The Italian word espresso refers to a coffee being “pressed” out of the coffee machine due to its high pressure. It is also linked to the notion of a cup of coffee being made one at a time “expressly” for one person.
In Italian, Caffé means Coffee and Latte means Milk. Caffé Latte therefore literally means Milk Coffee. In Western countries we’ve tended to drop the Caffé and simply order a Latte. I can’t recount the number of stories I’ve heard of people asking for a Latte in Italy and being delivered a glass of warm milk!
Australia’s very own claim to fame, although our New Zealand neighbours fiercely debate the origin of the drink. Invention aside, the general consensus is that a growing number of people were asking for cappuccinos without the foam. So the Flat (no foam) White (with milk) was born.