Difference Between a Flat White and a Latte

When it comes to coffee drinks, there are an endless array of drinks and variations to choose from.

From classic black coffee to caramel macchiato frappes, coffee-based beverages can be as simple or as fancy as a person might want.

But those variations can sometimes make it hard to understand the difference between similar drinks.

And one of the biggest confusions is knowing the difference between a flat white and a latte.


What Is a Flat White?

In many ways, a flat white and a latte are identical. They both contain espresso and steamed milk. And depending on the coffee shop that’s making your drink, they may both feature a layer of frothed milk on top.

Originally, a flat white didn’t boast the thick, frothy, foamed milk of a latte or cappuccino. The name referred to the “flat” texture of the steamed milk, which was poured over two shots of espresso.

But, as the drink became more popular, it started to evolve and become more similar to the ever-popular latte and cappuccino.

While some places still keep the foam on a flat white drier and more minimal, other coffee shops use similar amounts of milk foam in both beverages.

Some other common differences, though, still generally set the flat white apart.

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


First, you’ll find the flat white is usually served in a smaller cup than a latte or cappuccino cup. Generally, a flat white doesn’t come in a cup larger than 6oz. or so.

The flat white is also made with a standard two shots of espresso instead of the single shot in most lattes and cappuccinos.

That means that for those that love a richer coffee flavor along with a creamy dairy taste, the flat white is a perfect choice.

Ordering and Making a Flat White


If you’re ordering from a new coffee shop and you’re not sure how they make their flat white, it’s worth asking. While most places use the standard smaller cup and double-shot of espresso, some may not!

If you want to make a flat white at home, it’s as simple as brewing a double-shot of espresso and adding 3-4oz. (up to about half a cup) of steamed milk.

And if you feel like frothing up your milk, go ahead! The flat white’s exact brewing style is open to interpretation, after all!

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