What is a Flat White? Starbucks’ Newest Menu Item Comes From Australia

The popular Australian espresso drink will now be available on Starbucks menus

For all of you Aussie coffee fans, this new menu item is something to cheer about.

In an effort to become more popular with serious coffee drinkers and possibly to gain some “cappuccino cred,” Starbucks has announced that they will be adding the “flat white” to their menus this year, and according to Bon Appétit, this could be a smart move, because the flat white — the Australian version of a latte — has been taking America by storm this year.

So what is a flat white, anyway? It’s a cappuccino that, instead of being topped with airy foam like a latte is, has velvety, smooth milk foam (called a “microfoam”), that is distributed evenly throughout the drink. The result is a coffee drink that weighs a little bit heavier on the milk/cream side than the espresso side. Both Australia and New Zealand have taken credit for coming up with the creamy coffee concoction, and it started appearing on café menus down under about 30 years ago.


The flat white is not a Starbucks limited-time offering, and will join the core menu on January 6. Adding popular Australian drinks to the menu, and opening Starbucks reserve stores selling coffee for $6 a pop? It seems like the world’s most popular coffee chain is trying to change its image.