What Is a Flat White? Can I Make One at Home and Save Money?

Alice and Ben first discovered flat whites living in Sydney and Melbourne in Australia. Everyone drinks them down under, everyone! It seems that now the rest of the world has caught on and adopted this coffee craze. They are quick and easy, short and milky, and highly fashionable!

For those looking to become home baristas, look for a great espresso blend to get started such as Terrone UK and check out our short guide to Making the Perfect Flat White

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What is a Flat White Coffee?

We have already adopted many Italian coffee styles, espresso, macchiato, cappuccino and lattes, however it is the Australian drink that has grown in popularity and is now the go-to drink in most speciality coffee shops.

Put simply: a typical they are generally 160ml of coffee made with a double shot of espresso, a bit of steamed milk, and a thin layer of foam or “micro foam” if you’re being fancy.

What is the difference between a Flat White and Latte?

Flat whites and lattes are both espresso shots with minimal milk, however there are a few key differences you should be aware of when making your preferred coffee at home.

  • They are smaller than lattes and are usually about 160 ml, while lattes are around 240ml.

  • They are a stronger than lattes. Lattes are made with one shot of espresso, while these usually have two. For those that want a caffeine hit, you would probably go for the flat white vs the milkier latte.

  • They contain less milk than lattes.

  • They also have a very small topping of frothed milked compared to a latte.

What is in a Flat White Coffee?

All you need to make the perfect cup is a double shot of good espresso coffee and steamed milk. If you’re unsure of how to make steamed milk - click here for our tips on how to froth milk at home (without a frother).

Why is it Called a Flat White?

There are several rumours circulating about where the word has come from - some say a famous barista went to make a cappuccino and the milk didn’t foam properly, falling a a little flat - hence the Flat White. Others say that Alan Preston, a barista and owner of Moors Espresso Bar in Sydney, created the drink for customers who wanted an espresso based drink with less foam.

Are They Healthy and Can You Make One at Home?

Flat Whites are just coffee and milk. If you’re watching your calorie intake you can use low-fat milk, and if you are a vegan or looking to substitute cow’s milk, try a non- dairy alternative like Oat milk or Almond Milk.  You can!! Cafes are starting to charge £3+  and Caffeine Mag have tipped these to go up to £5 in 2023! So start learning how to make one yourself at home. You will need either an espresso machine or a Moka pot. Use your coffee beans from RiSE coffee box (ground for Moka).

How to Make a Flat White at Home (vs paying £3+!)


  • 100ml milk

  • The right cup, 150-200ml capacity


STEP 1 - Make around 35ml espresso using your coffee machine or Moka pot and pour into the base of your cup.

STEP 2 - Steam the milk using your coffee machine so that it has around 1-2cm of foam on top. If you don’t have a coffee machine (no biggie), then you can place the milk in a jar with a lid, shake it so it's frothy, then microwave it uncovered for 30 seconds. Transfer the milk to a jug.

STEP 3 - Hold the jug so that the spout is about 3-4cm above the cup and pour the milk in steadily. As the volume within the cup increases, bring the jug as close to the surface of the drink as possible whilst aiming to pour into the centre. 

STEP 4 - Once the milk jug is almost touching the surface of the coffee, tilt the jug to speed up the rate of pour. As you accelerate, the milk will hit the back of the cup and start naturally folding in on itself to create a pattern on the top.

STEP 5 - Enjoy your perfect Flat White!

TOP TIPS: They are generally served with whole milk, but you can use a plant-based milk. Try almond or oat milk for a dairy alternative. If you're making a flat white at home, preheat your cup. Your drink will stay warmer longer.

We hope you loved our guide. Send us your Flat White creations in @risecoffeebox <3

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