Flat White vs Latte: How do both Differ?

flat white vs latte (1)

Last Updated on March 16, 2023 by Marie Cooper

The fastest way to walk on air is to drink a latte or a flat white. I keep saying this, and if you’ve drunk one of these types of coffee, you’d attest to their delicious and refreshing tastes. 

Both drinks are often mixed up with each other because they look similar. And since they are the most commonly requested espresso-based coffee drinks in most cafes, it stands to reason that most coffee drink questions will revolve around these two. 

This latte vs flat white question is the one I intend to tackle in the next few moments. If you think a latte is better, stick to your guns. If you think a flat white is better, stick to your guns. If you want to know how they differ from each other, keep reading. 

Difference Between a Latte and a Flat White 

I’m going to cut right to the chase. A latte is made by mixing steamed milk with a shot of espresso. After the mixture is made, a thin layer of foam is added to the drink to complete it.  

A flat white on the other hand is made with ristretto, which is a sweet and strong espresso that is stronger than the type used in making lattes. The milk used for flat whites is heated and stretched before it’s added to the drink. 

Here is a List of other Major Differences Between Both Drinks: 

  • Flat whites are made with microfoam milk only, while lattes can be produced with any milk, whether it’s frothed, microfoam, or steamed. Microfoam milk is milk that has been foamed with a steam wand. 
  • Flat whites cannot be decorated with latte art because microfoam milk doesn’t allow for that. Lattes on the other hand can have decorations and designs on top thanks to the stronger foam provided by frothed milk. 
  • Flat whites are served in smaller cups, require less milk than a latte, and are cheaper for these reasons. Lattes are served in bigger cups, require more milk, and come at a higher price. 
  • The espresso flavor in a flat white is significantly more noticeable than the espresso flavor in a latte. This is because the extra milk in a latte dampens the espresso flavor. 
  • When you make a flat white, you produce a cup of coffee with a smooth and velvety texture. Lattes are the opposite of that, having a thin and substantially less velvety texture. 

Making a Latte vs Making a Flat White 

If you’ve been up to your eyeballs lately with coffee, you might want to visit a café to try out both drinks (if you haven’t already) or make them yourself. If you’ve chosen the latter, you’ll first need to learn how to make a ristretto or espresso as per the drink you’re making. 

A flat white needs a cup of milk to two shots of espresso. You start off by heating the milk to 150°F and making microfoam milk with it using a steam wand. Then brew two shots of espresso and mix it with the milk inside a glass bowl. 

The espresso should be poured in first and the milk added on top of it slowly, and then mixed with a spoon until its consistency is just right. 

Lattes need the same ingredients, but the ristretto is replaced with espresso and the milk temperature is a bit higher (195°F). Froth the milk after the espresso is brewed and pour it over the espresso. Voila! The steps are just as easy as the one explained previously. 

Here’s another article explaining what an Americano is and how to make one. Give it a read if you’re also curious about Americanos.  

About The Author

Scroll to Top