If you’ve never had a cortado or a latte, this article will give you a quick rundown of the differences between these two coffee drinks.
Both have the same base ingredients — espresso and milk — but the preparation and serving methods are different.
Below, you’ll find all the information about both coffee drinks, how they differ, and at the end, you’ll know which is the right drink for you!
Cortado vs. latte, what’s the difference?
The main difference between a latte and a cortado is that the former is made with more milk than the latter. A latte generally contains three-fourths steamed milk to one-fourth espresso, whereas a cortado usually has half and half.
A cortado is served in a small espresso glass, whereas a latte is served in a tall glass.
The latte is topped with a layer of foam, while the cortado only uses steamed milk without the foam.
Now that you know about the main differences, it’s time to dive a little deeper into what sets these drinks apart:
What is the difference in espresso used?
A cortado uses two espresso shots (2 oz or 60 ml), while a latte uses a single espresso shot (1 oz 30 ml).
Out of the two coffees, the cortado has a more robust flavor. This is because more espresso coffee is used to prepare the drink.
The amount of espresso can change depending on how your favorite coffee bars serve these coffees, but this is roughly the standard used globally.
What is the caffeine difference?
Because a cortado uses more espresso coffee, it has higher caffeine content. It comes in at 136 mg of caffeine, while a latte has 68 mg of caffeine. (source)
Each espresso shot will add an additional 68 mg of caffeine to your drink.
So, if you like to order your latte with an extra shot of espresso, you’ll also increase the caffeine content.
How much milk is used in a cortado and latte?
Typically, a latte uses 6 oz (0.18 l) of milk. The milk used consists of steamed and foamed milk. For a cortado, 2 oz (0.06 l) is usually used for this traditional espresso coffee drink with steamed milk and no foam topping.
In a cortado, the milk is used as a way to dilute the concentrated espresso shots below what would be considered “normal strength”.
For both drinks, the ratio of milk to espresso can change, depending on your strength preference and the coffee bar you go to.
You can always ask for an extra shot of espresso to increase to strength of your drink.
How many calories are in a cortado and latte?
You can make both the cortado and latte with different kinds of milk. Depending on which milk you like added to your coffee, you can calculate the number of calories.
Most of the time, whole milk is used to prepare these espresso-based drinks.
I’ve made a table with the number of calories for both drinks, with some of the most popular milk and milk alternatives that are used. Have a look below to get an idea of the calories in your favorite drink:
|Milk used:||Calories in a cortado:||Calories in a latte:|
|Whole milk||37 calories||110 calories|
|2% fat milk||30 calories||92 calories|
|Non-fat milk||26 calories||77 calories|
|Oat milk||30 calories||90 calories|
|Almond milk||10 calories||30 calories|
|Soy milk||24 calories||96 calories|
As you can see, the number of calories differs significantly between the drinks. Because a latte uses more milk, it’ll always have more calories.
If you want a lower-calorie drink, then a cortado may be the best drink for you. Or, you can choose to order a latte with lower-fat milk instead. It’s all up to you and your preference!
What is the difference in flavor?
Cortados are made with steamed milk, whereas lattes require steamed milk but also a layer of foam.
Because of the texture of the milk, the drinks will taste very different. Steamed milk adds a smooth flavor to the robust espresso coffee, while foamed milk adds a bit of texture to it.
The amount of espresso used also plays a role in the flavor of these drinks.
A cortado uses more espresso, so it’ll have a more robust coffee flavor and less milk flavor.
On the other hand, a latte uses a single espresso and more milk, which is also textured, creating a coffee that most can enjoy.
In my opinion, the cortado tastes a bit denser, and you can taste many of the espresso flavors.
A latte has a more textured and fluffy flavor to it because it’s more milk-heavy. And this creates a more well-balanced drink where you can still taste the espresso coffee, but without the strong flavors that come with it.
This means that it’s up to how much coffee you like to taste in your drink, but either way, both drinks will taste great!
Recipe tip: If you want to learn how to make a cortado at home, you can get the complete recipe here.
Cortado vs. latte, which is the right drink for you?
A cortado is similar to a latte, but rather than using a 1/4 ratio of espresso and steamed milk like in a latte, the barista pours espresso over an equal amount of steamed whole milk.
The result is espresso with some micro-foam on top, whereas in a latte, the foam sits on top of the creamy milk.
So if you’re looking for something milder than a straight shot of espresso but still want to enjoy that rich body and bold flavor, then this might be just what you’re craving.
Plus, they come in these amazing little glasses! Some people say that it’s more concentrated than other coffee drinks, so it might be too intense for some. But don’t worry because there are also cafes that offer half sizes.
I hope to have given you enough information to make an informed decision about which drink fits you best.
Personally, I like to drink a cortado over a latte because I prefer the stronger espresso taste it has to offer.
If you like to have a more mellow and laid-back flavor, then a latte might be best for you!
Tip: You can check out this easy recipe to make a latte at home!
Related coffee comparison articles
Are you wondering how the cortado and latte compare to other coffees?
Great! Check out the articles below for more in-depth coffee comparisons:
- Cortado vs. Macchiato
- Latte vs. Cappuccino vs. Macchiato
- Latte vs. Coffee
- Latte vs. Mocha
- Latte vs. Skinny Latte
And to compare more coffees, visit the coffee comparison hub!
So, what’s your favorite? A cortado or a latte? The choice is yours. Both drinks are delicious, and it doesn’t really matter which one you choose.
They’re both great in their own way, and the only person who can make that decision for you is yourself!
I hope that you found this article to be interesting and informative. If you’re interested in learning more about coffee, then please check out the articles I’ve listed below.
Which coffee do you prefer drinking? Let me know by leaving a comment down below. If you have any other questions regarding coffee, you can also contact me directly by pressing the “Contact Me” button at the top!