There are a number of different types of espresso drinks that you can buy and making sense of the differences between them can be confusing at times.
This post will show you the differences between latte and flat white.
So, what is the difference between latte and flat white? Latte is where steamed milk and milk foam is added to espresso. Flat white is where just steamed milk is added to espresso. They both have a creamy and coffee-like taste but latte is slightly creamier and less strong.
They can both actually taste very different depending on the way that they are made and there are a number of drinks that are similar to both of them that you might like.
Differences between latte and flat white
Below, I will show you the differences between latte and flat white, how they taste, drinks that are similar to them, how to make them and questions people ask about them.
Flat white is where just steamed milk (120ml) is added to a double shot of espresso (60ml). It has a creamy and coffee like taste.
Espresso is the mixture that you get when you pull hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. It is very rich and slightly bitter. The richness of the espresso is reduced when milk is added to it when making both flat white and latte.
If you like a stronger taste of coffee then you would likely prefer the flat white over latte since flat white has a higher concentration of espresso to milk. If you do like the strong coffee taste then you might also like cappuccino which I have talked about here.
How to make flat white
To make flat white it is first necessary to make espresso. Since espresso requires the use of pressurized water it is necessary to use a specially designed machine to make it. There are three main types of machines that people use to make espresso that are traditional espresso machines, pod machines and stovetop espresso makers.
To make espresso with a traditional espresso machine it is necessary to get the coffee beans, grind them, put them into a container called a portafilter then to put the portafilter into the machine and to turn the machine on.
The video below shows how to make flat white using a traditional espresso machine.
Traditional espresso machines can actually have quite a steep learning curve and they require the most amount of effort in preparing the espresso and in cleaning and maintaining the machine.
However, they will give you the highest quality espresso and they give you full control over the way that the espresso tastes.
To make flat white using a pod machine it is just necessary for you to put a pod into the machine, press a button, steam the milk while the espresso is being made and then pour the milk into the espresso.
Pod machines don’t give you as much control over the way that the espresso tastes and they won’t produce espresso that is of the same quality as with a traditional espresso machine.
However, the espresso they do make does still taste good, there are many different flavors to choose from and they are quick and easy to use.
The pod espresso machine that I would recommend the most would be this one on Amazon.
To make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker you put water and ground coffee into the machine and heat it up.
The video below shows how to make espresso using a stovetop espresso maker.
Stovetop espresso makers are cheap so they are a good option if you don’t think that you would get full use out of an actual espresso machine.
However, they don’t come with milk frothers so it will be difficult to make flat white or latte using one. Additionally, the espresso that they make is not of the same standard as with traditional espresso machines.
What impacts the taste of flat white
There are a number of things that will impact the way that flat white tastes.
If whole milk or a lot of milk is used and less espresso then it will give it a creamier taste. If semi-skimmed milk is used or more espresso then it will give it a less creamy and stronger taste.
The way that the espresso is made will also impact the taste of the flat white.
If Arabica beans, a grind that is not very fine or beans with a light roast are used then it will normally cause the espresso to be less strong. However, they can sometimes result in it tasting slightly sour.
Whereas, if Robusta beans, a very fine grind or beans with a dark roast are used then it will normally give it a richer taste that can sometimes be bitter.
Generally, a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans with a dark roast are used to make espresso. This is because the blend balances the taste of the espresso and dark roast beans are used since it is supposed to be slightly bitter but not too bitter.
Similar drinks to flat white
In addition to latte, there are a number of other drinks that are similar to flat white such as:
Cappuccino is where steamed milk and milk foam is added to espresso. Cappuccino has a strong coffee taste that is also creamy.
Breve is where milk and cream are added to espresso. It has a creamier taste than flat white, latte and cappuccino due to the higher fat in the cream.
Mocha is where chocolate syrup and steamed milk are added to espresso. Mocha has a chocolatey and coffee like taste.
Questions people ask about flat white
Latte is where a lot of steamed milk (300ml) and a small amount of milk foam (2ml) is added to a double shot of espresso (60ml).
Latte has a creamier and less strong taste compared to flat white. So, if you don’t like strong coffee then you might like latte.
Any type of milk can be used to make latte and the type of milk that is used will have an impact on the way that it tastes. If whole milk is used then it will normally make it taste more creamy which is why I prefer whole milk personally but you can use any milk.
The video below shows how to make latte using a traditional espresso machine. However, you can do it by making espresso using a pod machine and then adding the milk afterward as well.
Like with flat white, the way that the espresso is made will have an impact on the way that the latte tastes.
Questions people ask about latte
Can you have latte cold? Yes, but latte is traditionally served hot. If you buy cold latte that is pre-made then it will normally be made a different way and will usually have a lot of sugar and other additives in it.
Can you get decaf latte? Yes, but be aware that decaf doesn’t mean that it will be caffeine free it means that the amount of caffeine will be lower than in a normal latte.