Cortado vs Latte – Key differences, Tips & Advice

In this guide, we will explore key differences between Cortado vs Latte. Once you know the differences, you can choose yourself a favorite one.
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer
Samanta Fryer is our senior editor and content writer, at CoffeeVibe. Apart from writing and reading, she’s fond of the coffee brewing process and enjoys tasting new coffe read more
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Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks
Ryan Hendricks is our tester, who puts products through their paces. He used to be a barista and is now a full-time coffee enthusiast. He’s always testing out new gadgets, read more
Last updated: August 22, 2023
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Cortado vs latte, what should we know? Both of these coffee drinks are very enjoyable. Cortado isn’t as popular within the US, but it is well-loved all around the world. Cortados were here before the latte was, but the lattes are still trendy and go down a treat. Both coffees have different serving sizes, but they both share beautiful textures, flavors, and boldness. There are many varieties around for the cortado, such as coconut milk, brown sugar cinnamon, and the Nespresso cortado. The latte has several variations also such as the café latte, snickerdoodle, and the lavender latte.

What Is a Cortado?

Cortado vs Latte - Key differences, Tips & Advice

Good question! The cortado is a coffee drink that comes from Spain Trusted Source The drink of a nation | Food | The Guardian Giorgio Locatelli: As you may well have gathered by now, I am a bit of a purist about food. But when it comes to coffee, I’m not only a purist, I am a fanatic. . Cortar means cutting, and when the steamed milk is added, it cuts through the acidity within the espresso. Depending on where you are, the drink may be referred to as something else like France, who call it a noisette. Cuba refers to the drink as a cortado, and they tend to add in some condensed milk. Whatever name you refer to this drink as it has a huge amount of caffeinated goodness. You get two ounces of steamed milk and a double shot of espresso. You then serve it into what is called a cortado glass which is also called a glass tumbler.

This solution mixes in with the acidity to give the coffee a more even taste. The drink shouldn’t be as strong as the macchiato but stronger than the flat white.

Cortado vs. Latte: What Is the Difference?

Cortado vs Latte - Key differences, Tips & Advice

Now let’s talk about the difference between the cortado and the latte. The biggest difference is the composition. The cortado is described as a more balanced coffee due to the equal amount of coffee and milk. The latte has a different ratio from coffee to milk, and it can sometimes come very high at a 6:1 ratio. Lattes tend to have chocolate or cocoa to dust on the top which adds a little more sweetness to the coffee. Due to the amount of froth the latte has, it has become a worldwide fad of making art with milk foam. This cannot be done with cortados as they don’t have any foam.

How to Make a Cortado

To make a cortado coffee, you need some good quality grounded coffee which will be used to make the espresso part of the coffee. It is best to use beans that have been roasted for espresso as the milk pairs best with this. If you don’t have this, you can use any ground coffee. Beans that are meant for espressos are roasted more than the beans used for other coffees and adds in a smoky flavor.

Now you need your milk. You only need around 2 ounces. The skin milk or ones with lower fat content are often used in cappuccinos and lattes as they froth up much easier and quicker.

When it comes to the cortado, you can go with heavy milk or light cream if you wish.

To make your cortado, you need to take your coffee and measure the correct amount and then grind them down. Now you can tamp them right into the filter and ensure they are compressed well. You want a tight pack so the water that flows through doesn’t go through too fast, which will create a diluted, weak coffee. Now you can pour the milk into the pitcher and go ahead and steam it. For this, you want only to heat the milk. You want to avoid frothing it.

Combine the milk and espresso into the glass and go ahead and add any syrups or flavor extracts you want to include. Just like any coffee, it is best to serve right away when it’s fresh and hot.

How to Make Latte

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Lattes are much more famous than the Spanish cortado. Due to lattes being so popular, there’s a chance you are already familiar with how to make them. If you don’t know how to make one, we can help you with that. Lattes can be made with an espresso machine, and it makes the job simple and easy. You need espresso grounds that are ground up finely.

Now you need to heat the espresso to 145 degrees Fahrenheit and pour it into your latte cup and then add in your milk. Aim for the little sizzle when you add your milk as it mixes through the espresso. The milk will cause the top layer to rise up, and the rest will settle back into the cup. If you still have some foam that has settled in the pitcher, you can use that to top off the rest of the drink. You really cannot add too much foam to your latte, as this is what really makes it.

Tips and Advice

The Best Beans to Use for Cortado Coffee

Coffee lovers tend to lean towards arabica beans, but when you are adding milk, you want more of a bold flavor. Robusta beans are not as floral-scented or as fruity, but they add a punch. Vietnamese beans work best for cortado coffee.

The Best Beans for Latte

Because latte is based on espresso, you want to go for dark roasted beans. The medium roasted beans are also good as they add a crema and different flavor to the coffee.

K-cup Styled Coffee

Cortado vs Latte - Key differences, Tips & Advice

A k-cup styled brewing system is when you brew a single cup of coffee from a machine. There is a little cup that is called the k-cup, which is where the grounds are located. The k-cup is a plastic cup that has a filter and a lid. The Nestle Nespresso Capsules are placed into the coffee machine, and then you follow the prompts to make a coffee. You can use a k-cup twice, but the coffee and flavor will be weaker.  The machine has a frothing part on the unit so you can easily make your own latte at home.


Is Flat White the same as Cortado?

Cortado refers to the milk that cuts into the espresso. The milk is created the same as the flat white, but the cortado has less foam to keep the denser milk texture.

Does Latte Mean Milk?

Latte actually is milk in Italy. The cappuccino has more foam than the latte, so when people say latte is they mean espresso with frothy milk.


After reading through our tips, hints, and recommendations, you should be able to make the best cup of coffee that tastes just like a luxury café. Choose your beans wisely and your k-cups and even mix and match a few varieties before you settle for one. Try one or try a few, and you might end up creating the best-tasting coffee.


The drink of a nation | Food | The Guardian
Giorgio Locatelli: As you may well have gathered by now, I am a bit of a purist about food. But when it comes to coffee, I’m not only a purist, I am a fanatic.

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