What is a Cortado vs Latte Coffee?

What is a Cortado vs Latte coffee

So, we have a drink that is made with espresso and milk. It’s called Cortado. We have another drink that contains two ingredients – espresso and milk. It’s called Latte. 

Okay, so what’s the difference between Cortado vs Latte? 

As I discussed earlier, the difference between Cortado vs Cappuccino, here the difference between both drinks is in the preparation technique.

So let`s see what they are and how you can prepare them.


  1. What is a Cortado coffee?
  2. What is a Latte coffee?
  3. Coffee Latte in Starbucks
  4. What is the difference between Cortado vs Latte?

What is a Cortado coffee?

Cortado is an espresso-based coffee beverage prepared with two main ingredients – Espresso and Milk. The Cortado is made by mixing Espresso shot with steamed milk. The ratio is 1:1 or 50% Espresso and 50% Milk

What is the perfect steamed milk for Cortado Coffee, you ask?

As you can see, there is only steamed milk. The foam on top is missing. To prepare this kind of milk, you have to steam it until it forms an extremely thin layer of foam on top. And that is it.

When you are ready with the steamed milk, pour it over the Espresso shot.

In fact, Cortado coffee comes from Spain and is one of the favorite drinks there. The Spanish word “cortado” means “cut”. That is why the steamed milk cut the Espresso in half.
An interesting fact is that Spaniards do not like foam in the coffee they drink. That is why there is almost no foam in Cortado Coffee.

PROS of Cortado coffee

✔️ Rich, sweet and bold flavor of Espresso

✔️ Smooth texture

✔️ Balance taste

CONS of Cortado coffee

❌ Small Drink (4 ounces)

 Harder to find

❌ For some tastes is too intense

What is a Latte coffee?

Like Cappuccino, the birthplace of Latte is also Italy and is a popular beverage on breakfast. In Italy, this coffee is called “Caffe e latte” which means “coffee and milk.” Over time the drink was popularized in the USA and was called “latte.”

Latte is prepared with Espresso and Milk in a ration 1/3 to 2/3. Which means it has more milk than Cortado. The Latte also has a microfoam on the top, which results from the slightly frothed steamed milk. Note that it is possible for the milk to fully outpace the Espresso taste in some coffee chains.

You may have already noticed that many baristas use coffee Latte to make virtuoso drawings on them called “Latte Art.” By manipulating the microfoam and steamed milk as they pour, baristas can create patterns and designs on the top of the Latte.

PROS of Latte coffee

✔️ Smooth and creamy milk with intense espresso taste

✔️ Can add syrups

✔️ Can make Latte Art

✔️ Satisfying microfoam layer

CONS for Latte coffee

❌ Espresso taste is not so strong

❌ Can be too milky

❌ Has more calories

Coffee Latte in Starbucks

Starbucks offers Latte coffee in four different sizes. In short and tall cups, there is only one Espresso shot, while in Grande and Venti, there are two shots. 

Because of the drink size and the quantity of Milk put in the cup, the calories are much higher. They vary from 100 to 250 Kcal. In contrast, a cup of Cortado has only 59 Kcal.

Coffee Latte in Starbucks SHORT TALL GRANDE VENTI
CAFFEINE75 mg75 mg150 mg150 mg
CALORIES100 Kcal150 Kcal190 Kcal250 Kcal
FAT3.5 g6 g7 g9 g
SUGAR9 g14 G18 g23 g
ESPRESSO SHOTS1 shot1 shot2 shots2 shots
Coffee Latte in Starbucks

What is the difference between Cortado vs Latte?

INGREDIENTS RATION½ Espresso and ½ Milk (steamed)⅓ Espresso and ⅔ Milk (Steamed and Froth)
FLAVORBallance of bitter and sweet
Espresso is less bright
SIZE4 oz8 to 12 oz
APPEARANCECaramel colored with thick foam and no art.Tan colored with thin foam and Latte Art on top.
Difference between Cortado vs Latte


Let`s start with the similarities.

Both drinks are espresso-based. 

The ingredients for both are Espresso and Milk.

They both have milky flavor. 

But, Cortado uses an espresso-to-milk 1:1 ratio where the milk is steamed with no foam.

Latte has more milk which is 2/3 of the drink (steamed and froth), and the rest 1/3 is Espresso (one or more shots). 


The difference in cup size between Cortado vs Latte is noticeable.

The barista will serve your Cortado drink in a 4-ounce cup. If you want more, you will have to order another one. So this is a relatively small drink, usually served in a rather small glass.

In contrast, you can order Latte in 8 or 12 oz cup sizes, two and three times more than the size of Cortado. In Starbucks, those sizes differ. You can get Latte in four different Starbucks cup sizes: Short (8 oz, 1 Espresso shot), Tall (12 oz, 1 Espresso shot), Grande (16 oz, 2 Espresso shot), and Venti (20 oz, 2 Espresso shot).


Both drinks are milky, and the taste won`t surprise you. 

Nevertheless, Cortado is bitter, sweet, and the espresso has a more pronounced flavor. 

In Latte, the quantity of milk is more. Thus, it is sweeter than Cortado, but the Espresso taste is light. 

About Cortado vs Latte People Also Ask

Is cortado stronger than latte?

Cortado is smaller coffee than Latte. Its size is 6 oz, while Latte can vary between 8 and 20 oz. But, because in Latte, the milk quantity is much higher, Cortado has a stronger espresso taste. 

Latte coffee is stronger (has more caffeine) than Cortado. It can contain 1, 2 or more Espresso shots. While in Cortado they can not be more than 2 shots.

Is cortado stronger than espresso?

Cortado is not stronger than Espresso. It is an Espresso-based coffee beverage, and its caffeine content depends on the Espresso shots in it. Or in other words, its caffeine content is equal to the Espresso.

What does Starbucks call a Cortado?

In Starbucks in UK, you can easily order Cortado. In other countries, it won’t be easy to find it. However, Starbucks gives its client to customize their drinks. If Cortado is not on the menu, it could be prepared with two Ristretto shots and an equal quantity of steamed, creamy milk.

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