The world’s biggest coffee chain, Starbucks, has decided to focus efforts on the trendy “flat white” in stores instead of the standard cup of cappuccino. The flat white has only been served in Starbucks for a few short months, but it has already overpowered its close cousin, the cappuccino. In fact, a number of Starbucks stores have began removing the lowly cappuccino from the menu altogether in order to feature the more trendy flat white.
The Times reports that Starbucks has been quietly removing the cappuccino from its menu boards across the U.S. and replacing it with the more trendy flat white. Though the cappuccino has been a standard staple at coffee shops over the years, it seems that Starbucks is taking a new approach by offering up a more trendy option.
Digital brand consultant Peter Thompson, who reviews cafes in London and New York on his Coffee Hunter blog, says he is happy to see the cappuccino leave the menu as it is a “relic” of a past world and represents mass commercialization of poorly made coffees. Whereas, Thompson notes that the flat white is indicative of a craft coffee.
‘The cappuccino is a relic of when the whole world aspired to drink coffee Italian-style. It has come to represent the mass consumerisation of bland and poorly made chain coffee. The flat white represents a new wave of independent, hipster-style craft coffee from unexpected places like Australia and New Zealand.”
It seems that Starbucks agrees as they have removed the cappuccino from its flagship stores in Seattle as well as some in New York and San Francisco. Business Insider points out that the move away from the cappuccino to the flat white may be due to the difficulty level of getting the cappuccino just right and to contrast more heavily with a latte.
“When made in the Italian style that Schultz admires, a cappuccino and a latte are distinctly different, the former wonderfully light and tasting strongly of coffee, with the latter heavier and tasting more strongly of milk and whatever flavors are added. When the milk is not adequately foamed, however, a cappuccino ends up looking identical to a latte, and baristas around the world screw this up.”
However, the flat white does not require the same foamed appearance. Therefore, it will be easier for baristas to get it right each time. This will provide Starbucks with a cappuccino replacement option that remains distinctively different than the latte.
Cappuccino lovers have no need to worry. Starbucks notes that even if the item is not on the menu, they will continue to make the popular beverage for any customer not ready to make the move to the flat white. What do you think? Do you prefer the flat white to the cappuccino?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Justin Sullivan]