Sunday, 5 April 2009

Frequently asked questions #1. What is the difference between a latte and a flat white?

The answer will depend on who you ask but if you ask me, and customers frequently do, a latte, flat white, café au lait, café con leche, etc etc are essentially the same drink in different languages and on different continents: espresso coffee with hot milk.

The difference really comes down to what they are served in and the person making the coffee. At Lantana, flat whites are served in ceramic cups and lattes in tumbler glasses. Both have two shots of coffee but we make the latte on a shorter double shot (a ristretto) which means flat whites are stronger, and, as the name suggests, are made with less foam than a latte. If you want to get a more technical answer from people who know what they are talking about look at toomuchcoffee.

Tim Dunn (ex proprietor of Pushka in Melbourne and now barista in residence at Lantana) shows the difference between Lantana's lattes



and flat whites

23 comments:

Tell your truth said...

Getting a flat white with too much foam disappoints me so much! In London, I have to ask for a 'wet' latte which of course makes no difference- it tends to still have too much foam/taste watery/burnt/awful. The day starts so differently without a good coffee under the belt.
BTW finally stopped in on Monday afternoon- so cute and cheerful. So Melbs- will have to come back for some food.

Anonymous said...

Lantana has spoilt me, but alas it is only a weekly treat when I can get to you. I threw out my Starbucks this morning I just couldn't bear the taste of burnt coffee/ too much milk. I wish my office was closer to lovely Lantana.

Eva said...

In the U.S., a café au lait is actually made with drip (filter) coffee: about half coffee and half foamed milk. The milk in a café au lait is usually textured like a cappuccino rather than a latte or a flat white. It always costs much less than an espresso drink, which makes it sort of a poor man's cappuccino.

(We also don't have flat whites in the US.)

Louise and Nivaldo said...

We just found your blog and absolutely love it!
We love our coffee so much and have such a hard time finding a good one, that we mostly make it at home.
We're definitely going to come in the next time we're in the area.

Dish said...

Gimme Coffee in Soho NY now has a name for my weird order (americano with foam)- calling it 'Mezzo' and they don't do 'foam' - it's 'textured milk' - sacre bleu!

Tell your truth said...

Just as a side question, do you know where I can take a barista course in London that is run by Aussies/Kiwi's?

Shelagh Ryan said...

I'm not really sure about barista courses but you could try contacting Taylor St Baristas (http://www.taylor-st.com) and see if they offer them, or whether they know who does.

Shelagh Ryan said...

Thanks Louise and Nivaldo- I love your bags.

Anonymous said...

Shelagh. please come to my neighborhood in Berkeley CA and open a Lantana, I promise you will be a raving success. Organic food will win hands down, but equally importantly (to me) no one here knows what a flat white is or how to make one. Latte's!! don;t even talk to me - I think many people here latte means scorching hot milk. I am so impressed by your passion and the fruits of it. When I am next in London I will drop in for a real latte.
An old friend of Big Red,
Emma Star

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