Cortado Vs Latte - Their Differences, Caffeine, Calories, Taste

Cortado Vs Latte – Their Differences, Caffeine, Calories, Taste

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 20:59

In the Cortado Vs Latte debate and brew battle it is good to know just how different these two coffee drinks are.

Often a cortado is mistaken for a latte and called a mini latte. This could not be more inaccurate. Looks are deceiving!

Keep reading to find out the differences between the two.

Cortado Vs Latte – Their Differences

A cortado may look like a mini latte, but as you’ll soon see, that is where the similarities end.

The key differences are:

  • A cortado is made with a double espresso, a latte is made with a single shot of espresso.
  • A cortado has a 1:1 ratio of coffee to milk, a latte has a ratio of 1:2.
  • A Latte is made with steamed milk, a cortado with texturized milk.

As a word, a latte is not the same as a café con leche. The only difference is the milk. A café con leche is made with scalded milk.

Cortado Vs Latte
Latte Art

Read: Macchiato Vs Cortado

What Is A Cortado?

A cortado is the classic coffee drink from Spanish coffee culture. While considered as a specialty drink on the international stage in Spain, it is an ordinary coffee drink where you can get it everywhere: bars, restaurants, hotels and of course every coffee shop in Spain has it on their menu.

It’s made with a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of texturized milk.

Texturized milk is steamed milk that has not been frothed.

Variations And Taste

A cortado has a very soft, smooth and velvet-like texture. A cortado also has a much more prominent espresso flavor than a latte, which is due to the lower ratio of coffee to milk. The result of the espresso to milk ratio being in equal parts is that a cortado is very similar to the coffee base of an espresso without the milk froth. The only difference is the type of milk (steamed vs texturized) and the quantity (single shot vs double shot).

A cortado is designed to be sipped, enjoyed and as you do, you will notice that it is a very balanced coffee drink. Spices, syrups or flavoring are not added to a cortado.

The most common variation of this drink in Spain is its baby brother, the cortadito. The “ito” suffix is diminutive in the Spanish language; this is a cortado made with a single shot of espresso and an equal amount of texturized milk.

In Cuba, a cortado is made with sugar added to the beverage to tone down the strong bitter coffee taste. In some coffee shops some like to make it with condensed milk instead of regular milk.

What Is A Cortado
A Cortado

What Is A Latte?

A latte is perhaps the most popular espresso coffee drink worldwide. Often a cortado is mistaken as a mini latte, or smaller café con leche. As I already mentioned, a latte and a café con leche are two different drinks due to the type of milk used.

A latte is a very milk coffee drink with moderate amounts of caffeine and are very easily customizable to suit the drinker with a variety of milks like oat milk, coconut milk, almond milk and soy milk as well as skim milk being popular variations asked for.

Of course there are a lot of flavor variations to suit every coffee drinker.

Variations And Taste

The steamed milk, foam, espresso creates a coffee with a creamy rich and exquisite exotic mouthfeel. 2/3rds of the drink is milk and thus the bitter taste of the coffee is nullified. When it is steamed, it results in an exotic texture and mouthfeel.

Flavored lattes are very popular with mocha, vanilla, hazelnut and pumpkin spice being the most popular options at Starbucks.

It is very popular to add a sprinkle of cocoa or cinnamon.

Cortado Vs Latte Calories

With all things being equal, it is best, as a matter of accuracy, to compare a regular latte with a regular cortado.

Assuming the same beans and the same milk is used to make each drink, both should have the same amount of calories.

Black Coffee has literally no calories, and thus it is fair to say that the espresso shot be it a single or double shot of espresso has the same amount of calories.

Thus, the contributing factor to which has more calories is determined by the quantity of milk used to make the drink.

  • Cortado: 60 ml (2 Oz) espresso and 60 ml (2 Oz) milk.
  • Latte: 30 ml (1 Oz) espresso and 60 ml (2 Oz) milk.

Basically, it’s a tie, a draw as both are equal.

What will tip a latte over and make it have more calories than a cortado is the flavored syrups that you have which contain 10 calories per pump. If you have a sprinkling or drizzle of chocolate, that too will add to the calorie count.

If you are on a diet and watching your calories, keep that in mind. At Latte Love Brew we encourage you to live and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Cortado Vs Latte Calories Caffeine Content

It is very easy to identify which of these two coffee drinks has the most caffeine and calculate how much caffeine is in each drink.

Since both have an espresso base, and we know that a shot of espresso has 75 mg of caffeine we can deduce that a latte has 75 milligrams of caffeine and cortado has 150 mg.

That means three cortados and six lattes will put you over the FDA’s recommended 400 mg per day maximum amount of caffeine. For pregnant ladies, the limit is half as much, 200 mg per day.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cortado Vs Latte

Is Cortado Stronger Than Latte?

Yes, a cortado coffee is stronger than a latte, both in terms of a bold taste of coffee and the caffeine content.

A cortado is made with two shots of espresso and an equal ratio of textured milk. A latte has one espresso shot and a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2 which results in a weaker espresso flavor and far less caffeine when compared to a cortado.

Why Is Cortado So Small?

A cortado is so small because it is meant to be a small coffee drink. The word cortado is derived from the past participle of the verb cortar, meaning to cut. The use of the word cortado is in the context of to cut short which is precisely what the drink is a short coffee. The word short is also derived from the same verb.

Is Cortado Single Or Double Shot?

A cortado is made with a double shot of espresso coffee. A cortadito, a smaller Spanish coffee drink, the little brother of a cortado is made with a single shot of espresso.

I’ve lived and worked in Spain for 12 years and worked in a few different Spanish coffee shops and can personally reassure you that a cortado is always made with a double shot.

What Is The Difference Between Café Con Leche And Latte?

The difference between these two beverages is very subtle and ever so slight. A latte is made with steamed milk while a café con leche is made with scalded milk. Another slight difference between these two drinks is also very slight and also related to the milk. The milk for a café con leche is not frothed while the milk for a latte is.

How Is A Café Au Lait Different From A Caffe Latte?

The difference between a latte and a café au lait is much greater than the difference between a latte and a café con leche.

A latte is made with a single shot of espresso while a café au lait is made with brewed coffee. The milk used to make a latte is steamed milk and foamed milk while a café au lait is made with steamed milk with no froth.

The cup used to serve a café au lait is very different also, it is a very wide bowl like cup. It is served in a wide brimmed cup that resembles a bowl as the French often dip the croissant in it.

Is A Cortado Stronger Than A Cappuccino?

A cortado and a cappuccino have the same strength and coffee flavor as the espresso base and milk is the same. A cortado is a larger version of a cappuccino without the milk froth.

In terms of the caffeine content, a cortado is much stronger as the drink has a double espresso as its base while an espresso has a single shot.

Final Thoughts – Cortado Vs Latte

Now you know the difference between these two tasty and delightful coffee drinks: the choice of a Cortado vs Latte and which is better for you, more suited for you is yours to make.

Join our cool coffee community and let us know which of the two drinks you prefer. Find us on Facebook/Meta.

Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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