Iced Flat White: An Easy Recipe To Up Your Iced Coffee Game
Flat whites were once a regional specialty, but they have experienced a recent surge in popularity. Made with two shots of espresso and microfoam milk, they’re found on specialty coffee shop menus worldwide. But come summertime, chilled coffee holds more appeal.
Enter the iced flat white, a best-of-both-worlds combination of creamy cold milk foam and espresso.
We’ll show you how to make an iced flat white at home in this easy 3-step iced flat white recipe using just two ristretto shots, milk, and ice. Follow along to please your taste buds!
What You Need
- 20 g finely ground coffee for two espresso shots
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup ice cubes
- 1 tbsp syrup sweetener (optional)
- Espresso machine
- Milk frother
- Small glass
At a Glance
One drink (8 ounces)
What Is An Iced Flat White?
An iced flat white is an iced version of a regular flat white, one of many coffee-based beverages that pairs milk and espresso.
The flat white originated in either New Zealand or Australia, depending on who you ask, and can be considered a stronger latte with a higher coffee-to-milk ratio (1). It pairs one part espresso with two parts steamed milk and a thin layer of milk foam, amounting to a volume of no more than 5 or 6 ounces. When making a flat white coffee at home, the texture of the milk should be airier than a latte but creamier than a cappuccino.
An iced flat white maintains the same ratio but uses cold frothed milk and pours the mixture over a glass filled with ice cubes, making an 8-ounce coffee drink.
What Coffee Should I Use In An Iced Flat White?
It is best to use a medium or dark roast when making an iced flat white, as a lighter roast can be too acidic or too mild to pair with milk. For traditional Italian flavor, an espresso blend that mixes Arabica and Robusta beans is an authentic choice. It provides rich, earthy flavors and a thick crema. For a more modern take, a single-origin medium roast will offer greater complexity.
How To Make An Iced Flat White
Here we’ll walk you through exactly how to make this iced flat white coffee at home. You only need ice cubes, your favorite coffee beans for the best flavor, and milk. You can optionally add up to one tablespoon of sweetener to taste, but the natural sweetness of the milk makes this unnecessary.
1. Prepare The Espresso
Use a quality burr grinder to grind 20 grams of your favorite coffee beans. Add the finely ground coffee to your espresso machine’s portafilter, level, and tamp it. Pull two ristretto espresso shots using the espresso machine. Aim for about 2 ounces of espresso.
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can substitute 2 ounces of strong brewed coffee for the regular espresso, but the body of the drink won’t have the same rich appeal. Another alternative is popping into your local coffee shop for a standard espresso shot – no shame in that.
Pro Tip: Since we’re making an iced flat white, it’s not imperative that the two ristretto shots be hot. For added convenience, consider brewing your ristretto shots in the evening and letting them cool in the fridge overnight. You get to save yourself a step the next morning.
2. Froth The Milk
Pour half a cup of whole milk into your automatic milk frother. Select the steamed milk option if it offers the choice between steamed and frothed milk. Most importantly, make sure to choose the cold froth option.
Dairy whole milk is the most compatible with all milk frothers. You can also use 2% or skim milk for a lighter version of this iced flat white drink.
For a dairy-free or vegan-friendly version, feel free to use other milk alternatives like almond milk or oat milk, but check the frother’s recommendations. As you’re making a flat white, you won’t need much milk foam, if any, which is good news when using plant-based substitutes that don’t tend to foam up much.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a frother or a steam wand, try shaking up cold milk sealed in an airtight Mason jar, or use a French Press to make cold foam.
3. Combine The Espresso And Milk Over Ice And Serve Immediately!
Pop out ice cubes from your ice cube tray and scoop however many you’d like into a small glass. For best results, use a chilled glass.
Pour the espresso over the ice cubes and stir to cool it down. This is especially important if your espresso is not pre-chilled. Then, add in the cold foam milk. At this point, you can also add up to a tablespoon of simple sugar syrup or another liquid sweetener.
Serve immediately, and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Take your ice cubes one step further and make them out of coffee instead of water! Coffee ice cubes mean you can savor your iced flat white for longer without worrying about melting ice diluting the flavor.
This basic recipe is easy to riff on if you want to experiment with other iced coffee recipes. Use a blonde roast coffee to make an iced blonde flat white, for example. Or try almond milk and sweeten it with honey to create an iced honey almond flat white.
Making an iced flat white at home is super easy and saves you time and money versus a daily visit to the coffee shop. There’s a good reason so many coffee drinks share the same pairing of milk and espresso. It’s a timeless combination that is perfectly balanced and always delicious. This iced flat white is a prime example of simplicity done right. We hope you enjoy this creamy iced coffee as much as we do.
If you liked it, let us know in the comments below or tag us on Instagram. We love getting your feedback on our coffee recipes!
The difference between the flat white and the latte is the coffee-to-milk ratio. Both use a double shot, but a latte uses about 6 ounces of milk compared to the 4 ounces in a flat white. A latte also has a silkier milk texture, while the milk in a flat white is a bit foamier. The same differences apply to an iced latte and iced flat white recipe.
The difference between flat white and cappuccino drinks, despite having the same ingredients, lies in the texture and creaminess of the end cup due to the milk preparation. A traditional cappuccino has espresso, frothed milk, and steamed milk in equal parts. A flat white is small with espresso, steamed milk, and a microfoam top layer, but absolutely no froth. A flat white is antithetical to a dry cappuccino, which has no liquid milk but lots of froth.
Yes, iced flat white Starbucks drinks are offered in tall, grande, and venti sizes between 12 to 24 ounces. The nutrition information of a Starbucks iced flat white recipe in a grande size, which has 3 shots of their signature ristretto espresso roast, is 150 total calories, 11 g of sugars, 8 g of fat, and 130 mg of caffeine (2). A flat white coffee Starbucks brew is delicious, but there are plenty of other great choices in Starbucks.
The iced flat white taste is like a standard iced coffee drink with a more concentrated espresso flavor. This is balanced with the rich sweetness of the milk steamed to a velvety texture. It’s small but mighty chilling. If you use almond milk, there will be more pronounced nuttiness. If you use oat milk, you’ll get a bit of an aftertaste. The addition of a flavored syrup sweetener will alter the taste profile of an iced flat white.
Flat white coffees are small because the steamed milk used to make them is not diluted with a lot of foam, so it has no froth to take up any excess volume in the small glass it’s in. Flat white coffees are a little larger if they’re made with ice, because of the space the ice cubes take up.
- Alves, T. (2017, August 31). The Contentious History of the Flat White. Retrieved from https://theculturetrip.com/pacific/new-zealand/articles/the-contentious-history-of-the-flat-white/
- Starbucks. (n.d.). Iced Flat White. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/565/iced/nutrition