What Is The Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino [Detailed]

What Is The Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino [Detailed]

Last updated on January 22nd, 2024 at 13:30

In this article I’ll talk about the difference between flat white and cappuccino coffee drinks.

These two beverages are very different with literally no similarity at all. In this article I detail both beverages and talk about their differences from the drinks themselves and how they taste to the amount of caffeine, sugar and calories.

Keep reading as I dig in and detail the difference between these two tasty beverages.

What Is The Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino

These two beverages are two very different coffee drinks in almost all aspects and areas. For a start, a cappuccino is made with a single one ounce (30 ml) shot of espresso while a flat white is made with a double shot of a more focused and concentrated espresso drink, a ristretto.

The base of the entire coffee beverages are different. The ratios of the steamed milks are also different. A cappuccino has the same amount of steamed milk as there is coffee (1 ounce, 30 ml) while a flat white has twice as much milk as there is coffee, 80 ml (2.67 oz).

The layer of milk foam is also different as the foam for cappuccinos is the same amount as there is coffee used, 1 oz (30 ml) and is a creamy micro foam. A flat white has only a hint of microfoam, a small 1 cm (half an inch) layer.

The cup they are served in is also different – a cappuccino is served in a typical wide rimmed 3 ounce, 90 ml coffee cup while a flat white is served in a tall clear 4 ounce, 120 ml glass.

In short, these two cups of coffee are very, very different.

Difference Cappuccino Flat White
Type Of Coffee Used Single shot of espresso Double shot of ristretto
Type Of Milk Used Whole Fat Milk, unless alternative requested Whole Fat Milk, unless alternative requested
Quantity Of Milk Used 1 ounce (30 ml) 2.67 Ounce (80 ml).
Coffee To Milk Ratio 1:1 1:2
Microfoamed Milk An abundant layer of creamy microfoam approximately 1 ounce (30 ml) Tiny thin flat layer of microfoam of 1cm (0.5 inch).
Type of Cup Used Wide brimmed 3 oz coffee cup Tall clear 4 oz glass used.
Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino
A Flat White

Read: Does cappuccino have sugar?

What Does A Cappuccino Taste Like?

A cappuccino is notable for the bold, rich and strong coffee taste and the sweetness of the milk and rich silky texture and light and luxurious mouthfeel. It’s a beverage that is slightly sweet due to the naturally occurring sugar in the milk.

What Does A Flat White Taste Like?

A flat white is a more focused and concentrated beverage with a stronger and more dominant taste of coffee with the dark roasted ristretto shot cutting through the milk with ease. It’s a coffee beverage that combines the intensity and flavor of the coffee with the rich silky mouthfeel of a milk based coffee drink.

Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino Calories

Both of these two tasty beverages have different amounts of sugar (well get to that in a moment) and calories. If you are on a diet, the better choice for all drink sizes is a cappuccino.

Beverage Size Cappuccino Calories Flat White Calories
Short 8 Oz (180 ml) 70 110
Tall 12 Oz (240 ml) 100 170
Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) 140 220
Venti 20 Oz (600 ml) 200 290
A Cappuccino
A Cappuccino

Read: Does macchiato have caffeine?

Flat White And Cappuccino Caffeine Content

The most caffeinated of these two beverages for all drink sizes is a flat white. The reason behind this is there being slightly more coffee and a more potent coffee in the flat white.

Beverage Size Cappuccino Caffeine Content Flat White Caffeine Content
Short 8 Oz (180 ml) 75 mg 130 mg
Tall 12 Oz (240 ml) 75 mg 130 mg
Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) 150 mg 195 mg
Venti 20 Oz (600 ml) 150 mg 195 mg

Flat White And Cappuccino Sugar Content

A flat white has more sugar than a cappuccino due to the greater amount of milk used in the beverage.

Here is a table of the amount of sugar in each drink for all drink sizes.

Beverage Size Cappuccino Sugar Content Flat White Sugar Content
Short 8 Oz (180 ml) 6 grams 8 grams
Tall 12 Oz (240 ml) 9 grams 13 grams
Grande 16 Oz (360 ml) 12 grams 17 grams
Venti 20 Oz (600 ml) 19 grams 22 grams

Is A Flat White Stronger Than A Cappuccino?

When it comes to caffeine content and which has the bigger kick, for all drink sizes a flat white is stronger than a cappuccino.

The stronger taste also comes from the flat white also due to being made with a double shot of ristretto. A ristretto is a more focused and stronger but slightly smaller espresso brewed with a more focused coffee to water ratio of 1:1 whereas an espresso uses an 1:1.5 coffee to water ratio, results in a stronger taste cutting through the milk.

A flat white also has a perfect blend of milk and coffee.

Frequently Asked Questions About Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino

How Is A Flat White Different From A Cappuccino?

A cappuccino is made with a single shot of espresso and an equal part of steamed milk and an equal amount of milk froth. It is a beverage that has all three components of the espresso shot, milk and milk foam in equal amounts.

A flat white is made with a different type of espresso drink, a ristretto and has double shot and has more coffee in total than a cappuccino as a double ristretto is 40 ml (1.33 Oz). To boot, a ristretto is a stronger and more focused than an espresso. While there is more milk used and in a greater ratio, as a flat white has a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2.

Another difference is the layer of micro-foamed milk, it is notably smaller, thinner and only typically 1 cm thick (approximately half an inch) and is flat, hence the name, flat white.

Which Is Stronger Flat White Or Latte?

Between a latte and a flat white, a flat white is stronger in both caffeine content for all drink sizes and in terms of flavor.

The fact that there is slightly more coffee (40 ml vs 30 ml) and the same coffee to milk ratios, the simple fact that a more potent espresso, a ristretto, is used ensures that a more prominent taste of coffee cuts through the milk.

Which Is The Strongest Coffee?

The strongest and most potent coffee is the shot that is used in a flat white – a ristretto. The coffee to water ration is in equal parts, 1:1, This high concentration make for stronger coffee flavor and more caffeine per ounce than any other coffee beverage.

Read: What is the difference between a latte and a cappuccino?

Why Do They Call It A Flat White?

There are a couple of stories as to how this popular coffee beverage got its name. One is the coffee drink is so-called due to how it looks – a thin flat white layer of foam on top.

The second story, is the beverage name comes from a New Zealand barista Frazer McInnes was making a cappuccino with low fat milk and failed to get it to froth properly. With typical Kiwi charm and positivity he christened the beverage a flat white, the name has stuck ever since.

Why Is Flat White So Popular?

Because it is a great tasting coffee beverage! A flat white is popular because it is a cup of coffee that has a great balance between the strong coffee flavor and the rich tasting milk and silky texture with microfoam.

What’s Closest To A Flat White?

The closest coffee beverage to a flat white is a latte due to containing a very similar amount of coffee and a similar coffee to milk ratio and, pretty much the same amount of micro foamed milk on top. The difference between the two is only that a slightly greater amount of coffee in a flat white and a different type of espresso shot – a double ristretto vs single shot of espresso in a latte.

Final Thoughts – Difference Between Flat White And Cappuccino

If you have read this far you know the difference between flat white and cappuccino coffee drinks. These two beverages are tasty, enjoyable and are different coffees, completely different.

If you need more of a caffeine boost and dominant taste of coffee, a flat white will serve you better than a cappuccino. Similarly, if you want tasty rich coffee with a luxurious mouthfeel and fewer calories, a cappuccino will be your better choice.

Which do you prefer, a flat white or a cappuccino?

Tell us on our active online coffee community on Facebook/Meta and share your flat white or cappuccino coffee morning selfies, coffee recipes and coffee creations.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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