Close up of a barista pouring milk into a latte.

What’s Difference Between a Latte and a Flat White?


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Coffee is a staple in most people’s lives. Whether it be for an early morning pick me up or to help stay awake and productive throughout the day, coffee has become a necessary part of life. The two drinks that are more popular than any other are lattes and flat whites. So what exactly is the difference? Below we’ll look at the key differences between the two, so you can decide which option is ideal for your tastes.


The flat white was first made in Australia, but it is popular all across the globe. The latte originated from Italy, an espresso that has steamed milk added to create a creamy taste. Both drinks are very similar and share many of the same origins, making it hard to differentiate between them. They both have espresso as their base, along with steamed milk or foam being added. However, there are still some differences between the two based on their origin.


A flat white is smaller than a latte, as it has less microfoam, meaning the coffee is more concentrated than in a latte, where the milk dilutes the coffee a bit more. This ratio affects both the taste and appearance.


The flat white is a very simple drink to make. It has espresso as its base and a layer of milk foam on top. The milk should be steamed to about 12 bars, but this can vary depending on the taste preferences of the person ordering it. This makes for a straightforward drink as there aren’t any extra flavors to consider.

A latte is the exact opposite of this. It has its espresso base, but it has steamed milk added on top with an even layer of foam covering the whole drink. This makes a much more complex appearance, but it also gives it that creamy taste that many people love. Plus, there are many different types of lattes, which can be made simply by changing the type of steamed milk added. This makes it much more complex to make as there are many things to keep in mind at once when preparing it.


Adding a layer of milk foam onto the top of espresso is what defines a flat white. Without this characterizing feature, it is simply an espresso. The microfoam should be very fine and smooth to create the best taste for this drink because it will be added on top of the espresso. This means that there isn’t any room for mistakes in preparation because the milk foam must be perfect. If it is too thick or not fine enough, there can be a negative impact on the taste. The espresso and milk foam must also be hot to create a great tasting drink, but it should not be scalding.

On the other hand, lattes are much more complex in their preparation because there is an added step of steaming the milk into the drink. This means that latte drinks can be inconsistent because different milk types lead to different tastes. When done properly, a latte is one of the best-tasting coffee drinks that you will ever drink.


In conclusion, there are many similarities between the flat white and latte. Both drinks can be very tasty depending on who you ask, but there are still differences in flavor. A flat white has a much simpler preparation style because it simply has espresso as its base and a layer of milk foam on top. The latte has its espresso as its base and has steamed milk added to create the creamy taste that many people love.

If you prefer a stronger coffee taste with a hint of milk, a flat white may be the perfect choice for you. If you prefer a more foamy, milky drink, a latte may be exactly what you need… you can’t go wrong either way!

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