A warm, comforting cup of your favorite coffee is the perfect way to start the day. And when it comes to coffee, there are endless choices – each with its own unique taste and characteristics.
Two popular choices are flat white and latte, both known for their delicious, creamy taste and frothy texture.
While they may seem similar at first glance, there are vital differences in the amount and type of milk used, the taste, and the flavors.
A flat white has a higher proportion of espresso and is made with steamed milk that has a creamy texture. A latte, on the other hand, has a higher proportion of milk and is typically made with steamed milk and foam that has a lighter and airy texture.
So, let’s dive in and explore the world of flat white vs latte!
Whether you’re a die-hard flat white fan or a latte lover, understanding the differences between these two popular coffee drinks can help you make the perfect choice for your taste buds.
What is Flat White?
A flat white is a coffee beverage that originated in Australia and New Zealand in the 1980s. It is made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk, which is poured over the espresso to create a smooth, velvety texture.
The ratio of espresso to milk is typically higher than in a latte, resulting in a stronger coffee taste.
A typical size of Flat white coffee is around 200 mL and it is served in a small, ceramic cup.
What is Latte?
Latte, short for “caffe latte,” is a popular espresso-based beverage that originated in Italy in the 1950s. It is made with espresso and steamed milk, with a layer of foam on top.
The milk in a latte is steamed until it’s frothy and airy, which gives the drink a sweeter, creamier taste than a flat white.
Latte is often flavored with syrups or spices like vanilla, caramel, or cinnamon and served in tall glasses or larger ceramic cups.
Difference between Flat White and Latte
The main difference between a flat white and a latte is in the ratio of espresso to milk, the texture of the milk, and the size of the beverage. Let’s explore the differences in detail.
The amount and type of milk
Flat white is made with a double shot of espresso and less milk than a latte, usually about 4 ounces. The milk in a flat white is steamed until it’s silky and smooth, with a thin layer of microfoam on top.
Latte, on the other hand, is made either with a single shot or double shot espresso and more milk than a flat white, usually about 6-8 ounces. The milk in a latte is steamed until it’s frothy and airy, with a small layer of thick foam on top.
The type of milk used also plays a crucial role in the taste and texture of both drinks. Whole milk is the most commonly used in flat white and latte, but some coffee shops offer non-dairy alternatives such as soy, almond, or oat milk.
These alternatives can add a nutty or creamy flavor to the drink and are suitable for those who are lactose intolerant or prefer a vegan option. However, it’s essential to note that the choice of milk can also affect the overall calorie count of the drink.
Method of Preparation of Latte vs Flat White
Latte can be easily prepared at home with any milk frother but for flat whites, you typically need a steaming wand and pitcher.
The special thing about Flat white is a white colored flat layer of microform on top thus the name flat white.
In order to make a microform, you need a steaming wand since it creates a velvety milk texture with a thin foam layer. A milk frother, on the other hand, creates large aerated bubbles of milk, which are ideal for lattes but not for flat whites.
The term “microfoam” describes a quality of frothed milk in which the bubbles are so small and so numerous that they can’t be seen, but they can be felt on the palateSeriouseats
The taste and flavors of flat white vs Latte
When it comes to taste and flavor, the amount of milk used in a coffee beverage can play a significant role.
Latte, with its higher milk-to-espresso ratio, generally has a milder coffee flavor and a sweeter taste compared to a flat white. This is because the frothy and airy texture of the milk in a latte coats the taste buds, giving a more rounded flavor profile.
On the other hand, the flat white has a richer and creamier taste because of the silky texture of the steamed milk. The higher espresso-to-milk ratio in flat white results in a stronger coffee flavor that is more prominent in every sip.
The type of milk used can also affect the taste of both drinks. For example, using whole milk in a latte can give it a creamier taste, while using almond milk in a flat white can result in a nuttier flavor profile.
Latte is generally flavored with syrups or spices, and a flat white is usually served plain to allow the coffee and milk flavors to shine. However, adding a sprinkle of cocoa powder or a drizzle of caramel syrup can add an extra layer of flavor to a flat white without overpowering the coffee taste.
Personally, I prefer Flat white over Latte because of its rich Espresso forward taste.
“With a latte and cappuccino, the milk is steamed and poured on the espresso shots and topped with a layer of foam (the amount of foam differs based on the beverage). With a flat white, the milk is aerated to create thin layer of foam—microfoam—which is carefully poured over and combined throughout the beverage to allow the espresso to rise to the top.”Sprudge
The calories and caffeine content
As both Latte and Flat white are prepared with double-shot Espresso the amount of caffeine is almost the same which is around 120-130 mg.
A typical 12 oz serving of Latte has around 141 calories while a 6 oz serving of flat white has around 83 calories
It is important to keep in mind that if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, opting for non-dairy milk or a smaller size can help cut down on both.
Experimenting with different milk types and sizes can help you find the perfect balance of flavor, texture, and nutrition that suits your needs.
Flat White vs Latte, So What’s Better?
Whether flat white or latte is better for you depends on your personal taste and preferences. If you prefer a strong coffee flavor and a rich, creamy texture, flat white may be the best choice for you.
If you prefer a sweeter, creamier taste and a frothy, airy texture, the Latte may be more to your liking. Ultimately, both drinks have their unique flavors and characteristics, and the best choice comes down to personal preference.
As a coffee lover myself, I enjoy all espresso-based drinks, but I do have a slight preference for flat whites. I love the strong espresso flavor and smooth texture that comes with the perfect ratio of milk to espresso. It’s the perfect pick-me-up for a busy morning or a mid-afternoon slump.
However, when I’m in the mood for something sweeter and creamier, I reach for a latte. I love how the frothy milk blends with the espresso, creating a light and airy texture. It’s a great choice for a relaxing weekend brunch or a cozy evening treat.
At the end of the day, it’s all about personal preference. Whether you prefer a flat white or a latte, there’s no denying that both drinks are delicious and offer their unique taste and experience.
So why not try both and see which one you like best?
Discover other interesting comparisons
- Iced Latte vs Iced Coffee
- Latte vs Cappuccino
- Americano vs Black Coffee
- Mocha vs Latte
- Cafe Au Lait vs Latte
What’s healthier Latte or flat white?
Both latte and flat white can be healthy choices if made with low-fat milk and consumed in moderation. However, flat white tends to have a slightly lower calorie and fat content due to its smaller serving size and less frothy texture.
Is flat white stronger than latte?
Flat white and latte both use the same amount of espresso shots, so the caffeine content is the same. However, flat white tends to have a stronger coffee flavor due to its higher ratio of espresso to milk, while latte has a sweeter and creamier taste due to the more frothy milk.