Flat White vs Latte

Flat White vs Latte: How Are They Different?

Milk and espresso. It’s the perfect combination, isn’t it? However, finding the ideal ratio of milk and espresso is incredibly tricky, and there’s a lot of debate about whether you should go for a latte or a flat white. In this article, we’ll clarify everything you need to know about flat white vs latte, so you can make an informed decision next time you make or order a coffee. These drinks might seem similar, but as you’ll find out, they have plenty of differences. So, let’s take a look, shall we?

What is a Flat White?

What is a Flat White

Before we can go any further, it’s a good idea to clarify what a flat white actually is. A flat white is a coffee made from espresso and steamed milk. Most baristas make a flat white with two shots of espresso and around 160ml of steamed milk.

The origin of the flat white is contested. Some people say it was first created in Australia, while others suggest that the drink was first crafted in New Zealand around 1980. Either way, the flat white quickly gained popularity and is now a worldwide staple that you can find in most coffee shops.

In terms of taste, a flat white is very strong yet still carries the silky texture of a latte. The espresso shines through but isn’t overpowering and bitter. It’sa perfect drink to try if you’re finding lattes a little weak but still want a milk-based coffee.

What is a Latte?

What is a Latte

The humble latte is undoubtedly one of the most popular caffeinated drinks in the world. Like the flat white, it’s an espresso-based drink consisting of one shot of espresso and about 240ml of steamed milk. Many baristas will also add a small amount of foamed milk on top for texture. If you’ve ever seen a barista make a milk or heart on top of a drink, it’s likely a latte.

The origin of the latte is much less disputed than that of the flat white. It first originated in Italy in the 17th Century and expanded to other nations like the UK in the 20th century. Since its conception, the latte has become one of the most popular coffees worldwide.

A latte is one of the sweetest coffees that you can try. The espresso taste is definitely still there, but it’s much less potent, and the sweetness of the milk really shines through. The texture is also pretty creamy and smooth, making for a very easygoing beverage. If you’re just looking to get into the world of coffee, a latte is an excellent choice.

Similarities Between a Flat White and Latte

A flat white and a latte are very similar in many ways. Here are the biggest similarities:

  • Espresso-Based: Both a flat white and a latte are espresso-based drinks. As such, they share the same flavor profile, just in different intensities.
  • Ingredients: Similarly, both drinks are made with the same ingredients- espresso and steamed milk. This is actually the reason why many get confused as to why the two drinks are different!
  • Serving Temperature: Both drinks are prepared in the same way and are served at around the same temperature. That being said, you can also order a latte iced!

Differences Between a Flat White and Latte

So, at first glance, lattes and flat whites are pretty similar, right? Well, there are actually a few differences:

  • Volume: Despite being made with more espresso, a flat white is much smaller than a latte.
  • Caffeine Content and Strength: Because a flat white is generally made with one more shot than a latte, it’ll contain double the amount of caffeine. The coffee flavor is also much stronger, as a flat white contains less milk to dilute the espresso.
  • Calorie Content: Because a latte has more milk than a flat white, it also contains more calories.

Which Drink Should I Order?

Which Coffee Should I Order

So, what drink should you order? Well, this is going to depend on your own preferences, but we can give you a few pointers if you’re really struggling to decide.

If you prefer stronger, more concentrated drinks, a flat white is probably going to be the better option, as it’s made with double the espresso and less milk compared to a latte. On the other hand, if you’re not a big fan of the bitterness of espresso and are looking for something a little sweeter and milder, a latte is the better option to go for.

Don’t be afraid to try both drinks and pick your favorite. You might just surprise yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Latte Stronger than a Flat White?

A latte is actually much weaker than a flat white for two reasons. Firstly, a latte uses more milk than a flat white, which dilutes the espresso and makes it taste weaker than a flat white. Secondly, a flat white uses two espresso shots, whereas a latte only uses one, leading to a softer taste.

Which has more milk: Flat white or Latte?

A latte has much more milk than a flat white. A flat white generally contains 150-160ml of milk, while a latte contains around 240ml of milk. As such, the espresso in a latte is much more diluted, leading to a weaker and milder flavor.

Why do people drink Flat white?

People drink a flat white if they love the texture and flavor profile of a latte/cappuccino but are looking for something a little stronger. A flat white is also an excellent choice for anyone counting calories, as it contains less milk than a latte.

What's healthier: Latte or Flat white?

No one coffee is healthier than the other, and both can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet. However, a flat white is the better option from a calorie standpoint. Flat whites generally contain around 110 calories, whereas a latte has around 213 calories.

Is Latte sweeter than Flat White?

Because it contains more milk and less espresso than a flat white, a latte will taste sweeter. So, if you prefer sweeter coffee, you’ll probably prefer a latte over a flat white.

Final Thoughts

So, that’s everything that you need to know about the flat white vs latte debate. Ultimately, these two drinks do look very similar at first glance. They’re both espresso-based and finished with steamed milk. However, the taste and texture vary massively between each drink. A latte is sweet, mild, balanced, and perfect for anyone who isn’t a massive fan of the bitterness of espresso but still wants to get their caffeine fix. On the other hand, a flat white is strong and complex, with a silky and smooth texture. The best way to figure out which drink you prefer is to experiment. So, be bold, and give both drinks a try next time you’re at a coffee shop!