flat white coffee flat white coffee

How to make a flat white coffee

By the Lavazza Team 2–3 minutes

For coffee drinkers around the world, one of the most sought-after drinks is the flat white. There is much debate online around where exactly the flat white originated. Some say that the flat white is thought to have come from Sydney, Australia - back in 1985 at the Moors Espresso Bar, where the owner claims to have created the drink. Others disagree, insisting that the flat white came from New Zealand.

Regardless of its origins, what we do know for sure is that the flat white has become a staple order in coffee shops, cafés, and restaurants around the world. For those seeking the same barista-quality experience at home, follow this step-by-step guide on how to make the perfect flat white. 

What is a Flat White?

A flat white coffee combines a double shot of espresso with warm milk, and is typically served in a wide cup, often presented with a beautiful pattern where the milk layers with the coffee, often known as latte art.

Flat white

How to Make a Flat White

To make an authentic flat white, you will need a coffee or espresso machine and a milk frother. 

For ingredients, you will need about 60ml of espresso (a double shot) and 140ml milk to make one serving.   


  • Step 1: Turn on your espresso machine and purge, before filling the portafilter with 18g freshly-ground coffee
  • Step 2: Make your double espresso straight into your coffee cup
  • Step 3: Measure your milk and pour into a stainless-steel jug
  • Step 4: Steam your milk, finishing with a layer of micro foam around about 1/2-3/4in
  • Step 5: Hold cup at an angle and pour a thin stream of milk over your espresso
  • Step 6: When your cup is about ⅔ full, bring the jug closer to the surface to finish pouring the micro foam over the top of your coffee
  • Step 7: Enjoy your homemade flat white!

The Differences Between a Flat White, Latte and Cappuccino

With so many different types of coffee drinks on the menu, it can be confusing to understand what sets them apart. If you’ve found yourself feeling puzzled while reading the menu at a coffee shop, you’re not alone!

The three beverages are similar, in that they are made up of the same two key ingredients - espresso and milk.

However, the ratio and preparation of the milk makes the biggest difference.

Firstly, a latte, or café latte, as it is sometimes called, is typically made up of the following:

  • 1 x double shot of espresso (~60ml)
  • Somewhere between 170-230ml milk, steamed, plus around 1cm frothed milk on the top

A latte is usually served in a tall glass in order to present its various layers of coffee and frothed milk. The ratio of espresso to milk should be one part coffee to two parts milk.

A cappuccino is more similar to a flat white in terms of its quantities:

  • 1 x single shot 30ml for cappuccino
  • Around 150ml milk, frothed
  • Optional: cocoa powder sprinkled on top

This frothy coffee drink is usually served in a more shallow cup.


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