We had a fantastic opening weekend at Cobden Chambers, mix of sunshine, bit of rain, some great live music and of course lots of coffee.
There is always one question that gets asked a lot though when you start talking to people and it’s an odd one but a great one.
“What is the difference between a latte, cappuccino and a flat white?”
I figured I would write a little blog post and begin to explain the difference! This is the Stewarts of Trent Bridge interpretation and you will find many other variations across the coffee world and that’s why there is so much darned confusion. At least you know what you will be getting from us right!
It goes espresso in first and then nearly all steamed milk with a nice layer of frothed milk on top. This for us is the a simple, great latte. We put espresso in first so that the milk can help push the crema (the lovely, creamy layer on top of the espresso) to the top, helping to create the beautiful patterns we have learned to love in our coffees. I’ve also seen layered latte’s with espresso, milk and foam all created and kept separately by use of a bar spoon and I’ve seen lattes created with the espresso going in last. At Stewarts we prefer the simple classic.
A lot of debate around this drink and it stems from peoples taste. There are actually varying degrees of cappuccino with the standard cappuccino being 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk and the final 3rd being frothed milk. A ‘wet cappuccino’ means more steamed milk than froth and a ‘dry cappuccino’ is more froth than milk. All up to interpretation. I personally prefer my cappuccino a little on the wet side because I hate too much froth left at the end of the drink, I feel like I’ve somehow wasted some precious coffee. That’s probably just me though. Finally of course, a sprinkle of chocolate. Apparently this is a UK or US thing? Who knew?
I’ve debated this time and time again with barista’s from all over and if I am honest I am still confused as to what the original and “proper” flat white should be. I’ve heard it’s in a smaller cup with a ristretto coffee (espresso machine but shorter volume of coffee). I’ve heard it’s an espresso with an even smaller layer of foam that a latte? At Stewarts we keep it simple, we think a flat white means no foam at all. Pure steamed milk on top of an espresso. So that’s what we do.