Coffee Facts

What Is a No-Foam Latte and Why Is It Ordered?

A no-foam latte, also commonly known as a flat white, is typically ordered for a smoother texture and a stronger flavor.

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As a barista, I’ve definitely encountered the occasional “no foam latte” requests. Most of the time customers have their reasons for ordering their coffee this way, but there are a few instances where they don’t completely know what they’re ordering.

If you’re someone who’s unsure of what a no-foam latte is, or you’d just like some clarification, this article is for you. So, let’s go over what this espresso beverage customization is and why some people choose to get it.

No-Foam Latte

What is a No-Foam Latte?

To understand what a no-foam latte is, we must first look at what makes up a regular latte. This traditional espresso-based drink is made by steaming up some milk and pouring it over shots of espresso. The steamed milk has a layer of foam at the top, which is typically used to pour latte art and sits at the top of the drink.

It gives the coffee a nice and smooth texture that’s slightly sweet. As popular as this beverage is, there are some reasons why someone may request to go without the foam in a latte. We’ll talk more about that later.

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A no-foam latte is sometimes called a flat white, an espresso beverage that comes from Australia and New Zealand. It depends where you go, but in most places, a flat white is made by steaming milk into a smooth microfoam and evenly distributing it through the espresso.

When pouring the milk into the cup, the thick foam layer that’s usually used in a latte is left out for a more flat and smooth texture. Some say this method can bring out more of the rich flavors found in the shots of espresso. The velvet creaminess is first and foremost in a flat white.

Why Do People Get No-Foam Lattes?

Though it may seem easier to just get a regular latte, there are some people out there who prefer to get no foam on their lattes or rather a flat white. This can be for a few different reasons.

no foam latte with beans
Photo Credit: Depositphotos.

The Flavor

As we mentioned above, the lack of milk foam in this customization creates a flavor profile that enhances the richness of the shots of espresso. This is because there isn’t really anything separating the coffee and milk since it’s all evenly blended. The strong taste of coffee is definitely a leading reason why people ask for no-foam lattes.

The Texture

Aside from the flavor, coffee lovers will also lean towards flat whites for their smooth and creamy texture. For many, the foam typically seen in a regular latte can be too frothy or contain air bubbles that they’d prefer not to feel as they’re drinking their cup of joe.

The Consistency

With both factors of flavor and texture, there’s also a consistency that customers love when it comes to no-foam lattes. Throughout the drink, you’ll find that the texture and taste stay the same, whether you’re just taking your first sip or finishing off the last few drops.

The Dietary Benefits

The last reason people may prefer a latte that lacks a layer of foam is due to the dietary benefits for those who are lactose intolerant or just prefer a little bit less milk in their drink. When there’s no foam, you get just a slightly smaller amount of milk, which can help those looking to focus on their dietary needs.

Does a Latte or a Flat White Have More Caffeine?

Technically, both a latte and a flat white have the same amount of caffeine included in them depending on how many espresso shots you ask for. That being said, you might find that a flat white tastes stronger than a latte because of the smaller amount of milk used once the foam is removed.

You’ll find you can taste the espresso more in a latte that doesn’t have any foam, but there isn’t actually any extra caffeine present in the drink.

a glass of No-Foam Latte against the blurred Italian Coffee Pot and jug of milk
Photo Credit: Canva.

How is a Flat White Made?

A flat white is made a lot like a latte because that is the base drink. Once the shots of espresso are pulled, they’re added to a cup and then the milk for the beverage is steamed. When it gets to a smooth texture, it’s poured onto the espresso.

This is where it differs from a latte, as the foam that’s on the surface of the steamed milk is held back with a spoon as it’s being poured. Once done with that, the espresso and milk are swirled together to make sure it’s all evenly distributed.

Finishing Up the Pour

Hopefully, now you have a more clarified understanding of what a no-foam latte is and why you’ve probably heard it being ordered now and then. Though the difference between a latte made with foam and a flat white is minimal, it can be what makes or breaks a coffee for some people.

Maybe you’re looking to appease your dietary needs or you want to enhance your usual order with a new customization. Either way, requesting a no-foam latte can be great as long as you know what you’re getting.

Happy Caffeinating!

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