Flat White vs Americano

The Flat White vs Americano debate is common in the coffee-drinking community. These coffee drinks are popular among java lovers, although they are pretty different. I will discuss them and help you decide which one is right for you.

Flat White vs Americano General Overview

Flat White and Americano are both coffee drinks that originated in Europe. They are both made with espresso. However, the main difference is milk.

Americano coffee

A Flat White is made with a double shot of espresso and steamed milk, while an Americano is made with one or two shots of espresso and hot water. You can add a splash of milk to an Americano to give a balanced taste. 

Flat White has more milk and a less intense coffee flavor than the Americano. The Americano is stronger and bolder in flavor than the Flat White. It is also a good choice if you are looking for a lower-calorie coffee drink since it has less milk.

Flat White

A Flat White is a coffee drink from Australia. It is made by pouring steamed milk over a shot of espresso and results in a beverage around 180-220 ml in size. Flat Whites are typically served in ceramic cups

The key to making a good Flat White is to pour the milk slowly in a circular motion to mix with the espresso evenly. This mixing creates a smooth and creamy texture. The taste of a Flat White is quite similar to that of a latte with less milk and a stronger espresso flavor.

How to Make a Flat White

To make a Flat White, you will need:

  • Finely-ground coffee (19g)
  • Milk 
  • Tamper
  • Espresso machine
  • Milk jug
  • A mug (8oz)

The process is as follows:

  1. Pour 19g of the finely ground coffee into your portafilter basket.
  2. Apply equal force to the coffee grounds using a tamper to ensure an even flat coffee puck.
  3. Put your mug under the espresso machine, and make your espresso shot so that it flows into it directly.
  4. Fill the jug with milk to the spout’s bottom. Start by placing the wand at the center of the milk, half a centimeter below the surface, and tilting the milk jug slightly sideways. This way, you will produce a whirlpool appearance and a thin coating of smooth microfoam.
  5. Set the steam on high and drop the jug until it produces a hissing sound (this should happen at around 131-143.6 degrees Fahrenheit). If the level of the milk increases, move the wand beneath the surface to prevent further foam from developing. Turn off the steam when the milk gets warm.
  6. To burst any vast air bubbles in your jug, give it a vigorous tap at the surface and stir the milk until it turns glossy. Pour a slow, thin trickle of milk slightly above the coffee, holding the cup at an angle to the milk jug. 
  7. When your cup is two-thirds full, put the tip of the milk jug near the surface of the coffee and pour quicker; the milk froth should come out and sit on top of the coffee, forming a white blob. Continue pouring into the blob till your cup is nearly filled. 
Cup of Flat White coffee

What Influences the Flavor of a Flat White?

The flavor of a Flat White is influenced by several factors, including the type of coffee beans used, the roast level, and the brewing method. Espresso shots made with darker-roasted beans will have a richer and more intense flavor than those made with light-roasted beans.

Additionally, the milk itself can contribute to the flavor of a Flat White. Whole milk will make the drink creamier and richer, while skim milk will result in a lighter-tasting beverage.

Flat Whites are typically made with Arabica coffee beans. However, some baristas may also use a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans to create a more robust flavor profile.


The Americano is a coffee drink consisting of espresso and hot water. It is typically served in a tall glass. The Americano was created by Italian immigrants to the United States, who wanted to replicate the coffee they were used to back home.

The Americano has become a popular coffee drink due to its simple taste and lower caffeine content. Many coffee shops offer variations of the Americano, such as adding flavoring or milk, this is usually referred as a Cafe Misto.

Overall, the Americano is a strong coffee with a simple taste. It is perfect for a quick caffeine fix without bells and whistles.

How to Make an Americano

To make Americano, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Espresso
  • Hot water
  • Glass or mug
  • Stirring spoon

To make the Americano, follow these simple steps:

  1. Fill your cup or mug with hot water up to the halfway point. This will help to preheat your glass and keep your coffee warm.
  2. Pour espresso into your glass. The espresso should fill up about a third of the glass.
  3. Fill the rest of your glass with hot water. Stir to combine espresso and water.
  4. Add ice to your cup or mug (if you want) and enjoy.
Adding milk to a cup of hot Americano coffee

What Influences the Flavor of an Americano?

The grind of the beans, the ratio of coffee to water, and the brewing method all affect the flavor of an Americano. A finer grind will produce a more intense flavor, while a coarser grind will mellow.

The ratio of coffee to water also plays a role in taste; using more coffee will result in a stronger drink.

Finally, the brewing method can make a big difference in taste. A French press will give an Americano a richer flavor, while an espresso maker will produce a more intense coffee taste.

What Influences the Texture of an Americano?

The texture of an Americano is influenced by the ratio of water to coffee, the fineness of the grind, and how long it is brewed.

The higher the ratio of water to coffee, the less textured the drink will be. A fine grind will produce a more textured drink than a coarse grind.

Finally, brewing for a longer time will produce a more textured drink.

Flat White vs Americano

The Flat White and the Americano have somewhat similar flavor profiles since they are both espresso-based drinks with subtle differences in texture and strength. 


  • Both are espresso-based drinks.
  • You can sweeten either drink to taste: If you want to add some sweetness to your coffee, feel free to add sugar, honey, or syrup to either drink.
  • You can ice both of them: If you are looking for a refreshing cold coffee, you can make an iced Flat White or Americano.
  • They are both strong: Both the Flat White and Americano pack a punch in terms of caffeine. If you are looking for a pick-me-up, either of these drinks will do the trick.


A flat white is made with whole milk, while an Americano is made with either hot water or espresso. This means that a flat white will generally have a richer flavor than an Americano.

Hand holding a cup of Flat White coffee

Additionally, the amount of coffee in each drink can vary. Although this is not always the case, a typical flat white will have less coffee than an Americano. If you are looking for a caffeine boost, an Americano is probably the way to go.

Finally, the way each drink is served can also differ. Flat whites are usually served in a small cup, while Americanos are served in a larger mug.

The Major Distinguishing Factor

The major distinguishing factor between Flat White and Americano is the espresso to water ratio.

In a Flat White, there is less water added to the espresso, making it a stronger coffee drink. The milk is also micro-foamed, giving the coffee a velvety texture. An Americano has more water added to the espresso shot, making it a weaker coffee drink. 

When to Drink a Flat White

The best time to have a cup of Flat White is in the morning. It is a great way to start your day, and it will give you the energy you need to get through the day.

Flat Whites are also ideal when looking for something to drink that is not too sweet or overpowering.

When to Drink an Americano

If you are a fan of black coffee, the Americano is a perfect choice. It has a strong taste and is less acidic than other types of coffee. The Americano is an excellent option if you are looking for an afternoon pick-me-up.

The Americano is also a good choice if you are looking for something to drink before a meal. It will help you feel full and can help you avoid overeating.

Which Coffee Is Better?

So, which coffee is better? It depends on your personal preference. Compared to an Americano, a Flat White can seem to be a more sophisticated drink since it is made with espresso and milk, which gives it a smoother taste. 


In the Flat White vs Americano comparison, both are great coffee drinks; however, if you are looking for a strong cup of coffee, go with the Americano. If you want something lighter and more creamy, go with the Flat White. Whichever you choose, you can’t go wrong.