Difference between cappuccino and flat white

Hello everyone! Can anyone tell me how is a flat white made? i have heard it is a cappuccino without foam. is that right?

Hey @m4xi88,

This is something that caused confusion both to those involved in specialty coffee and more so, to the average consumer and coffee drinker. Here’s a link to a previous thread on this forum somewhat related to this…

This terminology is an ongoing problem (IMO) within the industry and open to geographical, company, and even individual barista interpretation.


I visited Melbourne and Sydney four years ago and bought a flat white at every coffee shop I could find. I was served espresso and steamed milk of every size and texture you could imagine. About a year later a man began to request flat whites at the cafe I was serving at. He had been a barista in Melbourne for years, he claimed, and insisted that a flat white was 16 oz espresso and milk with honey. I remember, after his first sip of the giant beverage, he said “yes, this is exactly how everyone makes a flat white in Australia.”

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Thank you guys for your answers! So, it is made with a single espresso in a 16oz cup with steamed milk and honey?

Our FlatWhite is a double espresso (~40ml) and steamed microfoam milk in a 200ml cup (7oz).
I think that an original Australian FlatWhite would be around 150ml (5.5oz) with a double ristretto, and since some of our guests like a bit less milk, we introduced the Short White, which is the same amount of espresso (~40ml) and steamed milk in a 150ml cup (cappuccino cup).

Short answer: nobody really knows what a Flat White should be.

Maybe this article is helpful:

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But it certainly doesn’t have honey in it…

As I recall, before “specialty coffee” was a thing, a flat white would have been served without foam (or very little) and a cappuccino almost always had a dusting of cocoa powder…

Drinks are always subjective and mean different things to different people.

Our flat whites are 5.5oz and our caps are 7.5oz with a slightly thicker foam, but that’s it. It’s all semantics and ratios, and its up to you to find the best ones to represent your shop.

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