The other day at Starbucks, my friend asked me the question, "what is a flat white?" while we were in line. It was in this moment that I realized I actually had no idea what it was even though I've definitely had one before. Is it milk? Is it espresso? Who knows. All I knew is that it had coffee in it and it tasted good. But don't worry, I got to the bottom of it. 

I've had plenty of coffee in my day, but I never really know what's in all of the drinks besides the most important factor, caffeine. Many people refer to the flat white as just a "small latte," but to any coffee connoisseur, this would be a sort of embarrassment.

Flat White Ingredients

A flat white is an espresso-based drink that contains microfoam. Microfoam is steamed milk with a velvety consistency, which is what sets the flat white apart from your average latte or cappuccino. This foam is then poured over a double shot of espresso, which creates more of an espresso flavor than milk. Another important difference between a latte and a flat white is this proportion of milk to coffee. A flat white has more espresso than a latte.  

Starbucks describes their flat white as being "not too strong, not too creamy, just the right flavor," which is exactly what it is. 

Flat White Origins

The flat white's origins are still a bit unknown, but both Australia and New Zealand have claimed to have created the drink in the 1980s. From here, the drink spread to the United States and United Kingdom.

A flat white is the perfect warm drink for any cold day, so think about mixing it up and trying a flat white instead of your average order the next time you order coffee.