Coffee and milk: A guide

Flat White? Soy Latte? Cortado? Three-quarter Latte? Oat Flatty? WTF is all that stuff? A quick guide to the myriad of milky coffees you can order in cafés.

Milk is, for many people in specialty, something of an afterthought. Some people look down on milk-drinkers, scoffing at their ways, sullying the purity of the holy espresso. But a well-made, creamy cappuccino is a thing of beauty too, and should be given just as much respect as a single origin espresso. With the variety of options, ordering milk drinks can be a bit daunting, so let’s go through the white coffees you’ll find on our menu.

Cappuccino

The OG of milky drinks, the cappuccino is always a solid choice. We make it with a single espresso and thick, smooth, marshmallow-like milk. The perfect cappuccino should have a meniscus (a slight dome of milk above the rim of the cup), a shiny surface, and not be too hot. Aussies like them with chocolate powder on top.

Flat White

A classic of the Antipodes, the flat white was probably created in New Zealand in defiance of the too-foamy, too-milky, too-dry cappuccinos that were being served in the nineties. Someone wanted something simpler: strong, flat, and white. We serve them on a double espresso with less head than a cappuccino: it should be filled just under the brim.

Latte

Latte is of course Italian for milk, and that’s the main event here. Lattes come in a bigger glass and are served on a single espresso, leaving you with a long, sweet, milky beverage.

Cortado

The name cortado is Spanish for cut, and while traditionally made with condensed milk, in most specialty cafés it is served basically as a miniature latte: a single espresso in a tiny little glass topped up with milk. Definitely the cutest milk coffee, it’s a great choice if you have a low tolerance for dairy but still want in on the milky goodness.

Espresso Macchiato

The smallest of the milky drinks, this is an espresso that’s been topped with a dab of steamed milk. Some cafés like to get fancy and pour latte art on top, though this leaves you with more milk in the cup, which is why others keep it classic, spooning just a dot straight on top of the espresso. Comes in a single or double shot variety.

This is just a small selection of the different milky coffees you’ll find out there. Other places may well serve different things and give them different names. 
What’s your favourite? Head on down to one of our cafés to try them out!


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