January 21, 2015

the flat white


A few months ago, our friend Luke came to visit from the UK. (Actually, he biked all the way across the US, from New York to the Oregon coast, before landing with us for a week in Portland. You can read all about it on his blog. So incredible.) While he was here, he told us about the flat white, a coffee drink that started in Australia and is all the rage in London. It’s similar to a latté, but with a higher proportion of espresso to milk and a smoother, more velvety texture. We didn’t quite grasp the difference – something about microfoam and creamier milk? – but were intrigued nonetheless.

Lo and behold, earlier this month, Starbucks introduced the flat white into its core espresso offerings here in the US. Interested to see what all the fuss was about, we popped into our neighborhood Starbucks yesterday morning and tried them out. We gotta be honest here – they didn’t taste that different from a latté. Maybe a little creamier? A little less milky? Maybe we’re not sophisticated enough to appreciate the nuances? They were tasty, for sure, but didn’t seem particularly special.

What do you think? Have you tried the flat white? Are we fools for trying our first flat whites at Starbucks and not an artisan Portland coffee shop?


  • Kerri

    Flat white is definitely my go-to coffee in a decent UK coffee shop. I had no idea they weren’t BIG stateside. My favourite fault whites are (ironically enough) from an independent chain (ie small hip trickle of shops) called the Boston Tea Party. Cheltenham is my local one but they began in Bristol. Awesome coffee shop / restaurant; whole family friendly. Just spot on. And their flat whites are ace!