Americano Vs. Flat White: Are They Same?

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Have you ever wondered the difference between an Americano and a Flat White? Are they the same cup of coffee, or do they have some distinguishing features that set them apart? 

It’s time to learn all about these two popular espresso drinks.

Let’s start by looking at an Americano. This espresso-based beverage is made with hot water poured over a single or double shot of espresso. 

The result? A strong, robust caffeinated drink that packs quite a punch! This drink’s key ingredient is the espresso, which gives it its signature flavor and bold kick.

Let’s get into more details!

What Is Flat White Coffee?

Americano Vs. Flat White

Flat White Coffee is a coffee drink originating from Australia and New Zealand, made up of two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and topped with microform. [1]

The result is a creamy coffee with an intense flavor without bitterness or acidity. It lies somewhere between a latte and a cappuccino in strength and texture. 

Flat White Coffee was invented by Gwyneth Derer in Melbourne in the 1980s as an alternative to the overly-sweet lattes popular at the time. 

Its popularity spread quickly throughout Australian cafes before eventually reaching Europe, North America, Asia, and beyond.

What Is Americano Coffee?

Americano coffee is a type of espresso-based beverage that has its origins in Italy. It is made by diluting an espresso shot with hot water, creating a much weaker but still flavorful drink than the traditional Italian espresso. 

The name “Americano” likely comes from American soldiers stationed in Italy during WWII looking for something similar to what they had back home, usually just black coffee. 

The result became known as the Americano because it resembled (on a much more concentrated level) what Americans drank on their soil. Over time this form of brewing spread worldwide and can be found in many coffee shops today.

Related: Americano Vs. Cappuccino: A Comparison Guide.

Americano Vs. Flat White

Taste And Flavor

An Americano is a coffee made by adding hot water to espresso. This creates a strong taste and bold drink, similar to regular black coffee. It is generally less bitter than espresso and can be served with or without milk and sugar.

Unlike an Americano, a flat coffee contains steamed whole milk mixed into a shot of espresso rather than just hot water. 

This results in a creamy texture, sweeter taste, and smoother flavor compared to the more intense flavors of Americanos.

Brewing Method

Americano is typically made by brewing espresso and then diluting it with hot water. The espresso shot is extracted using a high-pressure machine that forces hot water through finely-ground coffee beans.

On the other hand, a flat white requires steamed milk to be poured over an espresso shot. 

The barista will prepare the espresso much like an Americano, but instead of adding hot water, they will steam and texturize fresh milk before pouring it into the cup.

Overall, both drinks are based on brewed espresso shots – but their differences come down to how these shots are used and combined with other ingredients. 

An Americano is essentially diluted coffee brewed at a higher pressure than regular drip coffee, while a flat white is more like a latte – combining rich steamed milk with bold shots of espresso for a creamy and indulgent beverage.

Milk Preparation

For an Americano, no milk is prepared. The espresso is served in a cup with hot water added for dilution.

Steamed milk must be prepared for a flat white before adding the espresso shot to the cup. The milk should be frothed until it reaches a creamy texture and pours directly into the cup on top of the espresso shot.

Caffeine Content


The caffeine content of an Americano and a Flat White is quite similar. The former, however, contains slightly more caffeine than the latter. 

An Americano typically contains around 80 to 150 milligrams of caffeine per cup, while a Flat White usually clocks in at 60 to 120 milligrams. 

That being said, both are still relatively low on the spectrum when it comes to coffee drinks with high levels of caffeine!

Health Considerations

Regarding health considerations, the difference between an Americano and a flat white is minimal. The main difference lies in the amount of milk added; a flat white contains more steamed milk than an Americano. 

Both drinks are low-calorie options since they only have espresso, water, and small amounts of milk. If you’re looking for something healthier, opt for decaf or alternative milk such as almond or coconut milk instead of regular dairy milk.

A Comparison Table

Here’s a comparison table summarizing the differences between Americano coffee and Flat White coffee:

FeatureAmericano CoffeeFlat White Coffee
Taste and FlavorStrong, bold, less bitterCreamy, smooth, sweeter
Brewing MethodEspresso + hot waterEspresso + steamed milk
Milk PreparationNo milk addedSteamed milk frothed to a creamy texture
Caffeine ContentSlightly higher (80-150mg/cup)Slightly lower (60-120mg/cup)
Health ConsiderationsLow-calorie, minimal milkLow-calorie, more milk added

Similar Coffee Guide

Final Thoughts

Choosing between an Americano and a Flat White is about your taste and preferences. The Americano is your go-to choice if you crave a strong, bold coffee experience resembling black coffee. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a creamy and smooth texture with a sweeter flavor, Flat White will satisfy your coffee cravings. 

Remember, both options offer a relatively low caffeine content and are low in calories, making them a great choice for coffee lovers who want to enjoy their cup without guilt. 


Why Is Flat White More Expensive?

The higher price of a flat white can be attributed to the additional effort and skill required to prepare the microfoam and the ingredients’ quality.

Is Flat White Stronger Than Latte?

In terms of coffee strength, both flat whites and lattes generally contain the same number of espresso shots. However, the difference lies in the amount of steamed milk and microfoam, making the flavor and texture of a flat white slightly more intense.

Is Americano Very Bitter?

An Americano is generally less bitter than espresso since it is diluted with hot water. However, the level of bitterness can vary depending on personal taste and the quality of the espresso used.

What Is The Disadvantage Of Americano?

One potential disadvantage of an Americano is that the dilution process can result in a milder flavor than a straight espresso shot. Additionally, some may find an Americano’s lack of milk and foam less visually appealing.

Why Do People Order Americano With Milk?

Some individuals prefer to add milk to their Americano to enhance the flavor, add creaminess, or balance the intensity of the coffee. 

Written and Published by:

Hello! I'm Joe, the face behind this myperfectgrind,com. While I may not be an expert, my love for coffee runs deep. Through my website, I aim to share my personal experiences, discoveries, and the joy that coffee brings me. Join me as we explore the world of coffee together, learning, growing, and enjoying every cup along the way. Learn more.