flat white vs latte

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Nothing brings out the inner coffee lover like a debate about which type of coffee is better: flat white vs latte.

The truth is that these two beverages are very different from one another.

In this post, not only will we explore what a flat white and a latte are, but I’ll go over the aspects of each drink that make them different from one another.

Ready for a talk about lattes?

What is a Flat White?

A flat white is a type of coffee beverage that looks like a latte, but with no foam on top.

Oftentimes, espresso-based drinks will be topped with foam.

Not only does this look visually pleasing, it adds more to the drink as well as an additional layer of flavor.

For those who know how to make lattes and macchiatos, this type of drink can be quite easy to make and quite popular.

This drink’s simplicity is likely why it has earned the name “flat white” and not “latte” or even “macchiato”.

So, a flat white is usually a double shot of espresso, hot water, and milk.

The most popular way to make a flat white is by using a double shot of espresso, steaming the milk with a pass-through hot water and then adding the milk to the cup.

If you’re the kind to enjoy a fancy double-shot espresso drink but are tired of the same old macchiato, try making yourself a flat white.

What is a Latte?

A latte is a type of coffee beverage, made with espresso and steamed milk, but with foam on top.

This drink offers an additional layer of flavor to the coffee drinker.

A latte is typically made using double shots of espresso, so it can pack quite a punch.

Latte drinkers tend to have more caffeine than those who drink other types of coffee beverages do.

This doesn’t mean that everyone who enjoys lattes drinks large amounts of them (or does it?).

What I find most intriguing about this drink is that it has a creamy texture and flavor with a slightly sweet taste.

The most famous coffeehouse in the world, Starbucks, makes lattes using steamed milk with foam on top.

This drink is quite popular and is enjoyed by many people.

Now that we know what a flat white and a latte are, we can go over some of the differences between the two drinks.

Flat White vs Latte | How are they different?

Let’s explore the major yet subtle differences between these two coffee beverages.

1. Size

The size is one of the major differences between a latte and a flat white.

The latte is typically taller in size than the flat white, and in some cases even larger than a cappuccino is in height.

A flat white will match up more with the size of a cappuccino, although it will be larger than a cappuccino is in width.

In other words, you can get large lattes or small flat whites— it all depends on your preference for how large you want your drink to be.

2. Milk/Water Ratio

In a flat white, you will almost always have a 1 to 1 ratio of milk to water.

In a latte, this ratio can vary from drinker to drinker—usually somewhere between 1.5 and 2 to 1—but typically closer to the 2 to 1 side.

You can also end up with more foam at the top of a latte than you do at the top of a flat white.

This is because of their different ratios.

3. Acidity/Bitter Taste

Because the ratio of hot coffee vs cold milk is different for each beverage, so is their acidity and taste as well as how bitter they are.

Acidity and bitter taste are the things that give these two types of drinks their unique taste as well as their unique moniker (flat white vs latte).

4. Flavors

Flavors can be quite different between a flat white and a latte.

While both drinks offer different flavors, the latte tends to feature bolder flavors than those found in a flat white.

This is likely due to the fact that the coffee beverage will be topped with chocolate and/or whipped cream, which oftentimes tends to mask the flavor of the coffee itself.

A flat white combines caffeine and coffee into one drink, so its flavor typically comes across milder without any added ingredients such as chocolate or whipped cream.

5. Texture/Consistency

The texture of a latte is different from that of a flat white—in fact, they are quite different from one another due to their different methods of preparation.

In a latte, you end up with a drink that is quite creamy with a foamy texture on top.

In a flat white, the coffee drinker is offered a less dense drink with a smooth texture.

The average person will say that the latte’s texture is creamier and denser, which makes it difficult to drink more than one at a time.

Flat White vs Latte | When Should You Order a Latte?

When ordering either a flat white or a latte, the size of the drink itself is what you’ll be ordering.

In some cases, one of these two drinks might offer more flavor or caffeine than the other.

In other cases, however, each drink will have equal amounts of caffeine and flavor. In some cases, it might be entirely up to personal preference.

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question—it’s all about your taste buds and your coffee style preferences.

If you are at a coffee shop that isn’t well equipped to handle the extra work needed when making latte drinks, then you might want to order a latte there.

On the other hand, if you are visiting a place where it is well-equipped to make both types of drinks in the same amount of time, then pick your poison—either pour in more coffee or add chocolate or whipped cream to your drink!

Flat White vs Latte | Which One Is Better?

As with all things in life, there is no “better” when it comes to these two coffee drinks. People have their own opinions on which one they prefer.

So, let’s take a quick look at what people who have tried both have to say about this.

Coffee drinkers who prefer lattes tend to be people who are looking for something sweeter, even if it is just a slight hint of sweetness in their drink.

Those who enjoy lattes tend to generally be coffee drinkers who also love the taste of chocolate in their drinks.

The people who enjoy flat whites are typically coffee drinkers who enjoy the bolder flavors in their drinks without the need for added ingredients such as chocolate or whipped cream.

Like with any drink, you can always add whatever ingredients you want to your drink—it is all up to your preference and what your taste buds prefer.

How to Make Your Own Lattes

Now that you know the difference between a flat white and a latte, here are some tips for making your own latte at home.

Espresso Shot Brewing Instructions

Like in most coffee drinks, the type of coffee beans is what matters when it comes to brewing an espresso shot.

You can either use coffee beans that are traditionally used in espresso shots, or you can use your favorite coffee beans in order to create your own flavors.

To brew an espresso shot, you need an espresso machine with a portafilter basket.

It is good to have the proper equipment when it comes to brewing espresso shots so that you get quality results every time.

When brewing an espresso shot, you will only be using a fine-grind setting in order to achieve the proper consistency.

This is important when it comes to making lattes because the consistency must be right in order to achieve a good drink.

  • Prep your coffee grounds: Fill your filter basket with high-quality coffee grounds, then tamp them down into the basket properly. We recommend filling it around one-half full or even half that much. This way, you will end up with a good amount of espresso in each drink without wasting too much coffee.
  • Let it brew: Once you have filled your filter basket with grounds and tamped them down appropriately, brew your espresso shot using a medium-high temperature. If you want the shot to be more carbonated, then crank up the temperature even higher.
  • Add milk: Adding milk to a latte makes it more creamy and creates even more body. Many people like to add whole milk to their latte because it results in a thicker, richer drink that they enjoy. You can add any type of milk you like when making lattes at home; however, we recommend getting whole milk because it tends to create richer lattes when compared to other types of non-whole milk.
  • Froth Your Milk: Follow the instructions below.

Milk Frothing Instructions

The amount of froth you want in your latte will depend on personal preference and skill level.

You can either choose to use an automatic frother or a manual one in order to get the type of foam you want in your drink.

If you are using an automatic frother, then prepare it according to its instructions.

If you are using a manual frother, you’ll need the following items in order to do so:

  • Milk
  • Faucet aerator kit for your faucet
  • Aerator tip kit in order to create tight bubbles in your milk when making lattes at home
  • Electric hand mixer (optional, but useful)

First, fill up the pitcher with whole milk.

You can use any type of milk that you want; however, we recommend using whole milk because it creates better foam when compared to non-whole.

Next, attach the aerator kit to your faucet. It should fit perfectly in order to make sure that it doesn’t get damaged during use.

Next, attach the aerator tip kit in order to create tight bubbles in your milk when making lattes at home.

Lastly, make sure that you apply heat to your hand mixer by turning the mixer on and heating it up for a few seconds before using it on your latte while pulling the trigger on top of it while mixing.

Final Thoughts on Flat White vs Latte

With this information, you are now able to tell the difference between a flat white and a latte.

Also, you are now knowledgeable in how to make your own lattes at home in the comfort of your home.

This way, you don’t have to leave your house just to get an amazing drink that is sure to satisfy any latte lover.

Once you have mastered making lattes at home, it becomes easy for you to enjoy them every single day without spending too much money or time on them.

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