Hey guys, just want to put my two cents in here. While the difference between the two drinks can be minimal in some instances to try and tie it down to the difference in the level of foam by a few mm's is tricky. The way that I have seen it best determined is that a cafe latte is a milky drink, so that the primary differnce between a Flat White and Latte is the ratio of coffee to milk. A flatwhite is normally served 1:4 or 1:5 where as a Cafe Latte is normally more around the 1:6, 1:7 range of espresso:milk. Hence why a cafe Latte is often served in a glass as they are normally larger and easier to handle than a whopping ceramic.
hey guys, interesting topic, great to see other peoples points of view...
personally, i believe that they are one and the same - flat whites are exclusive to australia and were made to cater for the instant/drip coffee drinkers when espresso hit our shores - just like an americano is known as a long black and an espresso is known as a short black, a latte is known as a "flat white" to cater for the already developed coffee culture in aus (albeit a very underdevoped and uneducated culture).
those that enjoyed black coffee (instant, drip or brew) were able to enjoy long blacks... and those that enjoyed white coffee were able to get a "flat white".
throughout europe lattes are often served in ceramic cups... so personally i think theyre one and the same.
the difference in the amout of foam i put down to surface area and volume. a ceramic cup often has a larger diameter than a glass, and therefore has a larger surface area.. a glass has a smaller surface area, and therefore the same volume of foam will be deeper.... if a ceramic cup has a diameter of 10cm, and a glass has a diameter of 7cm, the ceramic cup has about twice the surface area of the glass, and therefore there will be half as much foam in the cup (or twice as much foam in the glass, as long as the volume of foam was same for both)
there are a few theories about the flat white origin.
some say that people didnt enjoy the froth \ foam, that was on a latte or cappuccino, enjoy the strength of a cap without the froth.
i think it came from america, in the ww2 the americans the soldiers came about and stationed in australia, had instant coffee as rations. Thus some australians grew up on instant coffee. Some who still had drip coffee wanted a portion of coffee of milk in the drink. So when they went to an espresso bar, they wanted pretty much to have what they were used to.
my grandparents served in the war as doctors, and said that the americans brought it in and everyone was amazed.
HollyYip Senior Member Joined: 17 Aug 2005 Posts: 11 Location: Auckland Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Sat Oct 22, 2005, 9:14pm Subject: Re: Latte?Flat white? what's the difference?
I've always believed it to milk ratio (i.e. latte has more milk). I serve flat whites in the same cup as a long black, and lattes in a choice of a cappucino cup, a glass, a bowl or a "bucket" (which is a huuuge cup).
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