The flat white is stronger due to its coffee-to-milk proportion. A latte is served with steamed milk, as well as a layer of foamed milk on top. The flat white does have a layer of steamed milk on the top too, however, this is a much thinner, ‘flat’, layer.
There are a few differences between a latte and flat white, one of those being the milk quantity, as well as the size of the drink overall. The flat white is known as a no-nonsense drink, it is the perfect drink for those who are looking for a coffee with dairy but still retain the strong taste of coffee.
Flat whites are the coffee drink that is better suited to coffee drinkers who prefer a velvety coffee that doesn’t have such a strong taste of coffee and like a lot of smooth, creamy milk. Lattes are usually ordered with syrups and sweeteners too.
Yes, there is a very obvious difference in size between these two drinks. A latte usually comes in a cup which holds around 240ml, and a flat white is usually around 160ml. The difference in size is not due to the amount of coffee, as both of these contain the same amount of espresso, but the milk quantity is vastly different.
The ratio of coffee to milk is much higher for a flat white, than it is for a latte. To prepare a flat white add 1/3 double shot espresso, and then 2/3 of milk. The steamed milk needs to be added with a micro layer, but a stiff foam layer that is found on a latte needs to be avoided.
To make a latte the ratio is 1/3 of a double espresso shot, and 2/3 of steamed milk, with a 1cm thick foam layer on the top. This layer on top is what makes the milk quantity much different to that of a flat white.
If you are a strong coffee drinker, then a flat white would be more appropriate for you. Lattes use a lot more milk, which dilutes the flavour of the espresso, which is why lattes are better paired with syrups and sweeteners. However, flat whites use less milk, meaning that the taste of the espresso is sharper and, therefore, lasts longer. It is uncommon to order a flat white with any syrups or sweeteners due to its sharp espresso palate.
There are many elements that go into ordering the right drink for you. Especially when it comes to starting your day off the right way. However, there isn’t one coffee that is better than the other, it is simply down to personal preference and taste.
Lattes are better to sip on for longer periods of time, as they are served in larger quantities. Whereas flat whites are served smaller, so tend to get colder much more quickly.
There you have it. Hopefully, now that you know what the difference between a flat white and a latte is, it will make your next coffee order a little bit easier. Want to compare more coffees and understand their differences? Why not take a look at our article about the differences between a latte and a cappuccino, next?