Caffè Latte versus Flat White - is there a difference?

Caffè Latte versus Flat White – is there a difference?

Latte versus flat white segafredo

Here in Australia, the Latte and Flat White are the most popular coffee choices, with the flat white being the original Australian coffee drink and trending for some years. Those that enjoy a good Latte or flat white (using Segafredo coffee beans of course) would be somewhat tired of explaining the difference to non-coffee drinkers that yes, there is a difference! Let’s take a closer look at what makes up a latte and flat white.

The Caffè Latte

Before we dive in, here are a few interesting language facts.

Latte* or otherwise known by its proper name Caffè Latte, are Italian words with caffè meaning coffee and latte meaning milk. This quite literally means “milk coffee” and is several centuries old, with origins in Italy of course.

(*Note to tourists: when ordering caffè latte in an Italian café make sure you say Caffè Latte or otherwise you will get a glass of milk!)

What is a Caffè Latte?

Now you have a few facts under your belt, let’s focus on the basics:

The traditional caffè latte is served in a tall glass (~250ml) and is made up with a mixture of:

  • single espresso shot
  • lightly steamed milk
  • foam (with an optional floral design)

Latte vs flat white segafredo

We should add that there are obvious variations in today’s coffee scene. With latte being served in bigger coffee cups and hosting two shots of espressos. Some latte drinkers also requesting the addition of chocolate powder (oh, that could be just me …), or more of latte. There are some latte coffee drinkers liking the addition of flavours, with cafes serving vanilla and caramel lattes and caffé mochas.

Latte vs flat white segafredo
Caffe latte vs flat white segafredo

Our milk coffee beverage, a.k.a. Caffè Latte, is perfect for those who are starting their coffee journey or those who would like bigger but less coffee in their caffeinated beverage. Tempted? Order one next time you are at your local café.

What is a Flat white?

Let’s explore the Flat white. While its name is a bit ordinary sounding, did you know Australia has claim to its origins? Yes, you read correctly. The flat white was invented in Australia, and surprisingly not Italy.

Update: Since writing this article back in August 2022, there has been further dives into the invention of the flat white, with Italian sugar farmers from regional Queensland likely playing a big role as shared in the ABC article, April 2024, read more.

What makes up this popular Aussie-origins choice?

Flat whites are often served in a small mug or cup, but can also be served in a glass. Traditionally, it is served with two espresso shots and its size should be around 200ml, making it a bit stronger compared to latte and cappuccino. You can explore the cup range selection here.

Where does flat come into the Flat white?

flat white segafredo

It simply reflects the amount of foam. It needs to be as little as possible (i.e. ~1cm) with the foam layer being flat. The ideal flat white is made of a little flat foam layer and two espresso shots.

The flat white is perfect for someone who is looking for something a bit stronger or more familiar with the flavour of coffee.

Actually, the latte and flat white do have something common …

It’s the amount of foam. They both have less compared to their cappuccino cousin.

Here is a general idea of how much foam is found in these coffee beverages (noting once more the type of cup / size served):

Caffè latte1-2cm of foamgreater overall quantity with one shot espresso
Flat white1cm of foam less compared to latte with two espresso shots
Cappuccino2-4cm of foamequal part steamed milk, foam & espresso 1:1:1 ratio
caffe latte segafredo
flat white segafredo
cappuccino segafredo

And to finish

We hope this article has helped and provided you with more information (and ammunition) regarding the differences between the flat white and caffè latte.

Now my fellow latte or flat white drinking friends: go forth and enjoy your preferred coffee drink! So now over to you! Don’t forget to share your coffee pictures with us on Instagram @segafredo_zanetti

flat white segafredo
flat white segafredo

Latte versus flat white segafredo