The Flat White: Starbucks’ Newest Drink


Get ready for Starbucks’ newest drink! Photo from Evan Goldenberg via Flickr under Creative Commons license

Devon Black, Staff Writer

Starbucks brought in a new year with a new drink: the flat white. Introduced on January 6, 2015 in stores across the country, Starbucks hopes to broaden its client base with the Australia and New Zealand based drink.


Falling squarely in the middle of the espresso drink spectrum, a flat white pours microfoam on top of two shots of ristretto espresso. The microfoam, made of steamed whole milk, has a velvety texture.


The milk is poured on top of the espresso in a way that does not separate it into a layer of foam on top of a layer of milk. Doing so would result in a latte with a smaller layer of milk. Instead, the drink is a thorough blend of creamy milk and rich espresso.


Ristretto espresso refers to espresso made with the same amount of espresso but with half the amount of water. This gives a more poignant taste and a quicker bump to caffeine addicts. It is generally made with two shots of espresso, which is a little less ground coffee than a normal eight-ounce cup.


The flat white drink by itself is sweeter than your average latte. It barely needs any sugar added to it. The Doylestown Starbucks currently offers the flat white only in tall and short, twelve and eight ounces, respectively. Hopefully, with time, it will make it in grande and venti as well. It is stronger than the latte. It has more kick. It is simpler than a macchiato, whose espresso right on top often requires it to have lots of sugar and mixing, ruining the effect. The flat white is a perfect mix.

Although the flat white is currently shunned by Australians who believe Starbucks will ruin their classic caffeinated beverage, the drink is smooth enough and the espresso strong enough that it may have just enough potential to become an American favorite.