Flat White VS Cappuccino – Key Differences. Coffee has become a staple of modern-day culture, with specialty coffee shops popping up on every corner. With the rise of specialty coffee, a whole new world of coffee drinks has emerged, each with its unique flavor profile, preparation method, and presentation.
Flat White VS Cappuccino – Key Differences
Two popular coffee drinks that are often compared are the flat white and the cappuccino. While both drinks are made with espresso and steamed milk, they have distinct differences that set them apart.
Let’s explore the differences between flat whites and cappuccinos. We’ll look at their ingredients, preparation methods, texture, appearance, and serving size, and help you decide which one to choose.
Flat whites and cappuccinos are different in many ways.
Are you wondering whether to order a flat white or a cappuccino? Let’s break down their differences in ingredients, preparation, texture, appearance, and serving size to help you make a choice.
Flat White vs Cappuccino: What’s the Difference?
If you’re a coffee lover, you’ve likely come across the terms “flat white” and “cappuccino” at some point. Both drinks are popular choices at coffee shops around the world, but what exactly sets them apart?
In this article, we’ll explore the key differences between flat whites and cappuccinos, from the origins of the drinks to their respective ingredients and preparation methods. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of these two popular coffee beverages, and be better equipped to make an informed choice the next time you’re ordering a coffee.
Origins of the Flat White and Cappuccino:
Both flat whites and cappuccinos have roots in Italian coffee culture, but their histories differ slightly.
In Italy, during the early 20th century, the cappuccino originated and the Capuchin friars inspired its name. The coffee received a topping of frothed milk that imitated the color and shape of the brown robes with hoods worn by the friars.
The traditional cappuccino consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk, with the frothed milk forming a thick layer on top.
The flat white, on the other hand, is a relatively newer addition to the coffee scene. Its exact origins are a bit murky, with various sources claiming that it was first created in either Australia or New Zealand in the 1980s or 1990s.
Regardless of its origin, the flat white has gained a strong following in recent years and is now a popular choice at many specialty coffee shops around the world.
Ingredients and Preparation:
The barista typically prepares a cappuccino by steaming and frothing milk to create a thick and creamy texture, adding a double shot of espresso. And then topping it with a thick layer of frothed milk on top of the espresso. This process creates the distinctive texture and flavor profile that sets a cappuccino apart from other espresso-based drinks.
A cappuccino usually has a ratio of 1:1 espresso to milk, with the frothed milk comprising about one-third of the drink’s volume. The barista steams milk to create a velvety texture, then pours it over a double shot of espresso.
In contrast, a flat white lacks frothed milk and consists of a double shot of espresso topped with steamed milk. Its ratio of espresso to milk is typically 1:3, with the steamed milk comprising most of the drink’s volume.
One of the main differences between the two drinks is the texture of the milk. Because cappuccinos contain frothed milk, they tend to have a thicker and creamier texture than flat whites.
The lack of frothed milk in a flat white gives it a smoother and more velvety texture, with the steamed milk providing a subtle sweetness that complements the bold flavor of the espresso.
Taste and Strength:
When it comes to taste and strength, both flat whites and cappuccinos are quite similar. Both drinks are made with a double shot of espresso, which gives them a strong and bold flavor.
A cappuccino has a stronger espresso flavor than a flat white due to the difference in the espresso-to-milk ratio. This is because the frothed milk in a cappuccino dilutes the espresso less than the steamed milk in a flat white.
The absence of frothed milk in flat white results in a more subtle flavor profile. The steamed milk’s velvety texture enhances the espresso’s natural sweetness, creating a smoother and less bitter taste.
Overall, the taste and strength of both drinks can be customized to suit individual preferences. For example, if you prefer a stronger coffee flavor, you can ask for an extra shot of espresso in your cappuccino or flat white.
Appearance and Serving Size:
Another key difference between flat whites and cappuccinos is their appearance and serving size. The barista typically serves a cappuccino in a small cup, with a thick layer of frothed milk on top of the espresso.
They often decorate the layer of frothed milk with latte art, which can range from simple designs like hearts or ferns to more elaborate designs like animals or portraits. Because of the thick layer of frothed milk, a cappuccino is often more visually appealing than a flat white.
In contrast, the barista usually pours steamed milk over the espresso in a larger cup or glass to create a smooth and velvety texture in a flat white. Because there is no layer of frothed milk, a flat white is often less visually striking than a cappuccino. However, the larger serving size makes it a more satisfying and filling drink.
Which One Should You Choose?
When it comes down to it, the choice between a flat white and a cappuccino often comes down to personal preference. If you prefer a creamier texture and a more visually striking drink, a cappuccino may be the way to go.
If you prefer a smooth and subtle flavor, try a flat white. There are other factors to consider too, like the type of beans, roasting method, and milk quality. To determine which drink is right for you, try both and choose the one you prefer.
What is a flat white?
A flat white is a coffee drink that originated in Australia and New Zealand. It is made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk, with a thin layer of microfoam on top.
What is a cappuccino?
A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink made with a double shot of espresso, hot milk, and a layer of frothed milk on top.
Which drink is stronger, a flat white or a cappuccino?
Both drinks are made with a double shot of espresso, so they have the same amount of caffeine. However, the taste and strength of each drink can be customized to suit individual preferences.
Which drink is better for latte art, a flat white or a cappuccino?
A cappuccino is typically better for latte art because the layer of frothed milk provides a larger canvas for designs. However, skilled baristas can create intricate designs on a flat white as well.
Which drink is more filling, a flat white or a cappuccino?
A flat white is typically more filling than a cappuccino because it is served in a larger cup or glass with more steamed milk.
Flat whites and cappuccinos differ in ingredients, preparation methods, texture, appearance, and serving size. Both use double espresso shots, but the ratio of espresso to milk and the presence of frothed milk create distinct flavor profiles and textures.
Trying various specialty coffee drinks can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for both new and experienced coffee lovers. So next time you’re at your favorite coffee shop, why not branch out and try something new? You may just discover your new favorite drink!