First thing first: what is a flat white?
This specific drink is made with an espresso base in which foam made of steamed milk is added.
Its origins can be traced back to the 1980’s in Australia, where it has first been registered, even though some claims that it had been created in Auckland, New Zealand, as an alternative to the cappuccino.
It was introduced in Europe (mainly the UK) in 2005 and has been served in almost every chain and cafe since then.
And now that we mention it, what makes it different than a cappuccino, or a latte? From the way we just described, it’s really hard to tell but we will have a closer look into it now:
A latte would usually have a ratio of 1:4:1, which means 1 part espresso, 4 parts milk and 1 part foam. That will make it the most milky drink among the above mentioned ones.
A cappuccino, for which the preparation is as described in another article, has a ratio of 1:3:2 (espresso – milk – foam) and is traditionally served in bigger cups than flat whites with a thicker layer of foam.
The main difference between a cappuccino and a flat white will be that the latter has a smaller espresso/milk ratio, making the coffee taste more dominant and it will also have the milk and espresso blending more and giving it a consistent taste throughout the whole drink.
The milk for flat whites, as well as lattes, has to be more homogeneous and silky than the frothy foam used for cappuccinos (hence the difference in the texture of the foam).