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What Makes Flat White And Latte Different?


Life is beautiful, but do you know what makes it more beautiful? A cup of coffee!!! If you arrive at this article, I am sure that you are certainly a coffee lover. So let’s talk about coffee, shall we? Coffee has been around for centuries. It started in the 15th century in Yemen and has become one of the most favorite beverages of all time. 

The present-day, everyone drinks coffee to keep themselves motivated and productive. It gradually becomes a habit and a routine that you cannot start a day without it. Some of us love homemade coffee and some of us prefer going to a coffee shop to get one. It is apparent that we all are addicted to the nutty flavor and the aroma of roasted coffee and we love creating new flavors into it by adding milk, sugar, cream, and even chocolate.

However, do you know what is the difference between flat white and latte? It looks similar yet different and I am sure that we all are confused sometimes. If you are looking for the exact description, this is specifically for you. This article will guide you through the differences between flat white and latte that may change your mind for your next cup of coffee !!!


1. What is flat white?

Flat white is a type of coffee that is creamy and served hot. Some people call it “mini latte”, but flat white and latte are not the same at all. It is made by mixing espresso and steamed milk which creates a strong flavor with a thin layer form of milk. It is created to fill custom er’s needs with a “flat” flavor. However, the taste of the expresso can be different according to the types of coffee beans and the roasting result. The milk can be in a foam layer or a steamed one. Normally, steamed milk is used for decoration and the appearance itself is quite attractive. 

On top of that, flat white is still a new type of coffee that just hit the market. It is still not sure whether it’s originally from Australia or New Zealand. However, flat white is quite popular in the US and UK as well. It has been said that flat white started around the 1980s. Flat white is created for those who love espresso but prefer something lighter or a thin layer of milk. Flat white is served hot with decorations. Talented baristas in the world love creating various styles with the steam milk in a cup that simply attracts customers. Additionally, this type of coffee can be made simply at home as well. You can find the recipe below.

2. How to make flat white?

The flat white recipe is quite convenient. The most important elements that you need are brewed coffee and steamed milk. Here are the additional ingredients: 18g of ground espresso, 100ml of milk, and your favorite cup which can contain 150 to 200ml. 

First of all, make your coffee by putting it in your coffee maker or using a piece of traditional equipment. If you prefer something easier, a pack of instant espresso coffee can work as well but the taste will be different. 

Secondly, warm your milk with a steamer at the temperature around 50-55 degree celsius. If you don’t have a steamer, you can just heat the milk until it is warm but not bubbling in the pot and then use a whisk or an electric mixer to foam it up. However, it does not have a beautiful foam on your coffee but it works as well. 

Third, pour the hot espresso into your cup and then pour the steamed milk steadily around 3 to 4 centimetres from the cup. When it is increasing, gently aim to the centre of the cup and tilt it to create a beautiful thin foam. It may take several tries to create a perfect surface but remember that practice makes things perfect!!!

3. What is a latte?

What is Latte?

Now let’s talk about the latte. The word “latte” is from Italian as “Cafellatte” which means milk coffee. This drink is quite similar to flat coffee because of the 2 main ingredients. It is made of strong espresso and steamed milk. However, the process and the taste will make you indecisive. To be exact, a cup of latte has 3 layers, the base is the freshly brewed espresso, the second is steamed milk, and the third is a foam layer of milk which can be seen on the surface. Just like flat white, a latte is a cup full of magic and art. Many talented baristas love showing their additional skill in the cup by creating many types of pictures which look too satisfying and pretty to drink. 

With the Italian name translated, it is obvious that latte is originally from Italy. The English word was used around the 1980s as well but the recipe of coffee and milk is known to be used longer than that. However, the latte recipe seems to be much more popular because of the decorations by pouring the milk into a cup. It expresses both flavour and pretty look on the surface also that customers tend to enjoy it more than normal coffee with just milk pouring. A latte can be served hot or cold depending on your preference, but if you love an extra attraction on your cup, hot latte will be your choice. You can find the recipe of a latte below. 

4. How to make a latte?

How to make a latte?

Let’s jump onto the recipe of a latte. It is quite simple but it takes patience and practice. The 2 most important elements are a one or double shot of espresso around 8 ounces and steamed milk. Here is how you can make a perfect cup of latte within 10 minutes. 

First of all, choose your favorite coffee cup that can contain up to 12 ounces. Then, make your fresh and hot espresso about 2 ounces and pour it in your cup. You can use one or two shots depending on your preference. After that, grab your milk about 8 ounces and pour it into a frothing pitcher. At this stage, you have to carefully watch the milk in order to create a beautiful form. Angle the pitcher a little and watch the tip of the wand. Make sure that the foam of the milk is tiny and not too much. When the milk temperature increases up to 140 to 150 degree fahrenheit or it is hot enough that you can hold it within 3 seconds, stop the process immediately. Now grab your cup of espresso and pour the milk gently in a slow motion and the foam should be around 3 inches on the surface. Now your latte is done and enjoy!!!

5. What are the differences?

The taste


The ingredients of flat white and latte are the same but surprisingly, the taste is what differentiates them. Flat white contains much more espresso in a cup which you can taste the natural flavour of roasted and freshly brewed coffee. With a thin layer of steamed milk, it gives a highlight taste to your espresso. If you prefer dark coffee, you can add two shots as well. The amount of milk does not really affect the espresso at all. To be exact, if you think espresso is boring, flat white is the best one to go to.

On the other hand, a latte can be served both hot and cold. It does contain espresso and milk but the layers are not the same. The espresso is the base of the drink that gives a nutty flavour. If you prefer a dark taste, you can add another shot, too. The second layer after the espresso is the steamed milk. However, the steamed milk does not take away the espresso flavour at all but your cup of coffee tends to taste lighter and fresher. With a thick layer of frothed milk on top, you will enjoy the extra milky flavour along with the espresso. This can be served with sugar or cream as well. The latte is known to be an upgraded version of cappuccino. If you think a cappuccino is quite boring, then a latte is the best choice. 


As mentioned above, flat white and a latte can be spotted immediately because of the layers. A flat white is normally served in a hot cup with two layers where espresso is the base and the steamed milk on top. A latte can be served hot or cold depending on your preference. The espresso is the base as well but there are two more layers of milk including steamed milk and frothed milk on top. 



Your cup of coffee is also an art. In most modern and fancy coffee shops, they love putting their talents and creativity into a cup of coffee. This way, they can attract more customers into their shops and encourage creativity along with barista skills at the same time. 

If we talk about the size of the cup, this marks a big difference between both of them clearly. Flat white cup is more like a jug which is for hot beverages. A latte is more like a tall or medium height glass which is both for hot and cold. Customers can also request for the size of their latte as well.



Because of the similarities of these two types of coffee, I am certain that you will ask which one is the best choice for you. Well, it is true that it only needs two ingredients to make a perfect cup of coffee, but the taste and the appearance will mark its uniqueness. 

Let’s start with the espresso. Flat white is a substitute for espresso or a better version of an espresso. If you love the strong and dark flavor but you just need a highlight taste of milk, a flat white is for you. However, if you prefer something lighter, a latte is the best. Because of the amount of milk in the latte, you will get to taste well-mixed milk and espresso at the same time which is not overwhelming. 

Another thing to consider is texture. Because of the larger amount of espresso in a cup of flat white, the texture itself will be more liquid. A latte is described to be creamy and lighter because it has more milk than espresso.

As a coffee lover, I love starting my day with a cup of coffee. If you are new to this, I highly recommend you to give it a try as well. Not only it gives you power to get your work done, it has so many benefits that will make you choose coffee over other drinks. You can also check out our article about Coffee Interesting facts that will brighten up your day and if you need a reason to start consuming coffee, we have tons waiting for you!! 

In addition, flat white and latte are both well-known among coffee drinkers. Even though both of them are made of only espresso and milk, the process and the layers make flat white and latte different and unique. Without a doubt, some people tend to be confused with these two. Some think that they are the same type regardless the size of the cups. However, both of them have their own uniqueness and specialty that catches customer’s attention always. 

On top of that, for those people who are new to coffee, I would also recommend a latte since it is the best to start with. But if you are a coffee addict who always has to consume dark coffee, a flat white should be in your routine. To be exact, the amount of caffeine seems to be quite similar. The difference is the taste that may trick your brain to think that a latte is less caffeine. So, have you decided which one will be your favorite yet?