Flat White vs Cappuccino: What Is The Difference Between?

Flat White is a relatively new drink, especially in North America. And it doesn’t replace the cappuccino, which has existed for hundreds of years. But it does give coffee lovers something new to try! I’ve been serving these drinks for a long time and would recommend them both.

Even more so if you want the full flavor of an espresso doppio with the creamy sweetness of milk to soften it. The truth is that there isn’t much difference between how flat white and cappuccino are made and served. The subtle difference is in how they feel and taste in your mouth.

What is Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is an espresso and steamed milk drink that is 6 ounces.

When compared to other drinks made with espresso and milk. This one has more air bubbles in the milk. This gives cappuccino a lightness that lattes and other drinks don’t have.

For a long time, cappuccinos were layered with a scoop of stiff foam on top of milky espresso. Today, it’s more popular to err on the wet side so that the espresso and foamy steamed milk go together better. Among the classic espresso drinks, the cappuccino usually has the most foam.

What is Flat White coffee?

A flat white is an espresso and steamed milk drink that is 6 ounces.

Flat white should have one-third espresso, and two-thirds steamed milk, just like a cappuccino. A flat white is different from a cappuccino because it has little or no foam. The finished product looks flat and creamy because of this. Still, I’ve noticed that most people strongly prefer one drink or the other.

Read More – Long Shot vs Ristretto: What Is The Difference Between?

Important Differences Between Flat White and Cappuccino


Most of the time, your local barista will pour your flat White or cappuccino into a ceramic cup that holds 6 ounces. Some people like to sprinkle their cappuccinos with chocolate powder or cinnamon. But if your barista did well, you don’t need toppings or extra sugar. The coffee and milk should be enough to say what they are.

Flavor and Feel

A barista adds air to milk with a steam wand to make froth and foam. So, to make as little foam as possible, a flat white has less air. This makes espresso feel and taste thicker and creamier in the mouth. More foam is added to the cappuccino when it is made.

This makes it feel lighter in your mouth because the milk has more air. Both drinks are slightly sweet and creamy, but a cappuccino’s espresso flavor is more likely to stand out. This is because more air in the milk makes it easier for the coffee flavors to spread.

Size and Strength

Usually, a double shot of espresso is used to make flat whites and cappuccinos. The barista then adds 4 ounces of milk to make a drink that is 6 ounces. Not everything at the cafe is done the way it has always been done. Some shops get very creative with their cappuccino, which is the truth.

I saw a “cappuccino” on one menu that was 20 ounces. At some cafes, you can only get water in a cup that big. The serving size is a big part of why both drinks taste the way they do. Or, more particularly, the amount of espresso to milk used when making coffee.

Milk Froth

Because of the increase in third-wave coffee, the cappuccino has changed a lot. Many baristas stopped putting a dollop of stiff foam on top of cappuccinos. Instead, many tried various methods to make the cappuccino taste less divided.

What do I mean when I say separate? Imagine a face full of foam, then a slightly milky shot of espresso. The wet cappuccino must have taken over these days. The wet style not only lets the espresso and milk mix to make a more flavorful cup.

Baristas can also use it to pour latte art. This can’t be done when the milk foam is stiff and fluffy. Even though the wet cap is becoming more popular, cappuccino lovers should still be able to order a dry cappuccino.


There are two steps to making foam or getting air into the milk. After putting 4-5 ounces of milk into the pitcher, a barista submerges the steam wand. This makes the milk gently swirl, which heats and oxygenates it evenly. The barista will then make foam.

To do this, the tip of the steam wand slowly moves up to the milk’s surface. By exposing the milk quickly and again and again, the right amount of air is forced into the milk. The milk will be stirred as little as possible by the barista. This means there will be less foam, and the drink will look flat.

When making a cappuccino, the barista does things differently. The milk’s surface is given more time to get air into it. This makes the texture soft and foamy. After steaming milk, a barista might slam their pitcher down on the counter. This isn’t an act.

By tapping the bottom of the milk pitcher, you can eliminate accidental bubbles that are too big. During the aeration process, these often form. When there are fewer bubbles, it’s easier for the barista to pour latte art, making the texture taste better.


There is some disagreement about where the flat White came from. We know it began in 1985 or 1989 in New Zealand or Australia. Frank McInnes, who used to work as a barista, told the story in New Zealand. He says he came up with the flat White when he gave a customer what he thought was a cappuccino, but it turned out to be a flat white instead.

Alan Preston, who used to work as a barista and owns a cafe, says he came up with the flat White. His version says the drink was first made in 1985 in his Sydney cafe. He even made a website with photos to show his true story. No matter what, we’re happy to have the flat White in cafes worldwide.

The history of the cappuccino is much more simple. It was first served in Austria but became very popular in Italy. Most people think the name “cappuccino” comes from the light brown color of the monks’ robes at the time.

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