Exploring the Difference Between Flat White and Latte Coffees

What is the difference between Flat White and Latte? Let's explore the coffee beverage, Flat White, made with steamed milk and espresso.


Flat White is a type of coffee that combines espresso and steamed milk, with a smooth foam layer on the surface. Let’s learn more about this coffee and how to differentiate it from a latte.

1 What is Flat White?

Flat White is a special type of coffee created by combining espresso and steamed milk. The distinguishing feature of Flat White is its thin and smooth foam layer on top. It offers a perfect choice for those who enjoy a drink with a strong coffee flavor and a sweet milk taste. When you drink a Flat White, you will experience the distinctive flavor of espresso along with the creamy texture of steamed milk.

Flat White combines espresso and steamed milkFlat White combines espresso and steamed milk

Although Flat White and Latte are both made from espresso, steamed milk, and topped with a layer of foam, there are certain differences in their preparation and composition ratios. Flat White usually contains less milk and thinner foam than a Latte, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor and a smoother layer of steamed milk.

2 The origin of Flat White

According to some sources, Flat White is believed to have originated in Australia and first appeared in the mid-1980s at a bar called Moors Espresso in Sydney. However, there is still evidence and debate suggesting that it has its origins from New Zealand. The origin of Flat White has become a long-standing dispute between Australia and New Zealand.

The origin of Flat White

Flat White later appeared on the menus of coffee shops in the US, UK, and many other countries worldwide. It is currently available on the menu of most coffee shops globally. Even Starbucks, the world’s largest coffee brand, has started serving Flat White as a “bold” alternative to Latte in the US. This change has helped Flat White become a popular trend loved by coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

3 How to differentiate Flat White from Latte

In Australia, Latte is usually served in a 200ml glass, while Flat White is served in a 180ml ceramic cup. This difference results in Flat White having a higher coffee concentration than a Latte. Another factor is the foam layer on the surface of the drink. In the past, Latte had a thicker layer of foam compared to Flat White, typically around 1cm compared to 0.5cm. However, in recent times, this difference has been reduced, and both types of drinks usually have an equivalent layer of foam.

How to differentiate Flat White from Latte

Another distinguishing factor is the number of espresso shots used. Traditionally, Cappuccino and Latte can be made with one or two espresso shots, while Flat White is typically made with two espresso shots. However, nowadays, the choice of using one or two espresso shots has become flexible depending on individual preferences. Generally, Flat White has a higher coffee concentration and less milk than a Latte, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor.

Above is our sharing about Flat White as well as its origin and how to differentiate it from a latte. We hope this article has been helpful to you. Thank you for following along.