Cortado vs Latte: What’s the Difference?

Cortado vs Latte

Cortado vs Latte: Coffee ordering can be stressful. It can be extremely confusing with all of the different coffees available in the coffee shop, each with vague descriptors of “milk+espresso.”If you’ve never experienced a cortado or a latte, this article will explain the difference between these two coffee beverages.

Cortado vs Latte
Photo by CoffeeAffection.com 

Cortado vs Latte

Both contain the same base ingredients — espresso and milk — but they are prepared and served differently.

 So, today, we’re going to make things a little easier by analyzing the distinctions between two of those coffees:  cortado vs. latte. You’ll find all the details about both coffee drinks, how they differ, and, in the end, you’ll know which one is best for you!

Start With The Basics

Almost every coffee drink sold at your neighborhood coffee shop is made with two fundamental ingredients: espresso and milk (usually steamed milk and foam). First, analyze how these ingredients differ in a cortado vs latte.


Espresso Is Expected

Both the cortado and the latte, like many other gourmet coffee beverages, are produced with an espresso base. Both drinks, in fact, use a doppio or double shot of espresso.

So, regardless matter which drink you order, you can count on one or two ounces of espresso to appear. That equates to 65-130 mg of caffeine!


Milking It

The addition of milk is another feature that separates the cortado from the latte. Specifically, after the espresso has been put into the cup, the barista steams and adds the milk, creating a layered effect in which the coffee becomes stronger as you drink more.

You should be aware, however, that these coffees do not include the same amount of milk. In fact, only one of them uses milk foam to finish the drink. So, let us discover what differentiates each drink.

You should be aware, however, that these coffees do not include the same amount of milk. In fact, only one of them uses milk foam to finish the drink. So, let us discover what differentiates each drink.

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What is a Cortado?

Let’s start with the basics, what is a cortado? This espresso drink originated in Spain and is now spread throughout the world. In Spanish, “cortado” means “cut,” and this drink is an espresso shot sliced cut with steaming milk. It’s basically equal parts espresso and steamed milk, with no flavoring or sugar added. This means that one shot of espresso is paired with equal portions of milk, resulting in a drink that is around three or four ounces in total. This drink has a strong espresso flavor with a milky undertone.

The cortado can be produced foam-free or with a thin coating of microfoam. The Spanish, unlike the Italians, enjoy less foam in their coffee cups. This less-frothed milk provides the drink a velvety texture as well as a wonderful balance of espresso and milk.

What is Cortado

What is a Latte?

So, Lattes are an Italian coffee drink created with espresso shots and plenty of steamed milk. The steamed milk is delicately frothed, forming a microfoam layer on top of the cup. This beverage comes in sizes ranging from 6 to 20 ounces. Depending on how much caffeine you want, you can order a latte with one to three shots of espresso.

Lattes are popular because they combine a powerful espresso flavor with a large amount of smooth, creamy milk to produce a mellow espresso flavor. You can also add a variety of flavored syrups to help you make exactly what you want. If you’re seeking something sweet, try a caramel or peppermint latte!

What is Latte

Size Matters

The size of the two coffees is the most visible variation between cortado and latte.

A cortado is 3-4 ounces in size, with 2 ounces of espresso and 1-2 ounces of steamed milk, with little to no froth on top. So this is a little drink that is normally served in a small glass (usually with a 4.5-ounce capacity–half the size of an average coffee).

Lattes, on the other hand, typically contain 2 ounces of espresso topped with 6-8 ounces of steaming milk. Lattes include a generous amount of microfoam, which gives them their distinct texture. As a result, a latte is rough twice the size of a cortado.


What is the caffeine difference?

A cortado has a higher caffeine concentration because it uses more espresso coffee. It contains 136 mg of caffeine, whereas a latte contains 68 mg. (source)

Each espresso shot will provide 68 mg of caffeine to your beverage.

So, ordering your latte with an extra shot of espresso will enhance the caffeine amount.


How many calories are in a cortado and latte?

Typically, A latte contains 6 oz (0.18 l) of milk. The milk used is a combination of steamed and foamed milk. A cortado is a typical espresso coffee drink with steamed milk and no foam topping that is normally made with 2 oz (0.06 l).

The milk in a cortado is used to dilute the intense espresso shots below what is considered “normal strength.”

The milk-to-espresso ratio in both beverages might vary based on your intensity choice and the coffee shop you visit.

You can always request an extra shot of espresso to make your drink stronger.

Cortado vs Latte

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What is the flavor difference?

Cortados need steamed milk, whereas lattes require steamed milk as well as a layer of froth.

The drinks will taste significantly different due to the texture of the milk. Steamed milk smoothes out the powerful espresso coffee, while foamed milk provides some texture.

The amount of espresso used impacts the flavor of these drinks as well.

Because a cortado contains more espresso, it has a stronger coffee flavor and less milk flavor.

A latte, on the other hand, uses a single shot of espresso and more textured milk to make a coffee that most people can love.

The cortado, in my opinion, tastes richer, with more of the espresso flavors coming through.

Because it contains more milk, a latte has a more textured and frothy flavor. This results in a more balanced drink with the ability to taste the espresso coffee but without the strong flavors that come with it.

This means that how much coffee you want to taste in your drink is completely up to you, but both beverages will taste fantastic!


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Conclusion

So, which one is your favorite? Should I have a cortado or a latte? You have an option. Both drinks are wonderful, and it makes no difference which one you choose.

They’re both fantastic in their own right, and the only person who can make that choice for you is you!

I hope you found this essay entertaining and educational. If you want to understand more about coffee, please read the articles I’ve linked below.

Which type of coffee do you prefer? Please let me know by writing a comment below. If you have any additional coffee-related questions, please contact me personally by clicking the “Contact Me” tab at the top!


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