What is a Flat White Coffee?

What is a Flat White Coffee

What is a Flat White Coffee, you ask? Alongside cappuccinos and lattes, it is also one of the most frequently ordered coffee drinks. It is exciting to say that those coffee drinks contain only two ingredients: espresso and milk.

Flat White Coffee was first invented in Australia in the mid-1980s. Then by the mid-1990s and into the early 2000s, it was widely used in cafes worldwide.

In this article, you will discover an easy definition of Flat White and what it is like compared to Latte, Cappuccino, or Cortado.

Did you know that there is a Flat White at Starbucks? Well, I will look it up and in their menu 😉

Let’s get started.

RELATED TOPIC: What is the Difference between Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino?


  1. What is a Flat White Coffee?
  2. How to prepare Flat White at Home?
  3. Some Tips for the Perfect Flat White
  4. What is a Flat White at Starbucks?
  5. What is the Difference Between Flat White vs Latte?

What is a Flat White Coffee?

Flat White contains the same ingredients as the lattes, macchiatos, cortados, and cappuccinos. Those ingredients are espresso shots and whole milk.

After taking an in-depth glance at the definition of the beverage, it will be clear to you what sets it apart from other drinks.

Here’s what a flat white is:

Flat White is an espresso-based beverage created using double espresso (or two ristretto shots) and steamed milk.

For its serving, baristas use a 6 oz cup with a thin foam layer of approximately 0.2 in (0.5 centimeters) on top.

The beautiful thing here is that Flat White always has the so-called Latte Art.

The Flat White Technique

The key to this Flat White coffee is the microfoam on top. Microfoam results from steaming milk that is then aerated, creating very tiny, dense bubbles. After that, the microfoam is slowly poured until it is the last inch or so on top of the cup. The method is followed by a rapidly pouring until it is ready. This results in the white dot that usually is placed on top of a white. 

Microfoam is also the foundation for latte art! However, most people like its classic style. If you’re looking for a flavor, plain white, you have several choices.

How to prepare Flat White at Home?

Making flat whites at home is slightly tricky, but it’s possible. The milk steam wand is the most effective method of obtaining microfoam that will give you plain white. Those wands come in with some espresso machines you can purchase for your home. If you’re fortunate enough to own one of these models, you can create flat whites! 

Make sure you invest in an excellent milk steaming pitcher to assist you in pouring accurately and can master the art of latte.


  1. 2 Espresso Shots (double Espresso)
  2. 4 Ounces of Steamed Milk
  3. Sugar (optional)


Before you start you will need Espresso Machine, a coffee grinder (if you do not have a freshly ground coffee), coffee beans, and whole milk.

So, how to prepare your Flat White coffee at home? Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare 2 Espresso Shots into a 6 oz cup.
  2. Steam the Milk.
  3. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso.

Some Tips for the Perfect Flat White

  • You have to grind the coffee beans slightly lighter than a drip coffee. 
  • It is possible to ask the coffee shop in your area for recommendations on the best coffee beans for a flat white.
  • If you purchase flat whites in the coffee shop, ask how they prepare the beverage. Flat whites may differ based on the location of the café.
  • Flat whites are typically prepared with whole milk. However, you can also use an alternative plant-based milk. Try almond or oat milk as an alternative to dairy.
  • If you’re making flat whites at home, heat your cup. The drink will remain warmer longer.

What is a Flat White at Starbucks?

Starbucks prepares their flat white using 2 and 3 shots of ristretto espresso and steamed milk on the top. Ristretto is an espresso that is concentrated using the same quantity of coffee but using less water.

Typically, baristas serve Flat White in 6 oz cup. In contrast, at Starbucks, you can order Flat White in four different sizes: Short, Tall, Grande, and Venti. For a Short and Tall cup, they put 2 Ristretto Shots, and for the Grande and Venti, 3 Ristretto Shots. 

Note that Starbucks use their espresso blend, darkly roasted coffee beans, which produce a stronger and more intense coffee taste.

For the Blonde flat white, they use coffee beans with lighter roast profiles. This results in more of a complex espresso flavor balanced by pleasant acidity and lemon notes.

You can also look at the nutrition stats for the Flat White at Starbucks. 

FLAT WHITE AT STARBUCKSShort (8 fl oz)Tall (12 fl oz)Grande (16 fl oz)Venti (20 fl oz)
CAFFEINE130 mg130 mg195 mg195 mg
CHOLESTEROL15 mg25 mg35 mg45 mg
FAT5 g9 g11 g15 g
SUGAR8 g13g17 g22 g
ESPRESSO SHOTS2 shots2 shots3 shots3 shots
Starbucks Flat White Nutrition Stats

Another well-known Starbucks drink is their Honey Almondmilk flat white. It’s made using the sweetness of honey syrup (Honey Blend) and almond instead of regular milk.

Look at its nutrition stats in Starbucks.

HONEY ALMONDMILK FLAT WHITE STARBUCKSShort (8 fl oz)Tall (12 fl oz)Grande (16 fl oz)Venti (20 fl oz)
CAFFEINE150 mg150 mg225 mg225 mg
CHOLESTEROL0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
FAT2.5 g4 g5 g7 g
SUGAR12 g18 g24 g31 g
ESPRESSO SHOTS2 shots2 shots3 shots3 shots
Starbucks Honey Almondmilk Flat White Nutrition Stats

RELATED TOPIC: 12 Best Hot Drinks at Starbucks for Any Taste

What is the Difference Between Flat White vs Latte?


The first thing to notice is the distinction in size. 

A Latte typically weighs about 240ml, while Flat Whites generally are around 160 ml. 

You must be aware that both drinks contain an identical amount of espresso. This makes a huge difference in terms of the flavor and strength of the drink. This makes Flat White a much more robust and coffee-rich drink due to the more significant proportion of milk to coffee.

Milk ratio

A Latte comes with steamed, frothy milk and an additional layer of milk that has been foamed (around 5 millimeters) on top. In contrast, Flat White is topped with a skinny, flat’ layer of steamed milk, with nothing else.

The steamed milk in Flat White is more accurately described as microfoam. It implies that the milk has a more luxurious texture and glossy look that results from the process of steaming by the formation of tiny air bubbles appear within the milk.


How much caffeine is in a flat white? 

Traditionally Flat White contains 2 Espresso Shots. This is equal to around 120-130mg of caffeine.  

Do flat whites have latte art? 

A flat white may have Latte art. The milk is heated to form microfoam that can be poured over to create Latte art. 

Starbucks places a dot Latte art on top of their flat whites.

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