Flat White vs. Latte: What’s the Difference?

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Flat Whites and Lattes are two popular milk-based espresso drinks that may seem similar at first glance. However, there are subtle differences between these beverages that affect their flavour, texture, and overall coffee experience.

In this Coffee Expert guide, we will delve into the distinctions between a Flat White and a Latte, their origins, ingredients, and how to make and enjoy them!

Origins of Flat White and Latte

Flat White

The Flat White is believed to have originated in Australia and New Zealand during the 1980s. It quickly gained popularity as a smoother and creamier alternative to the traditional Cappuccino, with a focus on the perfect balance between espresso and milk.

Latte

The Latte, short for Caffè Latte, originated in Italy and has been a staple of Italian coffee culture for centuries. The term “latte” means “milk” in Italian, highlighting the drink’s key ingredient.

Lattes are now enjoyed worldwide as a creamy and comforting coffee option.

Ingredients and Ratios: Flat White vs. Latte

Flat White

A Flat White consists of a double shot of espresso and microfoamed milk. The milk-to-espresso ratio is typically around 1:1 or 2:1, creating a balanced flavour profile.

The milk is steamed to a velvety texture, with minimal froth on top, resulting in a smooth and creamy drink.

Latte

A Latte is made with a single or double shot of espresso and steamed milk, with a milk-to-espresso ratio of approximately 3:1.

The milk is steamed to create a thicker layer of froth on top compared to a Flat White, contributing to a more substantial and creamy mouthfeel.

Flavour Profiles: Flat White vs. Latte

Flat White

The Flat White offers a balanced and robust coffee experience, with a slightly more pronounced espresso flavour compared to a Latte.

The velvety milk texture and minimal froth allow the espresso’s unique characteristics to shine through, providing a rich and full-bodied taste.

Latte

The Latte, with its larger milk-to-coffee ratio, delivers a creamier and more mellow coffee experience.

The steamed milk and froth soften the espresso’s intensity, resulting in a comforting and smooth beverage.

How to Make and Enjoy Flat Whites and Lattes

Making a Flat White:

  1. Extract a double shot of espresso using an espresso machine.
  2. Steam a portion of milk, creating a silky, velvety texture with minimal froth.
  3. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso, maintaining the desired milk-to-espresso ratio.
  4. Serve immediately.

Making a Latte:

  1. Pull a single or double shot of espresso using an espresso machine.
  2. Steam a larger portion of milk, aiming for a thicker layer of froth compared to a Flat White.
  3. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso, preserving the 3:1 milk-to-espresso ratio.
  4. Serve immediately, optionally with latte art.

Flat White vs. Latte: Which One to Choose?

When deciding between a Flat White and a Latte, consider your personal taste preferences and desired coffee experience.

If you prefer a more balanced and slightly stronger coffee flavour, a Flat White may be the better choice.

However, if you’re looking for a creamier and more comforting coffee experience, a Latte might be the ideal option for you.

Our Conclusion on the Flat White vs. Latte

Flat Whites and Lattes, though seemingly similar, offer distinct experiences for coffee enthusiasts.

Understanding the subtle differences between these two milk-based espresso drinks will help you make an informed choice when visiting your local café or experimenting at home.

Whether you prefer the bold and balanced flavour of a Flat White or the comforting and creamy taste of a Latte, these drinks showcase the versatility of espresso and the art of milk steaming.

So go ahead, explore the rich world of coffee culture, and try both a Flat White and a Latte to discover which beverage best suits your taste buds. And remember, there are countless other coffee drinks to sample and enjoy, each with their unique flavours and textures.

Embrace the subtleties of coffee culture and let your palate guide your journey through the diverse landscape of coffee beverages!