Latte VS Flat White: What’s The Difference?

For all devout coffee lovers, the question “is there really a difference between a latte and a flat white” is like nails on a chalkboard. Each coffee is unique in flavour and particular formulation. Whilst a latte is known pretty much worldwide, the flat white is its lesser-known cousin, so to avoid confusion and help you to understand what your coffee preference is, let’s finally get to the bottom of, latte or flat white, what actually is the difference? 

What is A Latte?

A latte is made up of the ratio, ⅓ rich espresso, ⅔ milk and then topped with a thin layer of foam at the top. Although this popular beverage has an Italian name, it originated in America back in the 1950s, it can now be made from your very own coffee machine with freshly ground coffee beans. The latte is usually served in a glass of around 240ml in size but is in fact quite the versatile drink. Though it has the basic formula of 1 part espresso, and 2 parts milk, this can be doubled and iced to form the iced latte which is often larger in size than its hot counterpart. Today, there is also the piccolo latte, an Australian invention, which follows the same formula as the latte, but rather than being served in a 240ml glass, it is served in a 114ml glass. Nowadays, various cafes in many countries are in the practice of adding flavour to the beverage to make it more of a speciality drink, creating a drink like the vanilla latte, rather than simply the standard kind. A latte is perfect for those days where you want great flavour and a little caffeine kick, but you’re planning on having a couple, so you can’t be too over-caffeinated. A fantastic companion to pair with a day of emails.

What Is A Flat White?

As previously mentioned, the flat white initially seems very similar to the latte, but this milk-based coffee has several differences. Firstly, the drink is a double espresso, as opposed to just one shot, and whilst it is still ⅔ milk, it is served traditionally in a cup around the size of 150-180ml, giving it a stronger flavour and ideal for the caffeine lovers who love the taste of strong coffee but are still wanting a little bit of milk so they can slowly sip on their morning commute. Now, when it comes to foam, a latte has a distinctive layer as part of its make-up, latte’s are in fact so synonymous with the foam top that latte art is now a major phenomenon amongst baristas and coffee lovers alike. But, what about a flat white?  The flat white is served with either no milk or with steamed milk that has been aerated to the point that it makes a small, dense, bubbly foam. And, one key difference is that whilst the latte calls America its first home, the flat white is an Australian invention. The flat white is the incredible partner of the morning meeting; when you really want to enjoy the flavour and stronger taste of your coffee, and need something a little stronger to really get you going first thing in the morning.

Which One Should You Try?

There are pros to both incredible options. When you shimmy over to your office’s automatic coffee machine, a latte is a great option. Automatic coffee machines give an incredible and consistent result each time; you just push a button and wait. But, there’s really no hands-on work, so in order to get that special microfoam, using a semi-automatic machine is likely a better option if you’re wanting to get that perfectly rich flat white, as you can play around with the milk frother in order to perfect your skill level. 

Coffee of all shades and sizes is incredible. From the espresso to the mocha, to the flat white, there is a flavour and a strength to suit everybody. So whether you’re opting for a twist on the classic latte by making it iced, or you’re going for that smooth and strong flat white, you’ll be ready to take on your day, alert and excited for what is ahead.

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