Starbucks recently announced a new beverage meant to attract customers who are cutting back calorie consumption after the holidays. It's called the flat white, and boasts stronger coffee flavor with less milk, making the drink easier on the waistline.
Yes, the company that sells caramel Frappuccinos that clock in at as many as 510 calories is now offering a lower-calorie coffee bar beverage, but that's the least of the irony to be found in this story. The flat white hails from Australia, which hasn't exactly been kind to the coffee giant over the past decade.
The first Starbucks opened in Sydney in 2000, according to the company's website, and while the total number of stores climbed to 84 at one point, that number has now dwindled all the way to zero, according to Business Insider. Last summer the chain handed over its last 24 stores (it closed the rest,) but not before they took that flat white with them in a to-go cup. Now flat whites are set to take over America.
So, what is a flat white?
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Russell Hayward, an Aussie who owns Ascension Coffee in the Design District, describes the flat white as a single shot of espresso topped with steamed but not foamy milk. The right ratio is achieved by using a small, six to eight-ounce cup resulting in five to seven ounces of dairy. If this sounds a lot like a cappuccino, note the smaller cup and also the head, which is thin and dense (hence, flat) and not foamy.