Iced Flat White Recipe – Creamy and Strong

This article will tell you everything you need to know about making a tasty iced flat white at home.
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
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Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: September 05, 2023
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One of the most sophisticated and refreshing of the designer barista drinks is an iced flat white.  It is a cold coffee drink created from a ristretto with a thick crema over it. Foamed cold milk with microbubbles is layered over thick chunks or balls of ice stacked to the top of the glass.

Are you now wondering what exactly a ristretto shot might be? A ristretto Trusted Source There's a style of coffee to suit everyone | Cowra Guardian | Cowra, NSW Latte, espresso, cappuccino – there are so many different types of coffee it becomes a language itself and the choices more exciting. is an espresso shot served with half the amount of water, which results in a smooth, silky, and very strong espresso extraction. The ristretto (restricted in Italian) is poured over ice cubes first, and then milk is added to create the perfect home barista creation for hot summer months. An iced flat white coffee is practically a cocktail, it is so delicious, and it can provide you with a bit of an up feeling to keep you fuelled and happy throughout the day.

What is an Iced Flat White?

Iced Flat White Recipe - Creamy and Strong
The iced flat white tends to have a lighter, less chocolaty taste than an iced latte.

A traditional iced flat white with brewed ristretto shots and foaming your milk using a milk foamer or espresso nozzle.  In terms of being a nice affordable performer when it comes to making ristretto is the Capresso EC300 Espresso machine, which has double nozzles and a nozzle for making the foam to top your ice flat white. It can be used with either pods or your favorite ground expresso, which makes it very versatile when it comes to making authentic barista drinks.

For a nice touch, chill your glasses first before filling them up with ice cubes. This is where it can come in handy to have extra-large ice cubes like these enormous balls and cube-shaped ones. These Aibast ice cube trays are made of silicone and are 1.8 inches in diameter, making them ideal for cooling espresso right out of the pot down. A tumbler whiskey glass, described here in Men’s Journal Trusted Source 11 Best Whiskey Glasses You Can Buy | Men's Journal The best whiskey glassware for your next pour. The glass you choose will make or break any whiskey. , is the best type of glass to use for this drink as the thick walls of the tumbler keep both the ice and the flat white cold. This type of tumbler also helps to direct the aroma of the ristretto up into your nostrils so you can savor r it before drinking it.  Think of it as being like a Brown Cow Trusted Source Brown Cow Cocktail Recipe | Cocktail Builder This milk-based bar favorite is made with 2 other ingredients: nutmeg, MSR Kahlua coffee liqueur. , only made w with a high-quality ristretto shot instead, preferably made with a less bitter, blonder bean.

Iced Flat White vs. Iced Latte

At this point, you might be wondering what the difference is between an Iced Flat white vs. an Iced Latte. You are not wrong if you are thinking that they might.

The first difference is that flat whites have a much stronger espresso flavor, whereas lattes tend to be a bit heavier on steamed milk. You will also never find a gourmet flavored flat white because the point of a flat white is to heighten the espresso flavor. The heavier dose of milk in lattes picks up the taste of flavored syrup. A single or double shot of espresso is still not as strong as the short pump that identifies the ristretto, so if you like a strong espresso taste, then the flat white is for you. Comparatively, a latte is like candy, but a ristretto is a traditional and pure gourmet beverage.

The reason that they call it a flat white is that there is a very flat layer of foam on top of the drink. In fact, it is barely foam, it is mostly steamed milk. The surface should be covered with microbubbles as opposed to the airy thick foam layers found on lattes.

If you like to sip on a hot milky coffee for hours, then you are going to prefer a milky flavored tall latte to a shorter flat white, which is strong and uplifting. In café’s lattes tend to come in sizes ranging from 10oz. to 20oz. and are great for sipping on over the course of an hour, whereas flat whites can be 4oz to 6oz and are meant to be drunk quickly for a bit of a mood and energy boost.

Iced Flat White Recipe - Creamy and Strong 2

Iced Flat White Recipe

Mary Jankins
Keep in mind that how well your recipe is going to turn out is going to depend on the quality of your ingredients. Be sure to choose a high-quality coffee and fresh milk, and also be sure to use spring ordistilled water for ice cubes (to be a purist!) It is also recommended that you use ice cubes that are new and are not reminiscent of any odors in the freezer.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Coffee
Servings 1 cups
Calories 149 kcal


  • 1 glass


  • 0.24 l whole milk
  • 2 ristretto shots
  • ice cubes
  • sugar or flavored syrup


  • Foaming up the milk
    Flat whites do not require the milk to be steamed until it is hot. Instead, you can “cold froth it” using the nozzle on your espresso machine or a milk foamier or even a french press after choosing your milk. Coffee connoisseurs claim that chilled 2% milk is the best to use if you want to top your flat white with the perfect layer of microfoam. Basically, the more fat content has, the harder the milk to froth, so nut milk work really well in a flat white.
    Iced Flat White Recipe - Creamy and Strong 4
  • Making ristretto shots
    Brew your ristretto shot. Fill and tamp your portafilter with a finely ground coffee, the finer, the better!  Pull 1 to shots of ristretto created from 15-20 ml. of coffee.
    The more finely ground your beans are, the better. In fact, short ristretto shots succeed best if they are ground to powder. This helps you get a better, sweeter taste from the ground beans. Astronger-tasting coffee known for creating a superb crema is best. If you want a sweeter flavor, then it is recommended that you use a blonde roast, which has a lot more acidity than darker beans and suits the light tangy taste of an iced flat white.
    Iced Flat White Recipe - Creamy and Strong 6
  • Putting ice cubes into the glass
    The more ice you have in your glass, the cooler and stronger your iced flat white is going to taste. Fill it to the top with the largest ice cubes that you have. Don’t use ice chips as they will disappear once in contact with the hot coffee. 
  • Adding your coffee to the ice cubes
    Pour the ristretto shot over your ice, and then give it all a quick stir. If your crema is not somehow miraculously broken up by the ice cubes in the glass, you can leave it because it can give the drink a very attractive layered look.
  • Topping the iced coffee with cold foamed milk
    Choose a small, preferable chilled metal container to foam about 2 ounces of milk. It can be any milk that you choose, including almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened), oat milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or of course, dairy milk.
    Iced Flat White Recipe - Creamy and Strong 8
  • Adding a syrup or sugar (optional)
    Syrups and sugars are more associated with flavoring a latte, but many people also do it with a flat white, even though the point of a flat white is to experience the taste of your coffee in its rich exalted state.


It is always preferable to stick to tradition and just drink the flat white straight, however, variations of the flat white do exist in the popular chain coffee houses. An example would be an iced blonde flat light using light blonde beans as Starbucks does, making a flat white with Pike beans. If you are at home, adding a splash of real vanilla or cinnamon flavoring can add a bit of interest to the drink. Some people add honey or sugar, as would be the case with an iced honey almond flat white. You can also make an iced flat white with almond milk that is presweetened, and many brands also come with added vanilla flavoring as well.

Iced Flat White with Almond Milk

Almond milk is a wonderful substitute for dairy, which is good news for lactose intolerant individuals who still want to savor a flat white in the morning. You make it exactly the same way you would a regular flat white, except you would stir the desired amount of honey directly into the hot ristretto shot to dissolve it before pouring it over the ice cubes in your glass.

You can easily froth almond milk with your expresso nozzle, but there are all kinds of handheld brothers on the market that are great for non-dairy milk, and you can read all about the best milk frothers for almond milk in this article.

How Many Calories in an Iced Flat White

If you are watching your waistline, here is a guide to the calories in each type of milk that can be used to make a flat white.

Type of milk Calories
Whole milk 149
Nonfat milk 83
Almond milk 56
Soy milk 100
Coconut milk 45
Oat milk 130


Final thoughts

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when making an iced flat white is that this is a drink that is all about tasting the coffee, not the foam, any flavorings, or spices like cinnamon or cocoa. The best flat white is made with an efficient espresso machine that can pull a decent tangy ristretto and a very finely ground strong-tasting coffee known for producing a fine crema. Your milk should be cold-frothed until it is in a state of “microbubbles” that can lay neatly on top of the crema in your designer drink. Of course, the larger the ice cubes, the better, so be sure to invest in some giant or round silicone ice trays. Also, always be aware that you can make an iced flat white with any type of milk you like, with high protein low-fat milk such as almond milk and dairy milk being the best choices.


Latte, espresso, cappuccino – there are so many different types of coffee it becomes a language itself and the choices more exciting.
11 Best Whiskey Glasses You Can Buy | Men
The best whiskey glassware for your next pour. The glass you choose will make or break any whiskey.
Brown Cow Cocktail Recipe | Cocktail Builder
This milk-based bar favorite is made with 2 other ingredients: nutmeg, MSR Kahlua coffee liqueur.
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