Cortado coffee vs latte: Explaining all the differences

Cortado coffee vs latte is a comparison of two unique but apparently same looking coffee flavors. Both drinks have espresso and milk as the primary ingredients. But the question arises then: What are the differences between them? Let’s discuss this in detail.

Most coffee flavors are prepared with milk and espresso, but the difference comes in the volume of ingredients, the use of coffee beans, and the brewing process.

Only a slight change in ingredients or the brewing process can make a big difference in taste and aroma. Whenever you try to make an ideal cup of coffee, always try to get the perfect ingredients and brewing process.

A latte is perhaps the most consumed drink after espresso. It comes with double-volume milk and one espresso shot. In contrast, Cortado has an equal amount of milk and espresso.

When talking about the difference between latte coffee and cortado coffee, the difference is in the volume of milk and espresso. Also, check another exciting comparison between latte and mocha.

Otherwise, if you see these drinks, you will be confused and find it challenging to differentiate them. However, the first significant difference is the latte always serves in a large glass, and the cortado serves in middle-size glass.

latte, cortado and beans
Cortado vs latte

What is cortado vs latte?

If you want a strong drink with milk, your choice should be cortado. It is comparatively more robust and has more bitter coffee flavors. In comparison, a latte is much smoother and sweeter with the domination of milk.

But if you want to know the exact difference between the two, you should know that the latte adds three or four steamed milk and one espresso shot, and Cortado uses half-cup espresso and half cup milk.

Check the difference between cafe con leche and latte.

I love making both drinks any time of the day; whenever I feel low, it reenergizes me. Also, both drinks are dissimilar in taste and texture. However, I personally like Cortado because of its strong taste.

Also, what I love most is that i can customize these flavors according to my choice and mood. If I want a more robust coffee, I add two espresso shots instead of one espresso and not adding any extra milk.

Whereas I plan something delicious and more flavorful, I add flavors like chocolate and vanilla sauce to my latte. I even add iced cubes to make a cold latte when I crave something icy.

Also, check the difference between latte and coffee.

Latte vs Cortado coffee: How much difference in taste?

If anyone favors a milder, sweeter taste, A latte should be the ultimate preference. No other drink can compete with the taste and aroma of a latte due to the high volume of steamed and foamed milk.

A latte can be consumed at any time of the day. But if you add other flavors or sugar, it may get sweeter.

In my experience, the Cortado coffee has a balanced and more robust taste. And usually, it doesn’t come with any added flavors. However, if you like to add any flavor, you can add flavors. But it should always be less flavor driven.

If anybody dislikes Cortado coffee’s strong taste, the latte should be your preferred choice.

Cortado coffee vs latte: Which coffee is healthier and has fewer calories?

If you ask me, I would say Cortado is healthier than Latte. It uses less steamed milk and more espresso compared to latte. A Cortado drink has 50 calories because it contains 2 ounces of milk and 2 ounces of espresso.

In contrast, A Latte has a double volume of milk, around 200 calories in one drink. Its calories may increase with added flavors. When steamed and foamed milk is added, it only adds to calories.

If you want a healthier drink with fewer calories, you should go for a Cortado. But if you like a creamier, rich drink with flavor and aren’t worried about calories, go for a latte. You will like Latte for a richer, lighter taste.

Cortado coffee vs latte: Which drinks have more caffeine?

A balanced caffeine content should be the first option when you look to brew your favorite cup of coffee. Adding less caffeine makes coffee smoother and slightly sweeter.

High caffeine is not recommended since it may lead to health issues. And espresso is the drink that contains most of the caffeine. It also depends on the types of coffee beans used.

Cortado and latte have the same level of caffeine if they come with one espresso shot. But if you add two espresso shots in Cortado, the caffeine content will be doubled.

Usually, a latte consists of one shot of espresso, almost 68 mg of caffeine with steamed milk, and added flavor. And Cortado serves with two shots, nearly 136 mg of caffeine. It clearly shows Cortado is a much more potent drink.

Also, check the difference between cortado vs cappuccino.

You should go for a Cortado if you like a more robust flavor and highly caffeinated drink. But if you enjoy a small amount of espresso and steamed or simple milk, you should go for a latte.

cortado coffee

Latte vs cortado coffee: What is the best way to serve these flavors?

The serving of any drink depends on the volume of coffee. If a coffee is made with milk or water, it needs a larger glass than a drink that contains only coffee.

Typically, Cortado serves in a small glass, usually an espresso glass. It contains 2 ounces of espresso and 2 ounces of milk. So, cortado has a larger cup than espresso and is smaller than a latte.

This cup size you can get in every kitchen, unlike a latte that is prepared in a large glass.

A latte has no specific size to prepare; it can be prepared in 8 to 12 ounces cup size. It depends on how much milk you prefer in a single shot of espresso; more milk means more calories and a less intense drink.

Cortado coffee vs latte: Which drink should you pick and why?

If you are new and want to taste both drinks, go for a Latte for a few drinks. Also, add new flavors and syrup to your coffee because a latte is a milder coffee with milk and other flavors. You will like its taste, texture, and aroma.

Afterwards, you can drink Cortado, a slightly firm and bitter drink, and it will take time before you start liking its taste. I love both Latte and Cortado because they have different tastes. At times, I prefer a Latte more because of the extra steamed milk.

At this point, you should know some basic differences between Latte and Cortado. You can decide between these two drinks better, but if you want more details, continue reading this blog.

Cortado: What is it, and how to make it?

Cortado originated in Spain. A Spanish word that means “cut” an equal amount of espresso and steamed milk.

Typically, It doesn’t add any sugar or flavors to this drink. Similarly, Cortado is a robust and rich drink with smoothed foam milk. The Cortado might be heavy for you if you’re new to coffee drinks.

It will take some time to feel the real taste of this drink. Cortado is an easy drink to make and enjoy at any time of the day. So, make sure you use dark roasted beans; it gives a smokey nutty flavor.

Cortado is typically served in a smaller cup than a latte but with a sharper taste. Now, let’s check the pros and cons of Cortado.

cortado vs latte, a Cortado cup

Pros of Cortado

  • Smoother coffee drink
  • Less milky
  • An equal combination of coffee and milk
  • Easy to make
  • Standard cup size
  • Less expensive
  • Can add flavors

Cons of Cortado

  • Bitter taste for new users
  • Powerful drink
  • Less creamy
  • No added syrups

Cortado recipe

Cortado is an easy drink to make and enjoy at any time of the day. So, make sure you use dark roasted beans; it gives a smokey nutty flavor.

Also, I prefer darkly roasted coffee beans to create the bitter taste of your Cortado. Also, medium-grind beans are fine, but make sure they don’t turn into powder.

One ounce of milk is enough if you prefer two-ounce milk in your Cortado. However, lower-fat milk is perfect for a cortado; in fact, low-fat should be suitable for any coffee flavor.

Here are the steps to follow to get your tasty Cortado drink.


The first step is to prepare ground coffee for your espresso. While making espresso, roasted beans should be your preferred option. Follow these steps for espresso.

  • First, tamp the coffee beans into a portafilter and compress them. However, only compress them partially, as they may resist water flowing in an espresso machine.

Also, it ensures your coffee is under-extracted and produces a strong taste.

  • In the Second step, in the espresso machine, put the filter on the coffee ground to get the water flowing. You will get two espresso shots.
  • Meanwhile, put the milk into a stainless jug and steam it. You don’t need to make any foam out of it; boil the milk and put it off before it gets to boiling point.

Now, you can pour steamed milk into the cup of espresso. A cortado coffee is ready. If you like, you can add extra flavor or syrup to it. Your strong Cortado is ready to serve.

Related article

Almond Milk Cappuccino: How To Make It? A Detailed Guide

Which coffee beans are best for Cortado?

Even though there is a hard and fast rule to making coffee with any specific coffee beans, some coffee flavors need some kind of flavors to get the desired taste.

In that case, the Cortado is usually prepared with robusta coffee beans. We should know that robusta coffee beans are bolder and tougher notes compared to Arabica coffee beans.

I suggest getting darker a coffee roast for a cortado. As it will add a more bitter and bolder taste to the coffee. Because use of milk reduces the intensity of espresso so dark roast robusta beans will be the ideal combination.

Also, espresso is a generally intense coffee. Still, when we make it with lightly roasted coffee beans, it makes a very light taste espresso shot, and you will miss the essence of espresso in any coffee flavor. And cortado also adds steamed milk, which makes it less intense, so strong espresso is essential for a cortado.

Latte: what is it, and how to make it?

Latte originated from Italy; it is famous for its smoother delicious taste. Even though Italy is known for solid coffee flavors, a latte is an excellent unique addition.

A glass of Latte

The latte coffee primarily consists of milk and espresso. You can add other flavors to make it tastier and more flavorful.

What makes the latte a unique and most preferred drink for many is due to it latte art. The latte coffee is famous for latte art, making aesthetic designs using microfoam at the top.

Do you know that you can also brew upside-down latte?

The latte contains more steamed and foamed milk with one espresso shot. Combining one or two ounces of espresso and up to six ounces of steamed milk makes a perfect large cup of Latte.

Also, this drink is made with slight changes like adding more foamed milk and less steamed milk if you want a fluffier drink.

Similarly, this drink can add two espresso shots if you feel that the high volume of milk is diminishing the taste of espresso.

With two espresso shots you will get a more robust coffee taste. Even one and a half espresso shots will make a strong enough latte.

Pros of Latte

  • Use of steamed milk to make a frothy and creamy drink
  • It can add various flavors and syrups
  • Serves in a big glass
  • Mild in taste

Cons of Latte

  • Expensive drink
  • Heavy use of milk
  • Take a longer time to make a Latte
  • It contains more calories

Latte recipe

Like cortado, this drink is also very easy to brew. If you have the required ingredients you can pull off great latte flavor.

But make sure to put everything precisely mentioned in the instructions and you will get the desired results.


  • Espresso shot
  • Whole milk
making a Latte, a latte art
making latte art


  • First, make an espresso shot(30ml) in an espresso machine. To get a perfect taste, you need an espressoan machine with a grinder but you can make it with coffee makers like Moka Pot or Aeropress.
  • Meantime, start steaming the milk(90ml). Again preferable option should be made in the steam wand, but you make it manually.
  • In the next step, Slowly pour steamed milk into the espresso glass.
  • Now you can add milk foam on top of your drink. You can make latte art on the top, but if you don’t know this technique, add simple foamed milk.
  • Also, you can add syrups or flavors to make the latte more flavorful.

A delicious cup of latte is ready to enjoy.

Which coffee beans best suit in latte?

Arabica coffee beans usually add to brew latte coffee. Since it has a sweeter note, which cortado a balanced coffee, but it can be made with a combination of arabica and robusta coffee beans, it will give an intense latte with a slightly bitter flavor.

Also, the question arises of how much coffee beans are roasted to get an ideal taste. It depends on how strong a coffee you want.

If you want a strong coffee, darkly roasted coffee beans are probably a better option. The dark roasted coffee beans always have a strong flavor with a slightly acidic note.

However, many people prefer medium roasted coffee beans for a latte. It gives slightly less intensity and makes a milder coffee.

S,o if youare considering a completely milder coffee, the medium roast in latte makes a perfect combination.

But I personally prefer dark roasted beans in a latte because it combines with the smoothness of milk and produces a balanced drink. However, a better option is to try both types of coffee beans.

Do you know the difference between Frappea and latte?

What is an iced Latte and iced cortado coffee?

A latte coffee can brew with different variations. It is not a restricted drink with certain ingredients; you can add more flavors in latte than cortado.

The latte adds iced cubes for the summer to make it a cold coffee. The iced latte has the same ingredients as we use for a regular latte. Also, it doesn’t require steamed milk; only fresh milk will do the job.

However, The iced Latte can also use cooled brewed coffee with a splash of milk. Also, you can make iced cortado coffee, basically adding iced cubes to cortado. Iced cortado is an excellent alternative for the summer season.

Final Thoughts

Frankly, it is unfair to compare and pick one coffee flavor when comparing two great drinks since both drinks have certain qualities and features that you will not only see in other coffee flavors.

Both drinks should be consumed without any hesitation. Latte is sweeter and more flavorful delicious coffee, but cortado is a balanced drink. Also, you can make them more scrumptious by adding flavors of your choice.

None of the flavors is difficult to make; pick the right ingredients and follow the instructions and make your dream coffee flavor.

Related topic.

Latte Vs Coffee: What Are The Differences? A Complete Guide (2023)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why does Starbucks include Cortado in its menu?

Starbucks drinks are highly customizable, so you can only order a short triple latte with a similar amount of milk to make it a customized Cortado. But they didn’t include Cortado in their menu.

What is different between flat white and Cortado?

Generally, it is believed that these two drinks are similar, but in reality, they are different from each other. Cortado is a Spanish drink with untextured milk, whereas flat white is an Australian drink with micro foam milk.

What is the difference between Cortado vs Latte vs Macchiato coffee?

Macchiato is a less milky drink compared to Latte or Cortado. Macchiato is an Italian coffee made with espresso and a small amount of milk. However, in the Latte, a lot of milk is used.

Also, Cortado is made with a similar amount of espresso and milk. The taste of any coffee generally depends on the brewing process.

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