It’s one of the world’s favorite coffee drinks – up there with the millions of lattes and cappuccinos being served in cafes across the world on a daily basis. It’s creamy, velvety steamed milk is mixed in just the right proportions with a kick of strong espresso that just leaves you absolutely satisfied. But why is it called a flat white, and how did it become so popular? Read on below to find out.

I Come From The Lands Down Under

The ever-so-popular coffee drink called the flat white has many origin stories – and has been the point of contention for two nations in particular who have tried to claim it as their own – the Australians and the Kiwis (New Zealand). As the Kiwi side of the story goes, the Flat White first originated in 1989 in Wellington, NZ, when a barista Fraser Mcinnes mistakenly botched a cappuccino, and served it to his customer with milk that wasn’t frothed enough (cappuccinos have a thick layer of milk froth on the top). In true positive spirit of the Kiwis, he named his concoction a “Flat White”, and the name stuck on – becoming a hit in the UK cafe scene and then, the rest of the world.

The Australian version of the story however, claims that an Aussie barista named Alan Preston from Sydney, Australia created the drink. Inspired by the cafes in his home state of Queensland – which had a type of espresso called “White Coffee – Flat”, he introduced it into the menu at his Sydney cafe called the Moors Espresso Bar.

According to his website, his version of events is backed by a photo from the 80’s which clearly shows the words “Flat White” jotted down on his cafe’s menu board.

What Is A Flat White?

Now that we’ve heard both sides of the story, let’s find out why these two countries are so intent on claiming this tasty coffee beverage as their own. The Flat White is traditionally a double shot of espresso, mixed in with steamed (but not boiling) milk that has a velvety smooth texture. It is stronger than a latte, yet smoother than a cappuccino, and requires extra care from the barista to ensure that it maintains a silky soft yet robust taste and texture, which is why it is such a popular beverage all over the world – and explains why the fight between the Aussies and the Kiwis to claim this drink is still ongoing even up till today.

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