Flat White vs. Latte – Which Will Win Your Heart?

Halime Yılmaz

11/27/2023

Picture a typical day where we throw you a simple question: What happens when espresso meets milk?

The answer isn't as clear as you might think, and that's because there are lots of possibilities to fill that blank.

This ambiguity can make the world of espresso-based drinks seem confusing, but we're here to clarify it all. We talked about Flat White vs Cappuccino before.

Among hundreds of coffee types, two often get tangled up in confusion: latte vs flat white.

Some even think that the flat white is the small version of the latte, but that's far from the truth.

So, let’s make it clear now. In this blog, you will learn everything you wonder about cafe latte vs flat white:

  • flat white vs latte caffeine
  • flat white vs latte calories
  • flat white vs latte which is stronger?

latte and flat whıte

What is the difference between a flat white and a latte?

A flat white and a latte are both espresso-based coffees with steamed milk, but they are different in terms of milk-to-espresso ratio and texture.

A flat white has a higher coffee-to-milk ratio, resulting in a stronger espresso flavor and a velvety microfoam texture due to its shorter milk steaming process. In contrast, a latte has more steamed milk, a creamier and milder coffee flavor, and a thicker layer of frothed milk on top.

A flat white offers a more intense coffee, while a latte offers a smoother and creamier milkiness.

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Origin

The flat white and latte both have their roots in Australia and New Zealand. You decide.

New Zealand says Derek Townsend invented it in 1984 at DKF Cafe, where he could supposedly make 1,500 flat whites in an hour—an incredible feat.

In contrast, Australia claims Fraser McInnes coined the term "flat white" in 1989 to describe a poorly frothed cappuccino at Wellington's Cafe Bodega. But we may never know which story is accurate.

They were initially invented in this region but have since gained popularity worldwide.

The term "flat white" is believed to have originated in Australia or New Zealand, while the "latte" comes from the Italian word for milk.

Prepare

The preparation of latte vs flat white sets them apart.

A flat white starts with a single or double shot of espresso, and the milk used is steamed to create microfoam. This results in a creamy yet velvety texture, with the espresso flavor standing out.

A latte, on the other hand, consists of a shot of espresso topped with steamed milk, often finished with a layer of frothed milk. This extra milk creates a smoother and creamier drink with a less pronounced coffee flavor compared to a flat white.

Flavor

The flavor profile of cafe latte vs flat white is a significant difference.

A flat white leans toward a bolder coffee taste because it has a higher coffee-to-milk ratio, allowing the espresso's flavors to shine through. But a latte offers a milder coffee taste due to its larger quantity of milk, resulting in a creamier and sweeter overall taste.

Is There a Difference In Size?

While there isn't a strict rule, lattes are often served in taller glasses with a thick layer of frothed milk on top, whereas flat whites are presented in smaller cups with thinner foam layers.

Caffeine

Both flat whites and lattes have espresso as their base, so the caffeine content is similar unless you choose a double shot in a latte, which would provide a bit more caffeine.

The milk ratio also plays a role in determining flat white vs latte caffeine when comparing drinks of the same size.

Here's flat white vs latte caffeine:

Flat White typically contains two espresso shots, each with around 68mg of caffeine, resulting in a total caffeine content of approximately 136 mg per flat white.

A latte is usually made with one shot of espresso, which also has around 68 mg of caffeine. But, some lattes can be made with two espresso shots, which would result in a caffeine content ranging from 68 to 136 mg, depending on the size and the number of shots used.

Calories

On average, a flat white contains approximately 120 to 160 calories. A 240ml latte typically contains around 120 to 220 calories, depending on the specific preparation and milk choice. Lattes made with skim milk or alternative milk options will have fewer calories.

Which Should You Pick?

So which coffee should you choose? Cafe latte vs flat white? Flat white vs latte which is stronger? All we can say is that it's all about your personal coffee preferences and what flavor and texture you enjoy the most.

Do you like strong or milder coffee?

If you like a stronger coffee, a flat white may be your choice due to its higher coffee-to-milk ratio. On the other hand, if you enjoy a milder coffee taste with a creamier texture, a latte could be a better option.

Do you enjoy creamier coffee?

Lattes tend to be creamier due to their higher milk content, while flat whites offer a smoother microfoam texture with less milk. If you like creaminess, go for a latte; if you prefer a more balanced texture with a coffee emphasis, go for a flat white.

If you like chill coffee, you can consider: iced flat white vs iced latte. But which one should you pick?

So, if you like a smoother and more balanced cold coffee experience with a bit more coffee, the iced flat white might be your choice.

But if you enjoy a creamier and milder cold coffee, the iced latte could be more enjoyable for you.

We are sure that you should pick Traum coffee beans for the best latte vs flat white.

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References

  • https://www.baristainstitute.com/blog/jori-korhonen/may-2022/latte-vs-flat-white-what-difference
  • https://www.lorespresso.com/en_gb/difference-latte-cappuccino-flat-white
  • https://coffeehero.com.au/blogs/news/flat-white-vs-latte-is-there-any-difference
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