Flat White Vs Lattee Vs Cappucino Differences Compared

Flat White vs Latte vs Cappucino – The differences You Didn’t know About

Are you a coffee lover who’s always wondered about the difference between a flat white, latte, and cappuccino? You’re not alone.

Grab a comfy seat and let me guide you through the exciting world of these popular espresso-based drinks.

With each sip of knowledge, you’ll become a coffee connoisseur, ready to impress your friends and family with your newfound expertise.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dive into the frothy depths of coffee culture together!

Coffee to Milk Ratio: The Foundation of Flavor

As a barista, I’ve learned that the key to creating the perfect espresso-based drink lies in the coffee to milk ratio. This magical balance can make or break a cup of joe, so it’s essential to know what you’re working with. Let me walk you through the different ratios for each of our star beverages:

  1. Flat White: Typically served in a 190 ml cup with a single shot of espresso
  2. Latte: Poured into a larger 220 ml glass, also with a single shot of espresso
  3. Cappuccino: Uses a 190 ml cup, again with a single shot of espresso

Keep in mind that these ratios can be personalized depending on your taste preferences. For example, you might opt for a double shot if you’re craving a bolder, more robust flavor. To explore other espresso-based drinks, like Americano, Lungo, or Espresso Macchiato, check out this comprehensive guide.

Milk Texturing and Froth: The Art of Steaming

The next crucial step in mastering these beverages is understanding milk texturing. The amount of froth you incorporate can significantly impact the final product. Here’s a quick rundown of the froth levels for each drink:

  • Flat White: About 5 ml of froth
  • Latte: Roughly 10 ml of froth
  • Cappuccino: A generous 15 ml of froth

As a barista, I’ve discovered that the key to achieving the perfect froth is controlling the amount of air you add during the steaming process.

Let me show you how it’s done.

Flat White Vs Lattee Vs Cappucino Milk Froth

Flat White: Smooth and Velvety

When creating a Flat White, you want to steam the milk just enough to create a silky, velvety texture without too much froth.

To do this, simply add air to the milk for only one to two seconds before lifting the steam wand.

The result? A beautifully textured, smooth, and velvety flat white that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

Latte: A Creamy Classic

For a perfectly balanced Café Latte, you’ll want to add a bit more air to achieve a creamier texture.

Start by steaming the milk, adding air for about four seconds before lifting the wand. This creates a slightly thicker, creamier consistency that’s just right for a classic latte.

Cappuccino: A Classic Coffee Choice

Ah, the cappuccino – a timeless favorite among coffee lovers. This delightful concoction boasts a perfect harmony of espresso, steamed milk, and froth. But what sets it apart from its flat white and latte counterparts? Let’s dive in!

A traditional cappuccino is composed of three equal parts: a shot of espresso, steamed milk, and frothy milk foam. It’s the extra foam that distinguishes this drink from the others. In Australia, we often sprinkle a bit of chocolate on top to add a touch of sweetness and make it even more irresistible. Trust me, it’s a game-changer!

As a barista, I’ve noticed that cappuccino drinkers appreciate the rich mouthfeel and distinctive texture provided by the frothy milk. It’s the kind of drink that warms your soul on a chilly day.

Steaming milk for a cappuccino requires a bit more air than for a latte or flat white. Here’s how I do it:

  1. Start with cold, fresh milk in a steaming pitcher.
  2. Begin steaming and immediately start introducing air into the milk by keeping the steam wand just below the surface.
  3. Continue adding air for about six seconds, allowing the milk to rise and create plenty of froth.
  4. Submerge the steam wand deeper into the milk and continue steaming until the desired temperature is reached.
  5. Give the pitcher a gentle tap to remove any large bubbles and give the milk a smooth, velvety texture.

When pouring the cappuccino, I make sure to maintain a steady flow, allowing the frothy milk to create a visually appealing and delicious drink.

Check out this foolproof cappuccino recipe for a step-by-step guide.

Questions and answers

Can I order a flavored version of a flat white, latte, or cappuccino?

Absolutely! Many cafes offer flavored syrups that can be added to any of these drinks. Feel free to experiment and find your favorite combination. From caramel to vanilla, there’s something for everyone!

What’s the best milk to use for a flat white, latte, or cappuccino?

Most baristas prefer using whole milk because it provides the richest taste and the best froth. However, you can also use skim, 2%, or alternative milk options like almond, soy, or oat milk.

Keep in mind that the texture and taste may vary depending on your choice of milk.

What is the ideal temperature for steaming milk for these espresso-based drinks?

The optimal temperature for steaming milk is between 140°F (60°C) and 160°F (70°C). It’s important not to overheat the milk, as this can lead to a burnt taste and a less desirable texture. I use a thermometer to make sure I hit the sweet spot, but once you get used to it, your hand can replace the thermometer.

Can I make a flat white, latte, or cappuccino using a home espresso machine?

Yes, you can! With a little practice, you can recreate these delicious drinks right in your own kitchen. Invest in a quality espresso machine with a steam wand, practice your milk-steaming skills, and don’t forget to have fun experimenting with different espresso-to-milk ratios.


We’ve explored the delightful differences between flat whites, lattes, and cappuccinos, delving into the nuances of milk texture, espresso-to-milk ratios, and the ideal cups to serve them in.

I hope this knowledge has piqued your interest and given you a deeper appreciation for the art of crafting these popular espresso-based beverages.

Now that you’re armed with this coffee know-how, why not visit your local café and sample these drinks with a newfound understanding?

Or better yet, try your hand at making them at home! I’d love to hear about your experiences and any insights you’ve gained.

Feel free to leave a comment below and share your coffee adventures with me.

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  1. As someone who has spent a fair amount of time on both sides of the espresso machine, I found your article particularly insightful, especially when it comes to the nuances of milk texturing. Your point about controlling the amount of air during steaming could not be more crucial. I’d just add that temperature plays a key role as well – too hot and you’ll scorch the milk, altering its sweet profile, which is essential for balancing the espresso’s bitterness.

  2. I just tried to replicate the flat white using your guide, and it turned out beautifully. The tip about adding air for only one to two seconds really made the difference, giving me that velvety texture I never managed to achieve before. Thank you, Kraken Coffee, for helping improve my morning ritual.