espresso base.

The staff member will tell me how much ice I should have and then after tasting it we’ll decide on the other two components together. At some cafes in Australia its quite rare to find someone who doesn’t already know how to make one so please don’t get frustrated if this is the case.

Always put the milk on top of the coffee – this way you will get a better quality foam which is integral to any espresso beverage. If you feel like your barista hasn’t made enough froth then ask for them to do it again as they may have not got the machine hot enough initially. I wouldn’t be afraid to ask as long as you’re polite about it!

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Sweetened Condensed Milk is something that can vary across cafes and even countries. The one used in Australia appears to be slightly less viscous and sweeter than its American equivalent so if you’ve tried a flat white back home but didn’t like it, don’t let that stop you from trying again at an Australian cafe.

The amount and kind of milk used depends on the preference of your barista so if you feel like it’s too strong/weak don’t hesitate to ask for more.

Ice is quite important as well. If the drink has been made correctly then there should be a head of creamy froth throughout which makes drinking from one of these much more enjoyable than when it’s layered with ice cubes in between each layer!

If you’re concerned about spending a lot on coffee (or would just prefer not to, I get ya!) then why not pick up an Aeropress and try making it at home? It takes only 5 minutes and you can even use any beans that are available to you locally! Check out my article here if you want to learn more. I prefer to make my flat whites with a Flat White Maker as it produces cups that look like those at the cafe and taste just as good (if not better).

Some Tips For Making Your Own Flat Whites At Home:

Professional Baristas Coming Up Short In The Foam Department? One quick way of making sure your milk foam is nice and frothy is to use a steam wand on your espresso machine – just make sure you thoroughly clean it afterwards! This method will require you to prepare two shots of espresso but this technique can be used for lattes or cappuccinos as well.

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Reasons To Be Excited! There are quite a few new cafes in WA coming out soon which have flat whites on the menu so it’s definitely worth keeping an eye on them for when they finally open. I’ll be writing new articles and doing live videos from all of these cafes so make sure you check out my Facebook Page to stay up to date with new cafe reviews, recipes (my most recent was this delicious Flat White Bagel Recipe) and posts which are related to flat whites!

How To Find A Cafe With Good Flat Whites?

As I mentioned before, the first thing you’ll want to do is get a handle on what might be the best flat white for your tastes. If you’re already a fan then keep an eye out in Melbourne or Sydney as this is where we did most of our research so these cities are going to have better cafes than Perth at the moment!

Once you know what makes up a good flat white you should go along to some local cafes and give them your business. It’s not always possible to do this but if there are any events that bring in lots of tourists like festivals then it could be worth checking out those cafes too. These places will often have more experienced baristas who care about their craft and therefore produce better tasting drinks.

If you can’t find a cafe that’s making your ideal flat white then be sure to ask them what they put in it so you can make one yourself. If there are no places nearby that are doing it right then why not travel over from Perth? Flights only cost $50 and I’m sure your friends would be happy to hear about the new place you discover. It might even get their interest as well! Don’t forget to take lots of photos on Instagram too because we love seeing stuff like that!

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How To Make Your Own Flat White At Home – Mini Version

Personally, I don’t like putting ice into my drinks because I’m quite picky with how cold things are but if you do enjoy drinking your coffee over ice then this video will show you a mini version of my flat white recipe:

Note: This is not using the same type of milk as I did in my full length tutorial so it’s not exactly the same but should still be close.

If you’re trying to find somewhere that does good flat whites then why not check out some of those cafes we mentioned on our list above? Everyone has different tastes so someone else might think a cafe was great while someone else might not like it too much! It’s all about what makes you happy and if a cafe can’t make your ideal flat white then always remember that you could always do it yourself at home.


Above are the answer for “What is a Flat White?”, beside that, there are Steps by Steps on How to make Flat White (Including Tips and Tricks), the comparison about Flat White and Latte, Flat White and Cappuccino. By this post, we hope that you can make a delicious Flat White by yourself at home. Please read the post and feel free to contact us if your have any concern. Thank you!

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