The rise of the flat white

While coffee has been part of cultures across the globe for many centuries, the ‘flat white’ only started to raise its trendy head in the mid-1980s, with parts of Australia and New Zealand claiming to be the first to coin the now-popular beverage. These days, flat whites are all the rage, having recently become one of the most frequently ordered drinks on the coffee scene.

But… what actually is a flat white?

After McDonalds’ tongue-in-cheek advert in 2018 mocked the complexity of the descriptions attributed to the flat white, they finally described it through a friendly server as “a stronger latte, just with less milk.” Without getting into the nitty-gritty of microfoam and the like, the process of making the flat white results in a silky smooth espresso-style coffee; like the illegitimate lovechild of espresso and a latte.

If it’s been around since the eighties, why have I only heard about it recently?

When holidaying in the UK, our friends from the other side of the world complained about the lack of flat whites in coffee shops. In 2005, an Aussie (Peter Hall) and New Zealanders (James Gurnsey and Cameron McClure), decided to bring the flat white to the UK coffee scene, opening a cafe dedicated to the drink in Soho, London. The ‘Flat White Soho’ was born. By 2009, they were making around 700 flat whites a day and larger chains began to pay attention.

Why are they so popular?

As well as tasting great, the flat white sparked the UK’s natural curiosity and came at a time when coffee lovers were more open than ever to trying new types and styles of coffee. Not only this, but the flat white is smaller, with less milk, than its latte or cappuccino counterparts, which appeals to the health-conscious and those with limited time to spare.

Not tried the flat white yet? Or can’t enough of this trendy coffee? Get in touch with us at Miko Coffee to find out how we can get you sorted with the coffee beans and equipment for making the perfect flat white.