In a New Zealand movie a woman orders ''flat,skinny, and white'' at a coffee shop ...

In a New Zealand movie a woman orders ‘‘flat,skinny, and white’’ at an upscale coffee shop. What was she ordering? Can we get it at Starbucks? …
An aside, FWIW, there are quite a few good movies from Australia and New Zealand now available.

A flat white with low fat milk. Similar to a cafe latte.

It’s steamed milk with small bubbles, poured over a double shot of espresso. Basically a cappuccino but more espresso and less milk/foam.

flat = thin foamed milk (i.e, not all big airy and fluffy - just a little bit without much volume)
skinny = using skim milk (low-fat milk)
white = coffee with milk

So, a coffee with low-fat milk, not too much or too whipped/foamed

“…like my women.”


This was the single hardest thing to adapt to during my time in Australia.

me “Can I get just like a regular coffee with room for cream?”
–blank stare from waitress–
Aussie friend “Just order a flat white, you’ll like it,”

I LOVE the flat white, it was my go-to order in every cafe back home. Australian cafe culture is a distinct and beautiful thing, influenced in part by the timing of the invention of the espresso machine and how that fits with southern European immigration to Australia.

It’s starting to be a thing in SF cafes. Unfortunately, I live just far enough away from SF that I still don’t get them nearly often enough. My standard coffee order in non-in-the-know cafes is a small latte, no foam. That usually gets me something relatively similar to a true flat white, but it’s still a bit too milky.

Australians just don’t do drip coffee. I mean, maybe now and then, but it’s by no means the default like it is in the US. Lots of my friends and fam in Australia have home espresso machines, or use a French press.

Ugh - a latte with more than just a hint of foam on top is an abomination. At most I want to see foaminess around the edges, with a flat beige center. There’s a staff person at the campus coffee shop who invariably makes me a cappuccino when I order a latte. If the cup is 1/3 full of foam, it’s a damn cappuccino! Take it back and give me more steamed milk!

Yeah, we don’t do cream in the coffee, it’s milk and if you want the drip filter coffee best to buy yourself a machine cos almost no place that serves coffee use them.

I’ve often thought some of the coffee talk wouldn’t translate well to the US, can’t see the reaction of asking for a flat white and a long black at a diner being good.

Just as a matter of terminology, if it’s a New Zealand film she probably asked for a “skinny flat white”. Then there’s the joy which is the long black.

If it was NZ it is more common to order a trim flat white’ as skim milk there is called trim. It’s called skinny in Australia. I travel back and forwards and get stuck for a week or so either end ordering the wrong thing.

The other difference is that a foamed milk for kids is called a babyccino in Australia (how wanky) and a fluffy in NZ. I’d far rather order that for my kids but I live in Oz.

It’s a small matter of regional pride that despite pouring a lot of money into their operation, Starbucks failed dismally in both New Zealand and Australia, where there was already a thriving culture of small local cafes serving good coffee: people tried Starbucks once and said “What the hell is this swill?”.

Yes, I remember the first time ordering a ‘trim’ coffee at a UK coffee shop and being met wtih a blank stare. :smiley:

In Canada, if you want extra cream and extra sugar you ask for a “double-double.” I didn’t know this and was shocked what I got when I agreed to one. (I just wanted an extra-large black coffee with no sugar, which is how I drink it 99% of the time.)

Us too. I kept asking for coffee with cream…once I literally got a cup of coffee with a separate container of cream that was so thick it wouldn’t pour. :slight_smile:

Eventually we learned to just order a long black and like it.

Americans mean milk but say cream when we’re speaking of putting it in coffee. This American does, anyhow.

Not this american.

Nor this American. Milk in coffee is an abomination, IMHO. You have to put in so much to lighten your coffee to any degree that it both cools off and waters down the coffee.

In my experience, when an American asks for cream, they generally mean “half-and-half” (half milk/half cream). According to a British friend of mine, this does not exist in the UK. Not sure about New Zealand.

See, I mean half-and-half. Milk is too thin. Blah.

I mean half and half as well.

Same thing happened to me while working in Sydney - I ordered coffee at the hotel breakfast bar, she responded with, “flat, short or long?”

“Ummmm…just regular large coffee with nothing added…”

She responded with, “no clue what ‘regular coffee’ means, but try a long black.”