In just a few short weeks, American Starbucks customers will have to say “ciao” to the cappuccino one final time.
After more than 30 years of listing the cappuccino on its menu, the coffee giant is phasing out this mainstay in favor of the latest, hippest trend in espresso-infused beverages: the flat white. The cappuccino has already been axed from Starbucks locations in New York, San Francisco and Seattle, with more locations to make the change very soon.
According to the Daily Mail, the flat white, a favorite among the hipster crowd, consists of a double shot of espresso and heated whole milk. Best described as a cross between the latte and the cappuccino, the flat white has a sweeter taste and doesn’t have as much foam as the cappuccino.
Each year, people across the globe consume an incredible 14 billion espresso-based coffee drinks. Since its introduction into Starbucks’ U.S. stores less than half a year ago, the flat white is already outselling the cappuccino, the UK Telegraph reports.
The flat white, which originated in boutique coffee shops in Australia and New Zealand, represents a “new wave” of craft coffees produced with care and quality, aficionados say. The drink’s stark simplicity is definitely a major change from the cappuccino, which was served with heaps of sugary flavor shots and other additives that drowned out the taste of the coffee itself.
“The cappuccino is a relic of when the whole world aspired to drink coffee Italian-style,” Digital brand consultant Peter Thompson said. “It has come to represent the mass consumerization 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.”
For Starbucks enthusiasts who can’t bear the thought of drinking something without the “-appuccino” suffix, fear not: the chain’s frozen Frappuccino isn’t going anywhere. And technically, you can still order a cappuccino the next time you visit Starbucks, and the barista will make it for you — it just won’t be on the menu.