What Is A Flat White?

What Is A Flat White?

flat white is a popular coffee drink that combines espresso and steamed milk with a velvety layer of microfoam. It is known for its rich and creamy texture, making it a favorite among coffee lovers. The drink typically contains a double shot of espresso and is topped with about 130 ml (4 fl oz) of steamed milk, creating a perfect balance of strong coffee flavor and smooth milkiness. The velvety microfoam on top adds a touch of sweetness and enhances the overall mouthfeel. Flat whites can be enjoyed in ceramic coffee cups or heat-proof glass cups. They can be ordered at coffee shops or made at home using an espresso machine or instant coffee. Whether you prefer a café flat white, a homemade flat white, or a barista-made flat white, this delightful coffee drink is sure to satisfy your cravings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Flat white is a coffee drink made with espresso, steamed milk, and a layer of microfoam.
  • It has a rich and creamy texture, with a perfect balance of coffee flavor and smooth milkiness.
  • Flat whites can be enjoyed at coffee shops or made at home using an espresso machine or instant coffee.
  • It is a popular choice for coffee lovers who prefer a strong and velvety coffee experience.
  • Try a flat white in a café or explore making your own at home for a barista-level experience.

Flat White Origin

The origin of the flat white is a subject of debate, with both Australia and New Zealand claiming to have invented the drink. In Australia, the flat white is said to have been created in 1986, while New Zealand claims it was invented in 1989. Regardless of its exact origins, the flat white is deeply rooted in the coffee culture of both countries, which are known for their emphasis on quality ingredients and dedication to coffee excellence. The flat white has since gained popularity worldwide and has become a symbol of Antipodean coffee culture.

Understanding The Cappuccino vs. The Latte

To fully appreciate the unique qualities of a flat white, it’s important to understand the differences between a cappuccino and a latte, two other popular coffee drinks.

A cappuccino is traditionally made with equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. It has a thicker layer of foam compared to a latte and a stronger coffee flavor.

A latte, on the other hand, is made with a double shot of espresso and a larger quantity of steamed milk, resulting in a milder coffee taste and a creamier texture.

While both the cappuccino and the latte have their own distinct characteristics, the flat white offers a unique balance of strong espresso and creamy microfoam.


Espresso1/3Strong coffee flavor
Steamed Milk1/3Foamy and creamy
Milk Foam1/3Thick and velvety


Espresso1/4Mild coffee flavor
Steamed Milk3/4Creamy and smooth
No Milk FoamN/ANo foam layer

What’s The Difference Between A Flat White & A Latte?

Different Understandings of The Drink

The difference between a flat white and a latte can vary depending on individual baristas and regional preferences. Generally, a flat white is smaller in size compared to a latte, with a typical serving of 5-6 ounces. It contains less milk and a thinner layer of microfoam on top. In contrast, a latte is larger, usually around 8-9 ounces, and has a higher coffee to milk ratio. The milk texture also differs, with a flat white having a velvety and smooth texture, while a latte may have a creamier and thicker milk consistency.

It’s worth noting that opinions on the exact definitions of a flat white and a latte can vary, and different coffee shops may prepare them differently. Ultimately, the difference between the two lies in the sizemilk texture, and coffee to milk ratio.

Flat WhiteLatte
Serving Size5-6 ounces8-9 ounces
Milk TextureVlevety and smoothCreamy and thicker
Coffee to Milk RatioHigher coffee to milk ratioLower coffee to milk ratio

As seen in the table above, a flat white is generally smaller in size with a velvety and smooth milk texture, while a latte is larger with a creamier and thicker milk consistency. The coffee to milk ratio is also higher in a flat white, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor compared to a latte.

Flat white vs latte – what is the difference?

The difference between a flat white and a latte lies in the coffee to milk ratio, foam, and serving size. A flat white has a higher ratio of coffee to milk compared to a latte, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor. It also has a thinner layer of microfoam on top, which gives it a silky and smooth texture. In terms of serving size, a flat white is typically smaller, around 5-6 ounces, while a latte is larger, around 8-9 ounces. Both drinks are made with espresso and steamed milk, but the differences in ratio and foam create distinct taste and texture profiles.

Whether you prefer a bolder and more concentrated flavor or a creamier and milder taste, the choice between a flat white and a latte comes down to personal preference.

When it comes to the coffee to milk ratio, a flat white offers a higher concentration of coffee compared to a latte. This means that the flavor of the espresso is more pronounced in a flat white, giving it a stronger and more robust taste. On the other hand, a latte has a higher proportion of steamed milk, resulting in a creamier and milder coffee experience.

In terms of foam, a flat white has a thinner layer of microfoam on top, which gives it a smooth and velvety texture. The microfoam blends seamlessly with the espresso, enhancing the overall mouthfeel of the drink. In contrast, a latte often has a thicker layer of foam, which creates a more visually appealing presentation and adds a creamy element to the beverage.

The serving size is another distinguishing factor between a flat white and a latte. A flat white is typically served in a smaller cup, ranging from 5 to 6 ounces. This smaller size allows for a more concentrated flavor and a stronger coffee-to-milk ratio. On the other hand, a latte is served in a larger cup, usually around 8 to 9 ounces, offering a greater volume of steamed milk and a milder taste.

Ultimately, the choice between a flat white and a latte depends on your personal preference for coffee strength, texture, and serving size. Whether you enjoy the boldness of a flat white or the creaminess of a latte, both drinks provide a delightful coffee experience.

Which Is Better? Flat White vs. Latte

The question of which is better, a flat white or a latte, is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. If you enjoy a stronger coffee flavor and a lighter milk texture, a flat white may be the better choice for you. The higher ratio of coffee to milk in a flat white allows for a more pronounced espresso taste. On the other hand, if you prefer a creamier and milder flavor with a larger milk portion, a latte might be more to your liking. Ultimately, the decision between a flat white and a latte comes down to personal preference and the desired balance of coffee and milk flavors.

Some coffee enthusiasts appreciate the bold and intense taste of a flat white. The espresso shines through, providing a robust flavor profile that can be enjoyed sip by sip. The lighter milk texture, with its velvety microfoam, adds a smooth and silky dimension, enhancing the overall drinking experience.

On the other hand, a latte offers a more harmonious blend of coffee and milk. The larger milk portion creates a creamier mouthfeel, while the espresso adds depth and richness to the overall taste. The balance between the two components provides a comforting and satisfying beverage that many find irresistible.

Ultimately, when deciding between a flat white and a latte, consider your personal taste preferences. Do you enjoy the strong and pronounced flavors of espresso, or do you prefer a more balanced and creamy combination of coffee and milk? Experimenting with both drinks can help you discover your preferred choice.

Remember, taste is subjective, and there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to the debate of flat white vs. latte. It’s all about finding the brew that brings you the most joy and satisfaction. So go ahead, indulge in your preferred coffee beverage, and savor every delicious sip.

Final Thoughts

The choice between a flat white and a latte ultimately comes down to personal preference and taste. Both drinks offer their own unique characteristics and flavor profiles. Whether you prefer the bolder and more concentrated taste of a flat white or the creamier and milder flavors of a latte, the most important thing is to enjoy your coffee experience.

Feel free to experiment with different variations and try both drinks to discover your own favorite. Each sip of your coffee is an opportunity to savor the moment and appreciate the nuances of the flavors. Coffee is a personal journey, and the decision between a flat white and a latte is just one part of that journey.

So, take your time and make your choice based on your preference and taste. Whether you prefer the bold and rich character of a flat white or the smooth and milky nature of a latte, both options are there for you to enjoy. So go ahead, indulge in your favorite coffee drink and relish in the pleasure it brings.

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