Cortado vs. Latte – What’s The Difference?

Ordering coffee between hundreds of options is really hard, I get it. Sometimes you want to try out new tastes and end up ordering the same coffee because you don’t know what are their differences.

This article is about to enlighten you about the coffee world. Today’s specialty is cortado and latte where people nowadays are losing their minds after these two types of coffee.

Now, you are going to find out what is so special about them, and how they are prepared with or without an espresso machine.

Find which one is a perfect fit for your taste after the gathered information. Enjoy!

Difference Between Cortado vs. Latte

Café Latte In Brief

Café latte or just a latte is another Italian gem made with espresso. If you translate latte in English, it means coffee & milk.

Latte is all about espresso, milk, and microfoam that act as the cherry on top in your morning coffee.

Café Latte should have 3 layers;

The first layer is where a single or double-shot espresso (as you order) is poured for about 1/3 of a cup.

The second layer is the peak. Pour 2/3 of steamed milk into the cup slowly, because we don’t want to mix the espresso underneath. We want to create a layer and separate the coffee from milk.

The top layer contains microfoam created from the milk in the frothing process. The espresso machine is the one here that gets the job done.

Cafe Latte is all about balance, when you catch that balance, you get a delicious taste and a true latte flavor.

Latte can be served both hot or cold.

Cortado In Brief

This time, we have similar ingredients, but the Spanish version. Cortado in English means “to cut”. It’s a little strange at first, but then it clicks because you cut espresso with milk and create cortado.

Cortado is a beverage where half of the coffee is espresso and the other is steamed milk. In comparison with a latte, cortado doesn’t have foam on top, only steamed milk is used.

With a 1:1 coffee and milk ratio, cortado creates only 2 layers. The first layer is espresso, and the second layer is steamed milk. You can use any type of milk, almond, coconut dairy, or rice. Soy is not recommended, but if you want to, then use it.

Iced Latte and Iced Cortado

Latte is served hot and cold. Just letting you know, there is a difference in preparation. The hot version as I mentioned before is done in 3 layers, espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam on top. However, the iced version latte is made from regular brewed coffee and filled with ice (as much as you want).

Cortado is no different from the hot version. For the hot version, the same amount of espresso and milk is added. For the cold version, double shot espresso and steamed milk is used, plus extra ice to cool the heat down.

As you see, there’s no huge difference between iced latte/cortado and hot latte/cortado.


Served Size of Latte and Cortado

Cortado is served in a medium-sized glass cup for about 3-4 oz. The amount of espresso underneath is 2 oz, and the steamed milk is served between 1-2 oz. There is no foam, nothing, pure coffee.

On the other side stands a latte. It is served in larger cup sizes that are usually tighter. Latte has standard 2 oz of an espresso shot in the bottom of the glass mug and is topped between 6-8 oz of steamed milk.

Which One Is Stronger: Cortado or Latte?

Both of them contain espresso and milk, but which one is stronger? -The answer is cortado. Here is why;

Usually, a cortado is served with double shot espresso in a smaller size. You can notice the strength from the flavor too. Cortado has a strong, bold, and intense flavor in comparison with a latte. Even though, a cortado is served in smaller size is stronger because of the equality of milk and coffee ratio.

Latte, on the other hand, is much lighter because it uses only one espresso shot, and that equals 1/3 of coffee, and the other 2 layers are milk and microfoam. As you know, we use milk to reduce the bitterness of the coffee, the same rule applies here too. More milk equals lighter coffee.

Which One Is Healthier: Cortado or Latte?

Both of them are made either with a single shot or double shot espresso which practically contains 9 calories. This amount of calories is literally nothing in comparison with other extra added additives.

In this scenario, the main factor of health is milk, using healthier milk will make latte or cortado healthier than using regular milk.

Cortado is a healthier option. The reason is the coffee to milk ratio (which is half espresso and half milk) and coffee in cortado contains more amount of coffee than latte where latte has 1:3 coffee to milk ratio.

Caffeine Content in Latte and Cortado

The traditional Spanish Cortado is made of a double shot espresso and that results in 150 mg of caffeine content. You can notice the content from the strong, rich, and intense flavor.
Italian Latte contains less caffeine content because of a single espresso shot which is about 130 mg. You can also notice it from the smooth and less bitter flavor.

Remember, the size of coffee does not affect the caffeine level, only how many shots used do.

Latte and Cortado Calories

How many calories you get from coffee depends on how much milk is used. To be more precise, the calories of milk impact the calories of your coffee. Coffee or espresso used in both has only 9 calories which are almost no calories.

The rest of the calories depend on many factors, such as the glass size, the milk you are using, and extra additives you add (creamers, sugar, and natural sweeteners).

The average Cortado has between 16-36 calories compared with Latte which has around 93 calories. Be aware that these calories are counted in traditional serving methods (service can vary from region to region).

Further Reading

Have you heard about white coffee? How does white coffee compare to black coffee, and is it better? Find out!

Lattes can be hot and cold. Whatever you like!

If you found this article to be helpful, you might be interested in Cortado vs Macchiato too. Adding cinnamon to your coffee is also a very good option!


If you have braces, you should be careful about drinking coffee. For more information, read our article about drinking coffee with braces.