Flat White VS Long Black (Detailed Comparison)

Flat white and long black are both espresso-based coffee drinks. Flat white has steamed milk and microfoam meanwhile long black has only water added to the espresso shots.

Coffee is a diverse and versatile beverage that caters to the masses. Each region has its own way of making it. This is the sole reason coffee shops have numerous types of lattes and artisan coffees available.

In recent times flat white has gained a lot of popularity. But some people still like their long black. What exactly is in them that makes them so different, yet well-loved?

Let’s find out together.   

What’s The Difference Between Flat White and Long Black?

The main difference is that flat white contains milk and long black does not contain any milk. Also, the way they both are prepared is different from each other.

Flat white and long black are well-loved coffees. They provide a great amount of caffeine thus reducing your drowsiness. Each of them also contains antioxidants and nutrients. But the major difference is that one contains dairy and the other has no dairy.

A long black is a ristretto-based coffee without any dairy. Ristretto is an espresso shot that’s made in less time compared to an espresso. It has a much sweeter and less acidic flavor profile. An espresso’s or ristretto’s double shots are added in a cup filled with very hot water to make long black.

This results in a sweet and balanced coffee flavor and the crema is also impacted.

On the other hand, a flat white is an espresso-based coffee that has steamed milk and milk foam. In a double shot espresso, steamed milk is added along with the microform to make a flat white.

Which Drink Is Stronger: Long Black or Flat White?

A long black is stronger than a flat white. The steamed milk subdues the espresso flavor in flat white making it less strong.

You might be wondering that if both of these are made with espresso then which one is stronger than the other? The answer to this is a long black.

It was designed to be stronger and more potent. It is the same as an Americano but with a sweeter flavorful profile because of the preserved crema.

The coffee compounds are very actively distributed throughout the coffee giving it a much stronger and bolder aromatic profile. I explained the basics of a long black here if you are interested.

a cup of flat white

However, a flat white is unlike a long black. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an espresso-based coffee style but with steamed milk and milk foam added. This reduces the overall stronger punch in comparison to a long black. Flat white has a very prominent espresso taste and flavor but is not as strong as a long black.

I found this great video for you to understand more about espresso-based coffee drinks.

very informative!

Which Is Healthier?

A long black is healthier in the long run because it doesn’t contain any dairy or sugar. But if you want to experience a great power-packed coffee once in a while flat white is the right choice.

Flat white and long black both are healthy because they contain espresso made from coffee beans. And coffee, as we all know by now, is jam-packed with essential nutrients.

Coffee is high in antioxidants and is one of the largest sources of antioxidants in a western diet. It helps in weight loss and reduces blood sugar levels along with many other things. But long black is much healthier in the long run. Why?

It’s simply because it doesn’t contain any amount of sugar or any dairy. A large number of sugars like sweeteners & syrups and dairy-like kinds of milk & creams lead to some serious health issues like type 2 diabetes, weight gain, skin issues, and much more.

Generally, long black doesn’t come with any sweetness added, but if you like you can add natural sweeteners but in minimal amounts. Flat white is made with full-fat whole milk which is not so good if you consume it every day or more than usual. Flat white is a creamy coffee that can be a treat to enjoy once in a while.  

I have prepared a chart comparing the two and their contents.

CoffeesCaloriesProteinsFatsCarbohydratesSugarSodium
Long Black 8 oz5 0 g2 g1 g0 g5 mg
Flat White 8 oz1538.9 g8 g11.6 g11 g89 mg

Which Has More Caffeine?

Long black has more caffeine than a flat white. Flat white has 86 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup. Long Black has 205 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup.

Espresso is a very concentrated form of coffee. This is because of the way it’s tightly packed and very hot water runs through it, making coffee components like caffeine very active and potent.

That’s the reason it is only consumed in small quantities and not in tall mugs. And you will find that most kinds and styles of coffee start with espresso as a base.

With that being said, you might be thinking, that every coffee made with espresso is high in caffeine. That’s not the case. The additives added to the espresso determine which has more caffeine or not.

a cup of long black coffee

Thus, long black which only has water added to the espresso has about 205 mg of caffeine in an 8 oz cup. And Flat white which has steamed full-fat milk added to the espresso has about 86 mg of caffeine.

But keep in mind, do not drink long black or flat white heavily because excessive caffeine in your system can damage our internal organs and their functionalities. 400 mg of caffeine is advised in a day. Be sure to follow the advised limit to maintain great health.

Pros and Cons of Each Drink

A long black and flat white both have their benefits and some negative effects. Long black contains no sugar or dairy and flat white is made with steamed full-fat milk.

Each coffee has its own benefits. But regular use or overconsumption can lead to negative effects on your body.

First, let’s find out the pros and cons of a flat white.

Pros Of Flat White

Flat white has gained massive popularity in recent times. These creamy espresso base drinks have some great benefits for your body.

 They’re as follows:

  • Excellent source of antioxidants
  • Boosts energy instantly
  • Prevents liver cancer
  • Builds concentration
  • Improves short term memory
  • Reduces risk of stroke

Cons Of Flat White

If you aren’t a heavy flat white drinker, then you don’t have to worry. But if you drink more than 2 cups in a day, the excessive caffeine, dairy, and sugar regularly will give trouble. You might face these negative effects.

They’re as follows:

  • Skin issues
  • Jitteriness
  • High sugar
  • Increased cholesterol level
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney problems
  • Lower iron levels

With this, now you know the pros and cons of regular and overconsumption of flat white. Let’s see what long black has for us.

Pros Of Long Black

A long black is a great alternative for people who like a sweeter yet bolder version of espresso. These watered-down espresso base drinks have some great benefits for your body.

They’re as follows:

  • Quick jolt of energy
  • Boost in alertness
  • Reduces drowsiness
  • Great source of antioxidants
  • Supports immunity system
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Lowers down cholesterol level
  • Maintain blood sugar levels
  • Protects from diseases like heart related problems, Alzheimer, and liver cancer

Cons Of Long Black

Coffee in any form can only harm you if you overload on it. long black if consumed in moderation does no harm, but out of limits can be dangerous.

They’re as follows:

  • Heartburn
  • Ulcers
  • Jitteriness
  • Nausea
  • High Cholesterol
  • High Blood Pressure
  • High Glucose levels
  • Kidney problems

How Are They Different In Taste?

Flat white is creamy and frothy with the strong and bitter taste of espresso. A long black is on the bitter side but much sweeter and fuller in taste and aroma.

A flat white is an awesome choice for coffee aficionados. You get to enjoy a nice aromatic coffee with a creamy mouth feel. The double shots of espresso give it a stronger punch along with being bitter.

But the full fat steamed milk with milk foam on top gives it a rich and velvety texture that complements the bitterness with its sweetness.

a cup of flat white

Whereas long black is totally different. It is usually made with ristretto which in simple words is a much sweeter and less acidic form of espresso.

This shot of ristretto is added on top of already hot water. This way the crema stays on top, giving it a balanced yet strong flavor profile. A long black is bitter but you can add sweetness if you prefer it.

My Two Cents

Long black and flat white are both excellent choices of coffee but for different kinds of people. Some like to enjoy their coffee in full glory with silky smooth dairy and much-needed sugar.  

Some like to drink coffee like fuel. Straight-up espresso shot in water. They both work well for people who enjoy them.

Since flat white has other additives, in the long run, a flat white isn’t as healthy as a long black. Long black can improve your cognitive performance and give you an everlasting energy dose because of having high caffeine levels.

But since it can be bitter to some people you can add sweetness or have a cup of flat white to get the best of both worlds. But keep in mind whichever coffee style you prefer, always drink it in moderation and in small amounts, otherwise, you might face some life-threatening health issues.  

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Matt Marshall

As I learn more and more about coffee and coffee products I want to share all my learnings with you here on this website. I hope you find my articles useful and entertaining to read.

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