Move over New Yorkers, specialties from Down Under are making their way into the New York coffee scene. Forget the Italians who invented espresso, or the Seattleites who created Starbucks — the next big thing comes from below the equator. An increasing number of cafes in the city opened by Australians or New Zealanders has led to a rise in popularity of specialties including the flat white.
Even if you are an avid caffeine drinker, you may still be unfamiliar with the flat white. The term flat white was coined in the 1980s and refers to the combination of microfoam and shots of espresso. A flat white differs from its counterparts, the latte or cappuccino, primarily in how the milk is prepared. When milk is frothed using a steam wand, three layers form, with the creamy microfoam layer used in a flat white settling in the middle. Baristas “stretch” the milk by injecting steam, which creates a maximum amount of microfoam.
Flat whites contain a smoother mix of this velvety microfoam and a coffee base, which creates a drink similar to a cappuccino, but with a smoother, thicker texture. If you want to try a flat white or authentic Australian and New Zealander fare for yourself, check out some of these popular spots.
Sydney natives Giles Russell and Henry Roberts founded this Little Italy coffee shop. It offers a plethora of juices, smoothies and food options in addition to caffeinated beverages. The texture of the flat white is rich, yet not too heavy for a sunny autumn day. The wooden tables and succulents create an inviting atmosphere, and customers are served by baristas with Australian accents. 164 Mott St.
Happy Bones NYC
Smaller than its neighbor Two Hands, Happy Bones NYC is an ideal place to stop if you are willing to take your coffee to go. Opened in 2012 by New Zealander Luke Harwood and Miami-born Jason Woodside, the exposed brick and painted white and metallic details give this cafe a sleek, modern feel. Happy Bones offers notable coffee and delicious baked goods from Ovenly. The red-and-white striped straws they use for their iced drinks practically beg to be uploaded to Instagram. 394 Broome St.
Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe
If you are looking for good food to go with your coffee, Bluestone Lane Collective Cafe is the perfect spot. The menu, created by Melbourne-based restaurateur Sappho Hatzis, contains a variety of breakfast, lunch and dinner options, including the classic avocado smash. Hatzis’ avocado medley has fresh and light flavors accompanied by tahini, heirloom tomatoes, feta and a poached egg. 55 Greenwich Ave.
Founders Alexander Hall and Sabrina Godfrey created a cozier, friendlier atmosphere than is usually found at other coffee shops of its kind. The counter is between the street and the interior, offering seating both inside and outside. Blue porcelain cups and plates provide a splash of color and work in conjunction with their namesake. If you decide to check out Bluebird Coffee, be aware that it attracts enough people to fill it to capacity at almost all hours. 72 E. First St.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Nov. 4th print edition. Email Anna Ferkingstad at [email protected]