This question is asked far too often, and usually its difficult to answer without causing confusion of the customer, which is why you are told it's a 'small Latte'. I can delve a little deeper on this debate, and factually separate the two. Hopefully giving you a better understanding of the differences between a Latte and a Flat White.
So, back to basics. There are 3 big differences separating the traditional Latte and Flat White.
- The shot
- The size
- The Microfoam
An espresso has a coffee to water ratio of 1:2. The espresso is used as a base amongst most drinks; Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha, Americano, Macchiato to name a few. To recreate a Flat White requires a ristretto shot. (This is the part most people become confused). You are using the same coffee as you would to create an espresso shot, but instead of a 1:2 coffee to water ratio, you would use a 1:1.5. A ristretto is a shorter and usually sweeter shot than an espresso.
A traditional Latte is served using an 8oz cup. Some cafes will offer larger sizes too, usually in the region of 10-12oz cups. A Flat White however, is served using a 5-6oz cup and this cup is used as 'standard'. There is no going large on a Flat White!
First off; what's microfoam? Microfoam is created by injecting air into the milk with a steam wand, leaving you with silky, textured milk. The amount of foam determines which coffee you have made. We all know the obvious 'Cappuccinos are foamy' and 'Lattes are milky'. Flat Whites have roughly 0.5cm of microfoam - half the amount of foam than a Latte.
So there you go. Flat Whites come in a smaller size, with a shorter, sweeter shot and less microfoam. Next time somebody tells you they're 'just a small Latte' you can confuse them with your new, known facts!
I have listed a few of our coffees to try below.
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