A flat white is a hot beverage made primarily from espresso and steamed milk.

Flat White

What is Flat White?

A flat white is a hot beverage made primarily from espresso and steamed milk. This drink is commonly confused with a latte. This coffee drink has a thin layer of steamed milk, or microfoam, as its topping, while the latte has steamed milk with another layer of foamed milk on top.

  • Using less milk in this beverage allows the strong flavor the espresso to come through.
  • This drink is one of the most popular beverages ordered in coffee shops.

The top five most popular coffee brands in the world include:

  • Caribou
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Kopi Luwak
  • Folgers
  • Gloria Jean’s

Origin of flat white

The origin and naming of this coffee drink are disputed between New Zealand and Australia. There are two different stories about how this drink came into existence. An Australian man named Alan Preston, owner of the Sussex Street coffee house, claimed that he invented the name for this drink. Preston said that the inspiration behind the name was Queensland, his home state. In Queensland, many cafes between the 1960s and the 1970s sold a drink known as “white coffee-flat.”

On the other hand, Frank Mclnnes from New Zealand claimed that he discovered this espresso-based drink by mistake. McInnes made an error while preparing a cappuccino for a customer and did not add enough milk to it. Therefore, he decided to name the new drink “flat white.” Whichever story is true, this coffee remains a popular beverage to this day.


A 16 fluid ounce serving of this drink offers:

This drink is stimulating, similar to coffee. Here are some benefits of this beverage:

  • Moderate consumption of this drink is linked with a lower risk of developing a stroke.
  • This drink can cut down the chances of developing Parkinson’s disease.
  • It can prevent the development of some types of cancer.
  • This drink can be instrumental in fighting diabetes.
  • It can also reduce the enzymes which lead to liver disease.

Commercial production

Espresso is the integral ingredient used in making a flat white. This concentrated form of coffee is made from the same Coffea plant. However, its industrial production involves forcing hot water under pressure through fine coffee beans. Making a this requires an espresso machine and tools for steaming milk.

The top five espresso machines for making this drink are:

  • Breville Barista Express
  • Delonghi Magnifica
  • VertuoPlus
  • Keurig K-café
  • Delonghi Dedica

The world’s largest producer of coffee is Brazil. The worldwide revenue from coffee reached $362,601 million in 2020. Furthermore, the coffee market is expected to grow at a rate of 10.6% between 2020 and 2025. 


It is possible to make it at home. The primary ingredients you need are double espresso and steamed milk. Follow the steps below to make this hot beverage:

  • First, make the double espresso and pour it into a cup or mug.
  • Next, steam the milk to a temperature between 131°F and 143.6°F. Use a thermometer to keep track of the milk’s temperature.
  • Then, pour the milk inside a pitcher and swirl it gently.
  • Finally, make your desired art pattern on the drink as you pour the milk.

Flat white recipes

This coffee can be prepared according to your taste. Here are five popular recipes:

FDA regulation

The Food and Drug Administration classifies coffee beans as a commodity that is rarely consumed raw. The body does not regulate the planting, growing, or harvesting of coffee beans. However, it does regulate the import of coffee beans and inspects them to ensure they are up to standard. The FDA also has standards of identity for various types of milk and cream. The body is in charge of the production, processing, and labeling of these products. 


McCarthy, Joseph. “Flat White & Latte: What’s the Difference?” CRU Kafe, CRU Kafe, 5 Aug. 2018, www.crukafe.com/blogs/news/flat-white-vs-latte

Goodwin, Lindsey. “What Is Espresso and How Do I Drink It?” www.thespruceeats.com, The Spruce eats blog, 4 Mar. 2020, https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-espresso-765702

“CFR – Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21.” accessdata.fda.gov, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, 1 Apr. 2019, https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=112.2&SearchTerm=coffee