From wikipedia: A flat white is a coffee beverage prepared by pouring the creamy steamed milk from the bottom of the jug over a single shot (30ml) of espresso.

The drink is typically served in a small 150-160ml ceramic tulip cup. The stretched and texturised milk is prepared by entraining air into the milk and folding the top layer into the lower layers. To achieve the "flat", non-frothy texture the steamed milk is poured from the bottom of the jug, holding back the lighter froth on the top in order to access milk with smaller bubbles, making the drink smooth and velvety in texture.

Flat White at Morning Owl Coffeehouse
Flat White at Equator Coffee Roasters (Westboro)
Flat White at Morning Owl Coffeehouse
Flat White at 442 Coffee Bar
Where to get Flat White

2011 Feb 10
You have all intrigued me with this concoction called "flat white", and when googled it, I found this description
"According to one report, "flat white" is simply another name for a latte, and the two beverages are identical. "The only difference between the two drinks is the vessel in which they're presented. A flat white is served in a ceramic cup, usually of the same volume (200 millilitres) as a latte glass. However, some cafes will top a latte with extra froth, while others may pour a flat white slightly shorter."

So if I order a flat white, should I expect it to taste much different from a latte?

2010 Mar 5
I agree! If I'm not drinking my espresso-style Aeropress coffee as an Americano then I opt for making a very passable flat white, using the steamed milk from the Nespresso Aeroccino (stirring attachment rather than frothing whisk). It's the perfect middle ground between too-milky lattes and too-foamy cappuccinos. Crazy but true!

2010 Mar 5
It tastes so much richer because of how the milk is steamed. Was possibly one of the best coffee beverages I've tried.


2015 Aug 22
I spent some quality time here on a Saturday morning with long-time Ottawa Foodies contributor Captain Caper. We had a great conversation and the coffee was excellent. The Flat White ($3.80) is pricy in that Westboro way but perfectly crafted and delicious. It's a 5 oz drink, implying roughly 3 oz of milk and 2 oz of espresso. In other words, it hits my happy-place ratio of 1:1.5 coffee to microfoamed milk.

There's an incredible amount of overlap and regional variation between espresso-milk drinks, so this exact product could be referred to as any of:
- a strong flat white ("normal" would be 1:2)
- a strong wet-foam cappuccino ("normal" would be 1:2)
- a weak cortado ("normal" would be 1:1)


2016 Nov 22
After a mediocre experience on their second day of business, I revisited the Kanata location last Thursday. It looks like they already have regulars from the surrounding community.

My Flat White was perfect in every way this time. Here's hoping such success is reproducible each visit!

Lots of food options are available. Hard to say whether or not breakfast and lunch sandwiches will sell well here. I guess time will tell.

2013 Nov 5
I had a small Australian flat white this morning. $4. with tax. They are using a custom blend from Equator Coffee Roasters.

I loved it! It was the right combination of caramel-y, chocolate-y notes. Not acidic. Good depth in coffee strength. And not to be overlooked - the right temperature on the milk. Too many places overheat their milk.

It's been a while since I have been to Morning Owl. The barista who made my drink has been working there for 3 years. I hope I can count on the flat whites being this good every time I visit.

They are only open Mon - Fri from 7 am to 3 pm. Serving the office crowd and had a steady stream of them coming through the door today.

2011 Feb 16
And just so you can rest assured that some good did come of our little Flat White 'dust-up', I am now more determined than ever to get back to Morning Owl and try one out. I love the Morning Owl and now at least one more Flat White will be sold.

Plus, LWB's introduction of the Flat White topic to me has me cranking them out of the espresso machine like it's a Pez dispenser, trying to perfect what I think I have learned a Flat White to be! More good. Plus my friends and acquaintances are dropping by with more frequency just to catch the act. They think I have lost it! It really has been pure comedy.

Life DOES work in mysterious ways.

Bottoms up!

2011 Feb 16
I appreciate Jordan and Sarah posting details about the preparation of the flat whites, because I inquired with them and that was not the answer that I was given.

I absolutely think that a barista-in -training should be given the chance to make and remake drinks. Having been one myself, I know it can be a stressful position and my goal wasn't to berate her or Morning Owl, but rather to generate discussion in hopes of answering the question: How is a flat white made?

And thankfully, that question has finally been answered. So, now we can all go back to enjoying our coffee, right?

2011 Feb 15
At the Morning Owl we use a small amount of 10% cream added to 2% milk and steam it. A little less than half of what is steamed is 10% cream. We use about 4 or 5oz of milk all together to make a 16oz beverage, therefore we only use about 2oz of 10% cream in a large latte. The thickness of a Flat White IS from the steaming and stretching of the milk and IS NOT from the percentage of cream used. Yes the added 10% gives a bit of a thicker texture to the Flat White in hopes of mimicking Australia and New Zeeland's rich milk. There is barely any foam on the top of the Flat White, even less than a latte, creating a "flat" surface.

Our newest Barista in training is feeling quite bad for making a mistake and is now a lot more equipped for answering Flat White questions. She deserves a break we think ;).

2011 Feb 12
i really don't want to keep talking about flat whites. i've never tried one before and it doesn't sound like something i'd like. now that you are better informed, the next time a different barista makes you one, you can remind her before hand that it is 5% cream and milk. problem solved.

the issue seems to be a confused or new or untrained barista made you a bad drink and it was yucky so you didn't drink it.

also, just to be nitpicky, let's clear up the "So to clarify, these tasty treats don't taste rich because of how the milk is steamed (which is what I initially thought), but rather because they're made with half and half cream." that isn't correct, since you now say they were made with 5% cream & milk all of the other times you have had them. the richness comes from 5% cream + milk.

still. it was one bad coffee and all of your other visits they were good. i think the barista needs a second chance now that you have brought up the issue with management.

2011 Feb 11
HFF, let me clarify: The barista stated that the Flat White was made entirely with cream. Sarah said in her email that it's made with a mixture of cream and milk.

My understanding is that Flat Whites in NZ are made with milk, but the milk there is richer(?). If you apply a process to a different product, the outcome will inevitably be different. My expectation on was that the FW would be made with the same percentage of milk as had been used the first 6 times. Making a drink with 10% cream instead of 5%(what I imagine it works out to be as a mixture of cream and milk...but I don't know, and I wish they would just flat out tell you) is akin to using whipping cream instead of table scream in scones. It results in a different product.

So, if the product that I purchased the first six times was made with 5%, how is my mistake that what I got the seventh time was made with 10%?

2011 Feb 10
lady - i agree, that drinking that much cream is gross, but it has nothing to do with the flat white at morning owl. it was your mistake - not theirs. they didn't mess up or change things. maybe the barista's version of a flat white wasn't up to the standards of jordan or sarah, but that is a different complaint. you can't hate the cream version too much if you've already had it at least 6 times previously.

2011 Feb 9
I've been waiting until I heard back from Sarah or Jordan to relay my last flat white at Morning, here goes.

I went two weeks ago to pick up a flat white on my way to campus, quite excited about the treat that it'd be. Neither Sarah nor Jordan were working, but that didn't bother me, until I got my drink. I took a sip and nearly spit it out: It tasted like cream.

I asked the barista, who confirmed for me that it was made with cream. And thus began the great debacle over what flat whites are made of. I told her that the texture wasn't right and maybe she hadn't aerated it enough. She said that "it's made with cream, like always" and offered to make it with a "higher percentage of cream". I was really, really skeptical about both of those statements. Not to mention confused, given that I was under the impression that a flat white was made with milk.

Anyway, I didn't take the drink with me, because the idea of drinking two cups of cream is bit gross to me. But, I did e-mail Sarah, who replied this evening to let me know that there is 10% cream in the flat whites.

So to clarify, these tasty treats don't taste rich because of how the milk is steamed (which is what I initially thought), but rather because they're made with half and half cream.

I'm a bit miffed about this, even still, as this is entirely different than what I thought was the case, based on my previous half-dozen visits...

2009 Apr 30
SO, so happy to find these in Ottawa. They're just like I remember from my trip to New Zealand!


2012 Sep 1
I quite enjoyed the flat white here, but be warned that the coffee is bitter (think very Italian) and definitely needed sugar for my taste. The somewhat lavish price ($3.99+tax) would be more justifiable if it were accompanied by amaretti or chocolate.