Coffee Types

Flat White Vs Latte – Taste Profile, Milk Ratio & Other Differences

If you’re a coffee lover, then the debate between flat white vs latte is an ongoing one. Should it be creamy and smooth or sharp and intense? The answer may depend on your personal preference, but in this article, have a look at some insight into flat white vs latte and what makes each of these drinks special.

Flat whites are made by combining espresso with steamed milk in equal parts, creating a velvety texture that isn’t too thick or thin. This combination provides an intense flavor experience – perfect for those seeking boldness in their cup of joe. Additionally, lattes provide a more balanced sip thanks to their larger ratio of frothy milk compared to espresso. This creates a lighter body than its counterpart but still packs plenty of flavor that won’t overwhelm your senses as strong black coffees would.

Origins Of The Beverages

Flat white originated in Australia during the 1980s as a way to combine two classic espresso drinks: cappuccino and lattes. Flat whites feature intense espresso flavor combined with creamy steamed milk and microfoam – all poured into one harmonious drink.

On the other hand, lattes were invented much earlier, around 18th century Italy by combining strong shots of espresso with hot milk. Lattes also include foam on top, but it’s generally larger bubbles than those found in flat whites.

Both these beverages offer unique taste experiences that many coffee lovers adore – from the velvety smoothness of flat whites to the rich creaminess of lattes – each beverage enjoys its own enthusiastic following! Transcending cultural boundaries, both drinks bring coffee enthusiasts together from all over the world who share a passion for quality coffee prepared just right. Ready to explore what makes them tick? Let’s delve into the ingredients used to make each drink.

Go in-depth. Read: What is Latte

Ingredients for a Flat White

1. Espresso shot(s)

2. Milk (Steamed)

3. Foamed Milk topping (optional)

4. Sugar/syrup (optional)

Flat whites are made with espresso as their base – usually two shots but some places may opt for one or three depending on desired strength and flavor profile. The milk is then steamed so it has a creamy texture without any bubbles present in regular milk foam, though some cafes will add an extra layer of foam to give you your classic coffee art presentation. You can also add sugar or syrup if you’d like to sweeten things up!

Ingredients for a Latte

For lattes, the ingredients are very similar, except they require more milk than espresso and no foam topping! Lattes typically include one to double shot of espresso, which gets topped off with milk until it reaches its signature level of creaminess. Just like flat whites, you can also customize your latte with added sugar or syrup to make it just right for you!

As both drinks start from the same foundation, many people find themselves confused over the difference between them when ordering at a cafe – however, now that we know the differences in ingredients, let’s explore how these beverages get prepared.

A must read for better understanding: What is Espresso

Flat White vs Latte – Preparation Methods


The preparation of a flat white and latte is like the art of chess: both require skill, finesse, and thoughtful strategy. As with any game of chess, each piece – or, in this case, a cup of coffee – has its own unique moves that it can make to ultimately win the game.

A flat white is created by pouring two shots of espresso over textured milk (which should be steamed but not frothy). The overall texture should remain smooth while still allowing for some separation between liquid and a thin layer of foam. On the other hand, lattes are made by combining one shot of espresso with a much larger portion of foamy milk which creates a thicker drink than a flat white. To master the creation of this signature beverage requires years of practice as there’s an art to creating perfectly micro-foam milk that resembles wet velvet when poured into your cup.

And lastly, the size difference between these two drinks also plays an important role in how they’re prepared; typically, lattes are served in 12-ounce cups, whereas flat whites tend to come in smaller 8-ounce cups due to their higher density and creamier consistency.

Latte Art on Flat White

Further, you can also use pour a shot of espresso from a stovetop espresso maker to make a caffè latte and experiment with it. Both coffees have different requirements when it comes to their respective methods of preparation. Interestingly, you can also use a flat white for latte art.

Let’s take a look at what makes them unique on the taste front next.

Latte vs Flat White – Taste Profiles

Flat whites and lattes have distinct taste profiles that set them apart. The flat white is one of the espresso-based drinks with steamed whole milk, creating a creamy texture. Its flavor profile is rich, deep, and smooth – the result of combining two strong coffee flavors together in one cup. Furthermore, lattes are typically made with double espressos, combined with steamed milk, and topped off with microfoam. This makes for a light yet sweet drink, as the foam adds sweetness to what can be quite a bitter espresso shot.

Coffee lovers looking for something bolder might prefer the flat white’s robustness; those who want something sweeter may opt for a latte instead. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference! With its unique combination of textures and tastes, each type of coffee has its own unique charm.

No matter which you choose, there’s no denying that these two delicious drinks have their advantages and differences when it comes to flavor. As we move onto our next topic – milk-to-coffee ratios – let us explore how they come into play in terms of crafting amazing coffees!

Milk-To-Coffee Ratios

When it comes to flat whites and lattes, the main difference lies in their milk-to-coffee ratios. Flat whites are made with a greater proportion of espresso to steamed milk than lattes. Specifically, for a flat white, you’ll want two shots of espresso and about four ounces of steamed milk. On the other hand, when making a latte, you should use one shot of espresso along with six ounces of steamed milk. As such, the overall flavor profile of a flat white is more concentrated than that of a latte—it offers an intense experience for coffee aficionados who appreciate its bold taste.

In addition to this difference in ratio, there’s also a contrast in texture between these two drinks: flat whites have microform, while lattes do not. Microfoam is created by using steam rather than air during preparation which gives the drink its creamy consistency and velvety finish on top. This makes the flat white smoother compared to your standard latte.

Finally, because both drinks contain different proportions of espresso and steamed milk, they will differ slightly in caffeine content as well—a larger volume means less caffeine per milliliter; however, despite this minor change across beverages, all coffees still provide a natural source of energy boost throughout your day!

With that said, let’s explore how serving temperature and size can further influence our choice between these two popular coffee creations.


Serving Temperature And Size

Both drinks have their own unique characteristics, which can be seen in the temperature they’re served at, as well as the amount of liquid presented.

The temperature of a flat white is slightly hotter than that of a latte, usually averaging around 80-90°C (176-194°F). In addition, lattes tend to be cooler and more refreshing, with an average serving temperature of 65-70°C (149-158 °F). This difference makes for a substantial contrast between these popular coffee beverages.

Flat White = 80–90 °C (176–194 °F).

Latte = 65 – 70 °C (149–158 °F).

In terms of size, both drinks come in various sizes ranging from small all the way up to large. A typical 8 oz cup will provide about 2 shots worth of espresso for either drink. However, if you’re looking for something bigger, then you may want to opt for 12 or 16 oz cups instead, as they give you room to add some extra milk or foam on top.

Overall, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing between a flat white and latte. It really comes down to personal preference and what type of experience you’re looking for out of your beverage.

As far as texture and consistency go, we’ll explore this further below.

Texture And Consistency

Now that we’ve discussed serving temperature and size, let’s explore the texture and consistency of flat whites vs lattes. Both beverages are made with espresso and milk which influences their taste as well as their texture. Flat white is typically served with steamed milk, while latte is mixed with textured milk to make it creamier and more indulgent in flavor.

Flat white has a velvety smooth texture because of its concentrated form of coffee. It’s not too thick or thin like the typical cappuccino; rather, it is just right for those who prefer something light yet creamy. The ratio between shots of espresso and warm milk creates a pleasant balance in terms of flavor intensity while adding an extra layer of sweetness from the milky foam on top.

On the other hand, latte also offers layers of flavor, but it has a much thicker texture due to its signature foamy topping called microfoam. This allows baristas at coffee shops to create intricate designs such as hearts or tulips on top of your beverage, making it look almost too good to drink! The combination of espresso and frothed milk makes this one-cup full-bodied yet mellow in taste – perfect for those who want something comforting at any time of day.

Regardless if you choose a flat white or caffe latte, both drinks offer unique textures and flavors that will surely satisfy your cravings each time. Now onto caffeine content…

Caffeine Content

Both flat white and latte beverages have one thing in common: caffeine. However, the amount of caffeine found varies between the two drinks. Here’s a breakdown of the different levels found in each cup:

  • Flat White: 140 mg per 250 ml (8 fl oz)
  • Latte: 120 mg per 250 ml (8 fl oz)

Another difference between flat white vs latte is that a flat white is a specialty coffee and typically contains more espresso shots than a latte – meaning that there’s a greater concentration of caffeine. On average, you can expect to find 20mg more caffeine in your cup of flat white as compared to a latte.

Though subtle, this difference does make an impact on how much energy you get from your drink – so if you’re looking for an energizing pick me up, then opt for a flat white! With just enough kick to give you what you need without leaving you feeling jittery or anxious, these coffees offer a perfect balance of flavor and wakefulness. There’s nothing quite like enjoying an afternoon pick-me-up with friends while savoring the unique taste of freshly brewed coffee.

Also, read about the caffeine content in pink drink by Starbucks.

Barista Skills To Make Each Drink

When considering the barista skills needed to make a flat white or latte, it’s important to consider both the techniques and equipment required for each. Both drinks require steamed milk that is combined with single or two espresso shots. But in order to achieve a successful result, there are differences between making each drink.

Equipment For Flat White

  • Espresso Machine
  • Steam Wand/Frothing Pitcher

Skills Needed

  1. Pulling a single or double shot of espresso accurately and consistently
  2. Steaming milk correctly – creating microfoam which results in smooth, velvety texture
  3. Pouring artfully so that the layers of crema on top will remain distinct

Equipment For Latte

  • Espresso Machine
  • Steam Wand/Frothing Pitcher

Skills Needed

  1. Pulling an espresso shot accurately and consistently
  2. Creating ‘dry’ foam (which has less water content than regular steam-textured milk) by using more pressure when frothing the milk and incorporating air into it
  3. Properly pouring the dry foam over the coffee without disrupting its crema layer

More info – How to use a milk frother. And in case you do not have a frother, read – how to froth milk without a frother.

Customization Opportunities

The customization options for flat whites and lattes are virtually infinite. From the texture of the milk to pick-your-own syrups, you can create a coffee masterpiece that’s uniquely yours! Whether you like something sweet or savory, there are plenty of ingredients available to make your perfect cup.

Adding flavors to either beverage is an excellent way to switch up their flavor profiles and add some fun to each drink. Try adding honey, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, or other spices for a special twist! Or go wild with flavors like pumpkin spice, gingerbread, and salted caramel. And if you’re feeling extra daring, why not try infusing herbs such as lavender or rosemary? It adds an unexpected zing and will certainly surprise your taste buds.

Coffee drinkers around the world have taken full advantage of all the wonderful ways they can customize their favorite drinks.


To help you decide which one to order next, let’s take a good look at each drink. Temperature is first on the list; both drinks are served hot, but the flat white is hotter than its milkier counterpart. Latte takes longer to make because it requires more steps for steaming and frothing milk. As far as caffeine content goes, a shot of espresso has around 75-85mg per serving, whereas an 8oz cup of coffee can have anywhere from 95-200mg – so if you want your caffeine hit straight away, then go with the flat white!

All things considered, it really comes down to personal preference when deciding between these delicious drinks. So, if you are a coffee enthusiast, you can also use flat whites for latte art and experiment with both, or you can simply give them both a try and see which one satisfies your taste buds.

FAQs on Flat White vs Latte

How Much Time Does It Take To Make A Latte Or Flat White?

Brewing time for a latte or flat white will vary depending on factors like the size and strength of your beans, whether you’re grinding them fresh or using pre-ground coffee, etc. Generally speaking, both drinks can be made in less than five minutes – if all goes well with your equipment!

In short, once everything is set up correctly, making a delicious flat white or latte doesn’t need to take longer than 5 minutes – so why not give it a try today?

Does The Flat White Have More Caffeine Than A Latte?

Not only does flat white contain considerably more caffeine, but also provides an incredible depth of flavor unparalleled by any other beverage. The flat white, an espresso-based drink, offers a smoothness with hints of chocolate and nutty notes while still providing plenty of energy for those days when we need that extra jolt. With its intense yet balanced flavor profile combined with high levels of energizing caffeine goodness, this powerhouse beverage that uses less milk, should be your go-to choice every time.

Can I Use Steamed Milk or Warm Milk For A Latte Or A Flat White?

You can use steamed milk for making these drinks meanwhile, the variety of milk can be different, like Low Fat Milk, Almond Milk, or Soy Milk.

Is A Flat White More Expensive Than A Latte?

Now that we know the difference between flat white vs latte, let’s look at which one is typically more expensive. Generally speaking, if you’re ordering either a drink from your local cafe or barista, you’ll find that lattes cost slightly more than flat whites—sometimes up to 20%, depending on where you go. This can be attributed primarily to the larger cup size needed for lattes, along with additional ingredients such as flavored syrups or toppings that may be used. Additionally, because making micro-foam requires skillful technique and practice—something not all baristas might possess—it could also add onto the overall price tag of your beverage too.

Ajay Deep

Like many of you, I start my day with a cup of coffee. My love for this beverage grew when I started experimenting with different types of roasted beans at my co-working space. I created to help others explore and experience the best coffee. I am an author and an entrepreneur. Whatever I do, coffee will always remain a passion. You may reach me at

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