What is the Difference between Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino?

Diffrenrece between Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino

Today I will present the difference between Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappucino.

So, we have already looked at a few types of coffee like Cortado vs Flat White, Cortado vs Cappucino, Cortado vs Macchiato, and Cortado vs Latte and their differences.

Extremely interesting topic, especially considering that all three drinks are prepared with only two ingredients – espresso and milk.

Let us look more in-depth at those 3 coffees.


  1. What is a Cortado Coffee?
  2. What is a Flat White Coffee?
  3. What is a Cappuccino?
  4. Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino: The Difference

What is a Cortado Coffee?

Maybe the first question that pops up in your mind is what is a cortado? Cortado is an espresso-based drink, which is cut with steamed milk but not frothy or textured to lessen the acidity and strength of the espresso. Also, the ratio of milk and espresso is usually 1:1.

A lack of foam distinguishes Cortado from other popular espresso drinks.

You will surely be awed by the smooth, silky feel of warm milk mixed with espresso without separating the two if you are looking for espresso-based drinks with a distinct coffee taste. You also lower the chance of stomach acidity.

For drinking Cortado, you don’t have to look for a costly coffee shop in the distance. You can get a cup of Cortado in nearby coffee shops.

Why the coffee is called Cortado?

When making Cortado, the steamed milk, cut the espresso, which decreases the intensity and acidity. Its Spanish name translates as “cut”. Hence his name – Cortado. Therefore, when someone buys Cortado refers to the process of making coffee that is less acidic and intense.

What is a Flat White Coffee?

Flat White Coffee is an espresso-based drink with steamed milk and microfoam. The microfoam is composed of steamed milk, which is slowly infused with air. This creates silky, smooth milk that is laced with tiny air bubbles. Air bubbles should not be visible to coffee drinkers when the foam is appropriately made. 

The traditional Espresso to milk ratio is 1:2, whereas you will receive the Flat White in 6 oz glass. 

Note that Espresso’s flavor can be diminished through milk, cold or hot. 

In this regard, there are coffee shops that serve this drink in larger glasses like 8 oz or 10 oz. In this case, the quantity of milk increases, but the Espresso stays the same. The change in the ratio will decrease the flavor of the coffee. Because the Espresso’s concentration gets diluted, more and more so, its renowned body and its rich texture and flavor become less apparent to those who drink coffee because milk flavors will overpower it

Baristas should also add just one thin layer of foam to the Flat White to avoid confusion due to the various types of foam.

The secret to an excellent flat white coffee is the ability to make top-quality microfoam, and a balanced espresso shot simultaneously. This requires the ability to steam the milk to make consistent, tiny bubbles without losing sight of the recipe of your Espresso.

What is a Cappuccino?

Cappuccino is an espresso-based drink famous for its thick layer of microfoam. The cappuccino weighs about 6oz and is made from just one espresso shot, steaming milk, and milk foam. In terms of proportion, it is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steam milk, and 1/3 milk foam, which is smaller than a Caffe latté.

Many people who enjoy cappuccino love its versatility because of the volume and the ingredients. 

If a barista serves different cappuccino sizes, the proportion of espresso, steaming milk, and milk foam will stay the same. Furthermore, the cappuccino may be customized, using cream instead of milk or other flavors like syrups and spices.

Historically, Cappucino was served with a thick layer of foam over the top (dolloped out with the spoon). The current method uses microfoam, a smooth type of textured milk that occupies around 2cm on top of the cup.

Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino: The Difference

All three drinks, Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino, are made from only two ingredients – milk and espresso. All three are espresso-based and contain milk, but hence their differences. These are, in fact, their common characteristics.

While the shot or espresso shots in them are made in the same way, the preparation of the milk and the ratio differ in all three.

  • Cortado coffee is prepared in a ratio of 1:1 (espresso to milk) by preparing steamed milk without foam at the end. A skinny layer of microfoam is formed, but this is not the standard foam that completes some coffee drinks, such as Cappuccino. Finally, you get a drink with a strong coffee taste.
  • The traditional espresso to milk ratio in Flat White is 1:2. The milk is steamed and has a microfoam, like Cortado, but no finishing foam. The immense amount of milk leads to softening of the coffee taste. There is a slight predominance of the milk taste. This drink tastes sweeter than Cortado due to more milk in it.
  • Cappuccino is a trendy drink all over the world. Its ratio is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 foam. Finally, you get a drink with three layers. Remember that you should consume Cappuccino within a minute and a half before the foam and steamed milk mix with the espresso and lose their structure. You get a sweet-tasting drink with a bold coffee taste as a final result.

Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino Table

Cortado vs Flat White vs CappuccinoCORTADOFLAT WHITECAPPUCCINO
INGREDIENTSEspresso Shot + MilkEspresso Shot + MilkEspresso Shot + Milk
PREPARATION½ Espresso and ½ Steamed Milk⅓ Espresso and ⅔  Steamed milk, and microfoam1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam
TASTEStronger Espresso taste, less sweetMilky, smoother, sweetbold coffee taste, sweet from the milk foam
MILKSteamedSteamed with MicrofoamSteamed milk with foam
CUP SIZE6 oz6 to 8 oz6 oz
CALORIES~70~80 for 6 oz and ~110 for 8 oz~56
CAFFEINE1 Espresso shot – 64 mg caffeine1 Espresso shot – 64 mg caffeine120-170 mg
Diffrenrece between Cortado vs Flat White vs Cappuccino

People Also Ask

What is the difference between a cortado and a cappuccino?

The two drinks differ in the method of preparation and origin.

Cortado is a Spanish espresso-based drink that is prepared in a ratio of 1: 1 (Espresso to Steamed Milk). The milk for this drink is steamed with a thick layer of microfoam. It has a Stronger Espresso taste and is less sweet, unlike cappuccino.

Cappuccino is a popular Italian espresso-based drink prepared in a ratio of 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam. The features of this cup are bold coffee taste and sweetness. Also, cappuccino contains more caffeine than Cortado.

Is a Cortado the same as a Flat White?

They are two different espresso-based drinks. They differ in the espresso to steamed milk ratio. In Cortado is 1:1, while in Flat White is 1:2. Cortado has a more pungent Espresso taste with less sweetness. In contrast, Flat White has a milky, smoother, and sweet taste because of the larger milk quantity.

Which is stronger Cortado or Flat White?

Both drinks have an equal caffeine content of 64mg. They are prepared with one shot of Espresso. 

Is a Flat White the same as a Cappuccino?

Both drinks are espresso-based and are composed of Espresso and milk, but they differ in the ratio of these two ingredients.

Flat White is in a ratio of 1:2, where the milk is steamed without foam.

Cappuccino is in a ratio of 1/3 Espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk foam.

Both drinks have different tastes and caffeine content. 

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