Flat White vs Latte - What to choose?

Flat White vs Latte - What to choose?

4 minute read

A latte is fan favourite among coffee lovers across the world, but not many people have heard of the less common flat white. In the Flat white vs Latte debate, most people are confused about what to choose and which one would be suitable for them. The main reason this confusion arises, is because it's a little unclear what the difference is between these two coffee drinks. When it comes down to it, you're more likely to enjoy one of these drinks much more than the other. 

The essence of a latte comes from the combination of bold, rich espresso with steamed milk. A latte is classic espresso with steamed milk added to it. It has a layer of rich milk foam on the top. Lattes can be hot or iced, and can be enjoyed at any time of the year. A latte is considered to be an extremely versatile drink and have a wide range of flavours that can be added to your drink. 

A flat white on the other hand, is an espresso drink that was first crafted by the Australians and later introduced to the rest of the world. It is similar to a latte because it is made with espresso and steamed milk. However, that is where the similarity ends. A flat white has lesser milk when compared to a latte, and is therefore stronger in taste than a latte would be. It is important to remember that a latte and a flat white have the same amount of espresso. The difference between the two also lies in the techniques in which they are made, which gives the flat white its signature microfoam.

The secret to making a flat white is microfoam. When steamed milk is aerated to form dense, small bubbles, it is called microfoam. Microfoam is poured slowly over the espresso till it reaches the last inch of the cup and then it is poured quickly to finish. Doing this leaves a white dot that is often seen on top of a flat white. 

Another key difference between a flat white and a latte is that one is easier to make at home than the other. Lattes are much easier to make at home. All you need is espresso and hot milk. If you have a milk frother, then it is ideal for making a latte. 

Making a flat white at home is different and not as easy as making a latte, but it's not entirely impossible. Since frothers makes very big bubbles, it isn't ideal to use one in order to make microfoam. If you have a milk steam wand, you can try your hand at making a flat white at home. 

Still can't decide what to order: Flat white vs Latte?

Ask yourself these questions and you should be able to choose what you want.

Do you want a strong drink?

Lattes usually have more milk which tends to calm down the bold, strong flavour of espresso. It also makes them pair better with flavoured syrups. Since flat whites have lesser milk, the espresso flavour is stronger.

I want a strong drink : Flat white; 

I want a milk drink : Latte.

Do you want a creamy foam on your coffee?

Lattes have a layer of rich foam on top which gives your drink an extra creamy mouthfeel. Flat whites on the other hand, hardly have any foam. Just steamed milk. 

I like creamy foam : Latte;

I dislike foam : Flat white.

Now that you're more familiar with the difference between a flat white and a latte, it should be easy for you to choose which of these espresso drinks you'd prefer. 

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