Iced Flat White vs Iced Latte: Your Ultimate Guide to Choosing

Summer is here, and it's time to switch up your coffee game! In this ultimate guide, we're comparing two popular iced coffee drinks - iced flat white and iced latte. Get ready to learn about the milk, espresso, and foam used, the brewing methods, and the taste profiles of these two drinks. Which one will be your new go-to for a refreshing and indulgent coffee experience? Let's find out!

Understanding Iced Flat White and Iced Latte

Origin of Flat White and Latte

The flat white and latte both have their roots in the espresso-based coffee culture, with origins in Australia and New Zealand. The flat white is believed to have been first created in the 1980s, while the latte has been around since the 1950s, with its origins in Italy. Both drinks have gained popularity globally and are staples in cafes and coffee shops around the world.

Key Components

Iced flat whites and iced lattes share some similarities in their key components, such as espresso and milk. However, there are notable differences between the two:

Iced Flat White:

  • Contains two ristretto shots (concentrated espresso)
  • Uses 4 ounces of cold milk
  • Characterized by microfoamed milk and a creamy texture

Iced Latte:

  • Can have a single or double shot of espresso
  • Uses more milk than an iced flat white
  • Characterized by frothed milk and a lighter, airier texture

Flavor Profiles

The main distinction between an iced flat white and an iced latte lies in their flavor profiles. Due to its higher proportion of espresso to milk, the iced flat white has a stronger and more robust coffee flavor, appealing to those who prefer a more intense espresso taste.

On the other hand, an iced latte is characterized by a larger volume of milk, resulting in a milder and milkier taste. This makes it a popular option for those who appreciate a more balanced and less intense coffee flavor.

In summary, the iced flat white and iced latte differ primarily in their proportions of espresso to milk, leading to variations in their textures and flavor profiles. While both drinks originate from the espresso-based coffee culture, the iced flat white has a more recent history in Australia and New Zealand, in contrast to the latte's Italian roots dating back to the 1950s. The choice between these two refreshing iced beverages ultimately comes down to personal preference for a bolder or more subdued coffee flavor.

Ingredients and Preparation

Espresso Base

Both iced flat white and iced latte start with an espresso base. For an iced flat white, it is recommended to use two ristretto shots. A ristretto shot is a more concentrated espresso with a richer flavor due to a smaller amount of water being used during the extraction process. On the other hand, an iced latte typically uses standard espresso shots, which have a balanced and slightly more diluted flavor compared to ristretto shots.

Cold Milk Choices

The type of milk used in these beverages is a significant factor that differentiates them. Iced flat whites require microfoamed milk, which is steamed milk that has been aerated to create a thick and velvety texture. In iced lattes, frothed milk is used, giving the drink a lighter and airier texture compared to the iced flat white. Although whole milk is most commonly used, alternative milk choices like almond milk can also be incorporated to suit personal preferences or dietary restrictions.

Iced Flat White Iced Latte
Milk Microfoamed Milk Frothed Milk
Texture Thick and Creamy Light and Airy

Sweeteners and Other Flavors

While both iced flat white and iced latte can be consumed without any added sweeteners, they can also be customized to fit individual taste preferences. Some common sweeteners include sugar and various flavored syrups like caramel, vanilla, and others. It is important to note that adding sweeteners or flavorings can alter the original taste of the espresso, potentially masking more subtle flavors present in the coffee.

  • Sugar
  • Caramel syrup
  • Vanilla syrup

In conclusion, the primary differences between an iced flat white and an iced latte lie in the type of espresso base used, the type and texture of the milk, and the option of adding sweeteners and flavorings. By understanding these distinctions, you can better choose the beverage that suits your personal taste preferences.

Milk Foam and Texture

Steamed Milk vs Microfoam

In the world of coffee beverages, milk foam and texture play an essential role in differentiating between various drinks. For iced flat whites and iced lattes, the key difference lies in the milk used. While iced lattes can be made with steamed milk that has little to moderate foam, iced flat whites use microfoam. Microfoam is produced by aerating steamed milk at a high pressure, resulting in a thicker and velvety texture.

Frothing Techniques

Different frothing techniques are applied to create unique textures for iced flat whites and iced lattes. For iced lattes, the milk is steamed and aerated using a frothing wand to create some foam, but not as dense as the microfoam used in an iced flat white. Skilled baristas adjust the technique to produce just the right amount of foam on top of a latte, depending on customer preferences.

On the other hand, creating microfoam for an iced flat white requires more precision. The barista uses a frothing wand to add small amounts of air into the milk while steaming it, aiming for a consistent, silky texture rather than large bubbles. The end result is a velvety and smooth milk foam that distinguishes the iced flat white from an iced latte.

When evaluating milk foam and texture, keep the following elements in mind:

  • Steamed milk: This is used in iced lattes and can have different levels of frothiness, depending on the drinker's preference.
  • Microfoam: A crucial aspect of iced flat whites, microfoam provides a velvety texture and consistency that sets it apart from iced lattes.
  • Frothing techniques: Baristas employ different frothing techniques for iced lattes and iced flat whites, ensuring that each drink has the desired texture.
  • Pressure: This is an essential factor during the frothing process, as it affects how air is incorporated into the milk, altering the texture in the final beverage.

In crafting your coffee delights, it's pivotal to note that the equipment plays a significant role in achieving that perfect brew. For serious coffee aficionados and businesses, investing in the right equipment can make all the difference. If you're looking to upgrade your coffee-making setup, consider browsing the commercial espresso machine collection. Whether you're planning to buy a commercial grade espresso maker or seeking a commercial quality espresso machine for sale, having a top-notch machine is crucial in mastering the nuances of milk foam and texture in beverages like the iced flat white and iced latte. Making the right choice can elevate the taste, texture, and overall coffee experience for both baristas and their customers.

Differences and Similarities

Taste, Strength, and Sweetness

The taste of an iced flat white and an iced latte varies due to the type of milk used and the amount of espresso shots. An iced flat white uses microfoam milk, which has a thicker, creamier texture, while an iced latte uses frothed milk, resulting in a lighter, airier texture. The iced flat white has two shots of espresso, making it a stronger and bolder flavor compared to the iced latte. Furthermore, an iced latte has a milder coffee taste since it contains more milk than an iced flat white, which contributes to its sweetness.

Caffeine Content and Calorie Comparison

The caffeine content in an iced flat white tends to be higher due to the increased number of espresso shots. As for the calorie count, it mainly depends on the type of milk employed in both beverages. However, the iced latte's higher milk ratio may result in a higher calorie count, particularly if a sweeter, full-fat milk variety is used.

Here's a comparison between the two:

Coffee Drink Caffeine Content Calorie Range
Iced Flat White Higher Depends on Milk Type
Iced Latte Lower Depends on Milk Type

Visual Appearance: Coffee Art

In terms of visual appearance, both iced flat white and iced latte have their unique coffee art due to the distinctive milks used. The microfoam milk in a flat white creates a velvety and smooth texture that often results in a more polished and subtle coffee art. On the other hand, the frothy milk in an iced latte creates a lighter and less dense layering, which can lead to more elaborate designs or a minimalist appeal.

In summary, the differences and similarities between an iced flat white and an iced latte can be found in their taste, strength, and sweetness, caffeine content, calorie count, and visual appearance. While both drinks are espresso-based and offer a refreshing sensation, the choice depends on one's preference for flavor profiles and desired aesthetic.

Making Iced Flat White and Iced Latte at Home

In this section, you will learn how to make an iced flat white and an iced latte at home, including the right equipment, detailed step-by-step recipes, and useful tips to create these delicious iced coffee beverages using your home espresso machine and a blender.

Choosing the Right Equipment

For both iced flat white and iced latte, a quality espresso machine is essential. It will allow you to extract the best flavor from the coffee beans and create the right proportions for each drink. In addition, a so-called portafilter is crucial for pulling the espresso shots.

A blender or milk frother is another essential tool for making iced coffee beverages at home. It will help you create the cold froth, which will add texture and creaminess to the drinks.

Step-by-Step Recipes

Iced Flat White Recipe

  1. Prepare two ristretto espresso shots using a total of 14 grams (½ ounce) of finely ground coffee in the portafilter. Each shot should yield approximately 15 milliliters (½ ounce) of espresso.
  2. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
  3. Pour the ristretto espresso shots over the ice.
  4. Froth cold 2% fat milk using a blender or milk frother to create a robust, long-lasting foam. Note that other milk types can work as well but may yield slightly different results in terms of foam amount and consistency.
  5. Pour the frothed milk on top of the espresso, slightly mixing while pouring to obtain a balanced coffee-milk combination.

Iced Latte Recipe

  1. Make a double espresso shot using your espresso machine and approximately 14 grams (½ ounce) of ground coffee.
  2. Froth ¼ cup of whole milk, either by shaking it in a covered jar or using a blender/milk frother until achieving a creamy, frothy consistency.
  3. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
  4. Pour the double espresso shot and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup (optional) over the ice.
  5. Add the frothed milk to the glass, creating a smooth and creamy iced latte.

Additional Tips and Tricks for Preparation

  • For optimal flavor, use freshly ground coffee beans when preparing your espresso.
  • Experiment with different milk types like almond, oat, or coconut for alternative flavors and textures.
  • Maple syrup or simple syrup can be used to add a touch of sweetness to your iced coffee beverages without overpowering the taste.

Enjoy your homemade iced flat white and iced latte, prepared with care and following these easy steps. Happy brewing!

Related Coffee Beverages

In this section, we will discuss other popular coffee beverages, which can be compared and contrasted with iced flat white and iced latte.

Cappuccino vs Macchiato

Cappuccinos and macchiatos are two espresso-based drinks with variations in the way they are prepared and served. A cappuccino consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam, creating a balanced coffee experience. On the other hand, a macchiato is made by pouring a small amount of milk over a single or double shot of espresso, resulting in a strong coffee flavor.


  • Served in a 5-6 oz cup
  • 1/3 espresso
  • 1/3 steamed milk
  • 1/3 milk foam


  • Served in a 3 oz cup
  • Single or double shot of espresso
  • Small amount of milk


Mocha is another espresso-based beverage that blends the bold taste of coffee with the rich flavors of chocolate. It is typically made by combining espresso with chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and often topped with whipped cream.

  • Espresso
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Steamed milk
  • Optional whipped cream


An Americano is a diluted espresso-based beverage that provides a milder coffee flavor compared to an iced flat white or iced latte. An Americano is made by adding hot water over a single or double shot of espresso, reducing the intensity of the coffee taste.

  • Single or double shot of espresso
  • Hot water

The variety of coffee beverages available allows coffee lovers to choose a drink that best suits their preferences. Whether you enjoy the strong flavor of an iced flat white or the creaminess of an iced latte, each beverage offers a unique and enjoyable coffee experience.

Personal Preferences and Customization

Adjusting Ratios for Taste and Texture

When it comes to iced flat white vs iced latte, personal preference plays a significant role. Coffee enthusiasts and experts both agree that the customization of these iced coffee drinks allows consumers to tailor their beverages to their unique tastes.

One way to modify these drinks is by adjusting the ratio of espresso to milk. An iced flat white generally contains a higher espresso-to-milk ratio, resulting in a stronger and bolder coffee taste. On the other hand, an iced latte has a higher milk-to-espresso ratio, providing a creamier and milder flavor.

Experimenting with these ratios can create different taste experiences and allow individuals to find the perfect combination for their personal preference. For instance, a person who prefers a stronger coffee taste might opt for a higher espresso-to-milk ratio, while someone who enjoys a smoother and creamier beverage would lean towards a higher milk-to-espresso ratio.

Experimenting with Sweeteners

Another area of customization is the addition of sweeteners. While both iced flat whites and iced lattes can be sweetened to taste, the choice of sweetener can make a considerable difference in the overall flavor profile of the drink.

Some popular sweeteners for iced coffee drinks include:

  • Sugar (white, brown, or raw)
  • Flavored syrups (such as caramel, vanilla, or hazelnut)
  • Honey
  • Artificial sweeteners (like stevia or sucralose)

Each sweetener offers distinct taste characteristics, and experimenting with various options can help individuals find the perfect complement to their iced flat white or iced latte. For example, a coffee enthusiast might prefer the natural sweetness of honey, while another might enjoy the bold flavor of a caramel syrup.

Ultimately, the personal preferences and customization in the iced flat white vs iced latte debate come down to individual taste and experimentation. By adjusting ratios and experimenting with different sweeteners, individuals can create their perfect iced coffee beverage that suits their taste buds.

Price and Affordability

When comparing the iced flat white and iced latte, one of the first considerations is their respective prices. Iced flat whites tend to be more expensive than iced lattes due to the higher amount of espresso used, even though the total liquid volume might be similar.

For example, at Starbucks, an iced flat white's price is influenced by the use of two ristretto shot, which provides more concentrated flavor and requires more skill in preparation. On the other hand, an iced latte will typically have a single regular espresso shot, resulting in a lower cost since the strong flavor is not required. In terms of calorie content, an iced latte generally has more calories than an iced flat white, as the former has a larger volume of milk. This is reflected in the menu and nutritional information provided by various coffee shops.

  • Price: Iced flat white > Iced latte
  • Calorie content: Iced flat white < Iced latte

Another relevant factor for affordability is the components of each drink. As mentioned earlier, an iced flat white contains a higher espresso-to-milk ratio, which contributes to its richer taste and higher price. Additionally, a flat white uses a relatively equal amount of velvety foam and milk, while a latte is primarily milk and espresso with a light addition of foam. This difference in texture can also influence the cost.

In terms of size, lattes are usually larger than flat whites. A standard latte recipe calls for around 10 ounces of milk, while a flat white uses around 6 ounces, making the latte comparatively more affordable when considering the quantity of beverage received.

While both options can be considered affordable for an occasional treat or daily indulgence, the iced latte may be more economical for those on a budget.

To summarize the price and affordability aspect:

  1. Component costs: Iced flat white uses more espresso, contributing to a higher price.
  2. Calorie content: Iced latte has higher calorie content due to more milk.
  3. Size and volume: Lattes are generally larger than flat whites and may offer more value for money.

Iced Flat White vs Iced Latte

When deciding between an iced flat white and an iced latte, understanding the differences between these two espresso-based drinks can help guide your choice. Both drinks share some similarities, such as the inclusion of espresso and cold milk, but they also have significant differences in terms of taste, texture, and coffee-to-milk ratio.

An iced flat white contains a higher concentration of espresso to milk compared to an iced latte. Typically, it consists of two shots of espresso, cold milk, and ice cubes, resulting in a stronger coffee flavor and a creamier texture. The milk used in an iced flat white is often denser and richer, resulting in a velvety beverage that has a more pronounced coffee taste.

In contrast, an iced latte has a larger percentage of milk and usually includes a layer of foam on top. This creates a more balanced taste between the espresso and milk, yielding a milder coffee flavor. The drink's texture is lighter and smoother due to the steamed milk and foam.

Considering the tasty aspect, an iced flat white might satisfy those who prefer a stronger, creamier coffee flavor, while an iced latte could be the better option for those who enjoy a milder, more refreshing drink. Ice cubes in both beverages help maintain their coolness and contribute to their pleasant summer drink appeal.


In conclusion, the main differences between an iced flat white and an iced latte lie in the coffee-to-milk ratio, taste, and texture. The iced flat white offers a bolder coffee flavor with its higher espresso content and creamier, denser milk. The iced latte, on the other hand, provides a milder coffee taste with more milk and a layer of foam creating a lighter, smoother experience.

Ultimately, the choice between these two cold espresso drinks depends on individual preferences regarding taste and texture. Those who seek a more intense coffee flavor might opt for an iced flat white, while those who appreciate a more balanced combination of espresso and milk may find the iced latte more to their liking. Regardless of one's preference, both these tasty beverages offer a delightful and refreshing option for coffee lovers.

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Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.

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