Flat White Vs Latte: How Are They Different?

Regardless of where they live, most people in the world have a unique emotional relationship with coffee. Have you noticed it, too?  Seriously, this passion is so strong that the global coffee consumption rates continue to increase every year. In fact, about 166 million 60 kg bags were consumed worldwide in 2020/21 alone!  Maybe that’s the reason why there are so many different coffee types and brewing methods? Or maybe because?..

The point is – everyone can choose some type of coffee that they love. Some enjoy plain black coffee, and for them, the choice is always simple. However, many of our friends shared with us that they often need at least fifteen minutes to decide which coffee they want when they go to a coffee shop such as Starbucks, for example.  It is not surprising when you think about the variety of choices, is it? Like, how to decide between frappe vs. latte, for example?

Going to coffee shops, we realized that the problem is not so much what to choose. Rather, it was how to know the differences between the drinks because some appear to be the same. For example, we used to be pretty confused about flat white vs latte. So, we’ve decided to consult experienced baristas and get some answers, which we would love to share with you today!

What is Latte?

Latte or, more precisely, café latte is made with espresso as a base. An espresso shot is combined with steamed milk, and as a result, you get a creamy coffee beverage.  To make it even smoother and more attractive, people top it with a nice thin layer of milk foam.  

Latte is a shortened version of Italian “café latte.” In France, people refer to it as “café au lait” and in Spain “café con Leche”. In each of the languages, it means coffee with milk which is basically what a latte is.  

Traditionally, the latte is considered a breakfast coffee, and we can find the first traces of it in the 17th century. It originated in Italy but quickly became popular all over Europe, while in the it’s popularity exploded in the 1980s.

Latte Taste & Texture

Considering that the ratio between espresso and milk in a latte is 1:2, as you can imagine, it is a pretty creamy and milky drink. Of course, you still feel the taste of coffee. However, the sweetness of the milk prevails, so this is a good option for people just starting to drink coffee, or just like a more sweet and mild java.

What is Flat White?

Okay, so flat white coffee and latte appear to be the same thing! But are they? As many enthusiasts will tell you, they are not! So what is a flat white, then?  It is obvious that flat white is also made with espresso accompanied by steamed milk. However, comparing latte vs. flat white, you will notice that the ratio here is 2: 1 for espresso.  The funny thing about flat white is that it is becoming popular only now, despite existing for about 40 years. Origins of it are a bit nebulous because it is not clear whether its home is in Australia or New Zealand.

Flat White Taste & Texture

A taste of flat white is a taste of rich espresso with a smooth touch of milk. It is also creamy and foamy but less than a latte. The texture of this java can be described as velvety.  

And now when you know what is a flat white coffee is, it is time to see how different it is from a latte.

Latte vs. Flat White Comparison

Okay, so we learned what latte is and what flat white, right? As you noticed, although they both come with milk, these coffee beverages are pretty different. So let’s check out how is a flat white different from a latte.

Do You Want a Strong or a Chill Drink?

It is one of the first questions to ask when wishing to understand what’s the difference between a flat white and a latte.  As we already mentioned, latte comes with more milk, making it less strong and a good choice for an afternoon drink.  The base of flat white is a double espresso, so naturally, the coffee tastes much stronger.

Do You Like Creamy Microfoam or No?

Comparing flat white versus latte, you see that the latter has a thin layer of foam, while flat white doesn’t. The foam makes it creamier, so if this is what you prefer, then the latte is for you.  If you want steamed milk but have the feeling foam is too much, then opt for flat white.

How Long Do You Want Your Drink to Last?

Before you go out and buy Nespresso pods for latte, ask yourself how long you want to drink one cup of coffee!  Latte comes in large cups, so if you enjoy sipping coffee for an hour or longer, go for it. Flat white is espresso, so it comes in smaller cups and lasts a shorter time.

What Is Better – Flat White or Latte?

It is hard to say because it depends on your preferences. If you enjoy specialty coffee but have a wish for something dairy-based, then go for flat white. It allows you to experience the flavor of the beans.  But, as we said, if you want something milkier, then the latte is your go-to drink.

  Latte Flat White
Origin Italy Australia or New Zealand
Ratio Espresso:milk – 1:2 Espresso:milk – 2:1
Strength Mild Strong
Taste Milky Coffee taste
Service 10-20 ounces 6 ounces

How to Make These Drinks at Home?

It is generally simple to make both of these drinks at home. Now we will see how to do it and whether you should use frothed milk or steamed milk.

How to make Latte at Home

  • Make a shot of espresso and pour it into a 12-ounce mug.
  • Pour the milk into a slightly angled frother.
  • Submerge a steam wand and turn it on.
  • Make sure to keep the wand in the same position. Work with it until the temperature of the milk reaches 150°F.
  • Add the frothed milk to espresso.

How to Make Flat White at Home

  • Make double espresso and set it aside.
  • Steam the milk with a steamer until it reaches 130-140°F.
  • To make it velvety, thump on the pitcher and swirl the milk gently.
  • Add milk to the espresso.


That’s all for today, folks! Now you know the difference between flat white vs. latte, and you can appear as real coffee aficionados! We are sure that they will be impressed!  Both of these coffees are phenomenal, so it is a challenge to say which one is better. Thus, the choice is entirely up to you! So which one do you prefer?

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