Flat White Vs Cafe au Lait: Differences & Which Is Stronger

Flat White Cafe Au Lait

Two of the most popular coffee drinks are cafe au lait and flat white.

The cafe au lait is a classic coffee drink that originated in France. It is made with coffee and micro-foamed milk, and is often served in a glass or mug.

The flat white, on the other hand, is a more recent invention that originated in Australia. It is made with espresso and steamed milk, and is served in a small ceramic cup.

So, what’s the difference between these two popular drinks?

Cafe au lait is made with coffee and hot milk, while flat white is made with espresso and micro-foamed milk. Cafe au lait is usually served in a small cup, while flat white is served in a large and narrow cup. Flat white has a higher ratio of coffee to milk than cafe au lait.

So keep reading below to learn more about the difference between Flat White Vs Cafe au Lait.

What Is Cafe Au Lait?

Cafe au lait is a café-style coffee drink served with hot, steamed milk. It was first produced in France during the 17th century, and its name translates to “coffee with milk, and it’s made with equal parts coffee and steamed milk and should not be confused with a “Latte”, which is also a coffee with milk.

What is the difference between latte and café au lait?
Café au lait in France is a morning drink that you can make at home combined with traditional French food such as a croissant.

What Is Flat White?

A flat white is a hot coffee drink that originated in Australia and is now popular worldwide. It’s similar to a cappuccino, latte, and caffè mocha.

Some consider the flat white to be a variant of the latte in that it's made with two essential ingredients: espresso and steamed milk. 

However, a flat white differs from latte and cappuccino by its darker espresso and foam. In New Zealand and Australia, it’s made with a double shot espresso (similar to an Americano), whereas in the United States, a single picture of the espresso is used. 

Why is it called a flat white?
In addition, a flat white is characterized by textured milk foam that lightly covers the drink's surface. Some even add a dollop of hot milk foam on top for added texture.

What Is The Difference Between Café Au Lait VS Flat White?

Type Of Milk Used

The milk used in the Cafe Au Lait comes from steaming, whereas the milk used in the Flat White comes from steaming and frothing.

The Ratio Of Coffee And Milk

The Café au lait uses equal amounts of coffee, and milk whereas a Flat white is 1 part coffee to 3 parts milk.

The Size Of The Drink

Café au lait is served in a larger cup than the flat White. A Cafe au lait is served in a mug or a large cup, whereas the flat White is usually served in a smaller cup.

The Amount Of Foam

Flat White is made with textured milk foam on the surface, whereas the Café au lait does not have any foam poured over it.

The Texture Of The Drink

Flat White has a smooth texture, whereas the Café au lait has a thicker consistency.


Flat White is pungent in taste because of the amount of coffee used. At the same time, the Café au lait is light in flavour.

The Time Of Drinking

Café au lait is a morning drink, whereas Flat White can be drunk any time of the day.

Is Café Au Lait The Same As Flat White?

No, café au lait is not the same as a flat white. Although both drinks are made with coffee and milk, they are prepared differently.

A café au lait is made by combining brewed coffee with hot milk. The proportions of coffee to milk can vary, but a typical ratio is 1:1. This drink is usually served in a small wide cup or bowl.

A flat white, on the other hand, is made with micro-formed milk and pouring it over a shot of espresso. The milk is steamed until it is frothy and then poured over the espresso. The result is a drink with a strong coffee flavor and a creamy texture.

How Much Milk is in a Flat White vs Café Au Lait?

A flat white is made with less milk than a café au lait. A typical flat white has about 2 ounces of milk, while a café au lait has about 4 ounces. This means that a flat white has less than half the amount of milk of a café au lait.

Is Cafe Au Lait Stronger Than Flat White?

The difference between a flat white and cafe au lait is the espresso. A flat white uses a single or double shot of espresso instead of brewed coffee, whereas a cafe au lait uses only brewed coffee.

The caffeine content in a flat white will be stronger than in the cafe au lait because it has an extra shot of espresso. 

The caffeine content in a flat white is around 40-45 mg, whereas the caffeine in a cafe au lait is only 15-20 mg.


Is café au lait normal coffee?

A café au lait is simply made of coffee and milk. It has a flat and lighter taste than the espresso. A latte is made with an espresso, steamed milk and foam.

Why is a flat white so many calories?

In Australia, a Flat White is served in a smaller cup than other countries like the United States. But the servings in Australia are bigger so you should be careful control yourself.

Why do people order café au lait?

The reason why most people order café au lait is because of its creamy texture and light taste. It is one of the favorite morning drinks for many people because it can jumpstart your day in an easy manner.

Is flat white coffee sweet?

A flat white is simply made of coffee and foam. It has a creamy flavor with a little bit of foam on top. But, it is not as sweet as a frappuccino or latte because there are no milk and sugar added to it.

Conclusion: Cafe Au Lait Vs Flat White – Which is better?

What is the difference between café au lait and flat white?

It is essential to try both of these drinks to decide which one you like more. It is because both of them are great and have their uniqueness. 

Both have their texture; both have their taste. The Flat White is pungent in taste mainly because of the amount of coffee used, so if you are a person who does not like strong flavoured coffee, this will not be the best choice for you. 

However, flat White has a smooth texture, unlike the Café au lait, which has a thicker consistency with equal parts of milk and coffee. 

These two are very popular. Hence we cannot say that one is better than another, but both are equally great. We now know that flat white is stronger than a au lait and also the difference between flat white and cafe au lait!

For more information about the flat white or any other questions regarding the subject matter, please post a comment below.

I’m not a coffee expert, so it’s easy for me to make mistakes with this article. However, I want to make this article helpful in all possible ways and hope you will also contribute your ideas and thoughts.

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