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Starbucks To Start Selling The 'Flat White' In The U.S.

The flat white

In news that will please Australians, New Zealanders and Brits living in the U.S., Starbucks says it will start selling a coffee drink known as the `flat white’ this week, and there’s one person in Seattle who’s particularly delighted. 

We first heard of the flat white last fall, when KPLU spoke with Aidan Lang, the new general director of the Seattle Opera.

Lang is from the U.K. but lived for years in New Zealand, and that’s where he first tasted what became his favorite coffee drink.

"The flat white is somewhere between a latte and a cappuccino, and is the perfect balance of a strong coffee and milk," he said. 

The Hunt For A Flat White

Lang's words left us curious about this coffee drink that's little known here in the city that prides itself on being the epicenter of the coffee world. So we set out on a hunt to find one, but encountered mostly just blank stares.

We were finally able to order one at Seattle Coffee Works, near Pike Place Market.

Now Starbucks is making the flat white part of its regular U.S. menu. It’s already been selling the drink in the U.K. and Australia.

A spokesperson says it’s made with more concentrated espresso than usual, topped with velvety steamed milk to create a slight layer of micro-foam.

Lang says he’s rejoicing and plans to start visiting his local Starbucks.

"Well, of course, of course I will," he said. "There’s two down the road within minutes of the office. I’ve got three around my apartment, so yeah, of course I will. They've won me over. If they’re going to serve me a flat white, I’ll be there."

But outside a Belltown Starbucks, Mallory Smith says she already has a favorite drink.

"I usually do my double shot vanilla soy every morning and that’s it," Smith said. 

Still, she says, what the heck? She’s willing to at least give the flat white a try.

In July 2017, Ashley Gross became KNKX's youth and education reporter after years of covering the business and labor beat. She joined the station in May 2012 and previously worked five years at WBEZ in Chicago, where she reported on business and the economy. Her work telling the human side of the mortgage crisis garnered awards from the Illinois Associated Press and the Chicago Headline Club. She's also reported for the Alaska Public Radio Network in Anchorage and for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.