At first glance, all coffee drinks are made up of the same ingredients: coffee and milk. The difference between them is the order in which the ingredients are mixed and the methods they are made. As an example, I’d like to compare a flat white and a latte macchiato. They both consist of only two ingredients, but their appearance and taste won’t allow you to confuse them.
So, to make a latte macchiato, froth milk at 60-66⁰С with a large amount of foam. After the ideal consistency is reached, tap the pitcher slightly on the table twice. This will help separate the foam and milk into layers.
Layering is a distinctive feature of this drink, where you can see layers of milk, coffee, and froth on top. To achieve this, you should pour espresso into milk because the order of adding the ingredients differs from that in other beverages. On a side note, because of this order of mixing liquids, a dark spot is left on top of the froth, which sounds like “macchiato” in Italian.
Let’s sum it up. Latte macchiato is a hot coffee drink made by pouring espresso into milk. It is served in transparent glasses. Although the milk taste is prevalent in this drink, the amount of caffeine is equal to that in pure espresso. It is a big misconception to rate latte macchiato as a drink for kids.
Let’s move on to a flat white. Consumers choose it for the strongest coffee taste among other milk-based coffee beverages. It was created by a New Zealand roaster and barista Derek Townsend as a result of his experiments to balance coffee and milk flavors. The barista avoided a lot of foam and reduced the milk proportion. The drink retained its delicacy, but thanks to double espresso, its bright coffee taste was highlighted (in contrast to latte where coffee taste is not pronounced and the taste of milk comes to the fore). How is it made? First, make a doppio (aka double espresso). Then, pour whipped milk into it and mix coffee crema evenly with the milk. For flat white, froth milk with a small amount of foam. Due to the liquid proportions, you’ll get a quite dark drink.
Both beverages differ in taste and appearance. It’s great that coffee and milk can be combined in different ways so that consumers can choose something to their liking.