What is the difference between cortado vs cappuccino?

What is the difference between cortado vs cappuccino

Do you know what Cappuccino is? And Cortado? What could be the difference between Cortado and Cappuccino if both coffees are made with the same ingredients – Espresso and milk? 

Even with the same ingredients, the way the two types of coffee are prepared is different, leading to several differences. 

I drank Cappuccino many times, but only recently did I find out that there is Cortado coffee. It is not common in cafes, and you can hardly find it in their menus. 

Fortunately, you can find Cortado on the Starbucks menu. And the Cappuccino? We know it’s a classic, and it’s all around us. 

Interesting fact, in Starbucks, there is only one cup size for Cortado. In comparison, you can order Cappuccino in four different Starbucks cup sizes.

Enjoy reading.


  1. What is a cortado coffee?
  2. What is a Cappuccino?
  3. What is the difference between cortado vs cappuccino?
  4. Cortado Starbucks: What it is and its nutrition stats
  5. Cappuccino in Starbucks: What it is and its nutrition stats
  6. People Also Ask

What is a cortado coffee?

A cortado drink contains only two ingredients: a shot of Espresso and lightly steamed milk. The steamed milk is ready when it forms a little foam line on top. Since Cortado has a higher amount of milk, the espresso taste is not so strong, making it sweeter than the cappuccino.

The espresso-to-milk ratio in Cortado is 1:1. Thus, the bold Espresso taste and the acidity are cut down. 

“Cortado” comes from the Spanish word – “Cortar,” which when translated means “to cut.” Or, the Espresso shot is cut with the same amount of steamed milk, hence the name.

Cortados are typically served in a small 4-ounce coffee glass. This is the reason why Starbucks serves it in their Short cup Size. The fundamental characteristic of a cortado drink is that the steamed milk is not textured. Without texture, you will be left with zero foam and zero froth.

What is a Cappuccino?

Let`s look at one of the most famous and most beloved Espresso drinks – the Cappuccino. 

Like the Cortado, Cappuccino is prepared with two main ingredients – Espresso Shot and Milk. When prepared, the Cappuccino is split into three matching parts: Espresso shot, steamed milk, and foam—the ratio for each one 1/3.

The perfect steamed milk has tiny bubbles which will form the microfoam on top. When the foamed milk is ready, it is poured over the Espresso Shot. This preparation technique creates a thick layer of sweet, airy foam on top.

Unlike the Cortado, the foamy milk for Cappuccino is perfect for some latte art. On top of the drink, anyone can add cinnamon or chocolate powder, depending on preferences. 

In most cafes, there is a standard cup size for the Cappuccino, mostly six ounces. But in Starbucks, you can order it in 4 different sizes. The difference is in the number of Espresso Shots put in the coffee drink.

What is the difference between cortado vs cappuccino?

The difference between Cortado vs Cappuccino is:

  1. Preparation Technique
  2. Milk Texture
  3. Taste
IngredientsEspresso Shot + MilkEspresso Shot + Milk
Preparation½ espresso shot + ½  steamed milk1/3 espresso shot + 1/3 steamed milk + 1/3 foamed milk
Amount of MilkLess milkMore milk
Amount of frothMicrofoam, thick layerfrothier
TasteLess bitter tasteSweeter
The difference between cortado vs cappuccino

Preparation Technique

Cortado and Cappucino have identical ingredients. They are prepared with Espresso Shot and Milk. 

The differences start from the preparation technique. Cortado is made in 1:1 ratio (Espresso to Milk) while Cappuccino is 1/3 ratio (Espresso, Steamed Milk, and Foam).

Milk Texture

Another difference between Cortado and Cappuccino is the Milk texture. 

In Cortado, the milk is only steamed without a layer of foam. The texture is smooth, rich, and very thick. 

However, in Cappuccino, the milk is prepared in two layers: steamed and foam. It is frothy, lighter, and perfect with a combination of cinnamon powder.


The two drinks are very different in taste. This is mainly due to how they are prepared, although their ingredients are the same. 

Unlike Cortado, Cappuccino is sweeter, frothy, does not taste so strongly espresso, and is less acidic. 

One piece of advice to you if you haven’t heard it before. If you are sitting in a cafe unfamiliar to you and not sure about the quality of the coffee, order a Cappuccino. The presence of the two different layers of milk softens the taste. 

On the other hand, Cortado has a higher acidity and a robust espresso taste. Although stewed milk is added to the drink, it does not help it become sweeter.

Cortado Starbucks: What it is and its nutrition stats

The serving size of Cortado Starbucks is 6 fl oz (short cup size). 

It is prepared with two Espresso Shots and topped with silky, warm milk.

The nutrition stats for a cup of Cortado that you can drink in Starbucks are:

  • Calories – 59Kcal
  • Fat – 1.7 g
  • Sugar – 4.6 g
  • Protein – 4.2 g
  • Caffeine – 150mg

Cappuccino in Starbucks: What it is and its nutrition stats

Cappuccino in Starbucks can be ordered in different cup sizes (Short, Tall, Grande, Venti). In Short and Tall Cup Size, there is one Espresso shot. In Grande and Venti cup, the Espresso shots are two. 

The Starbucks Cappuccino nutrition stats are:

CALORIES70 Kcal100 Kcal140 Kcal200 Kcal
TOTAL FAT2.5 g4 g5 g8 g
CHOLESTEROL10 mg15 mg20 mg30 mg
SUGAR6 g9 g12 g19 g
CAFFEINE75 mg75 mg150 mg150 mg
Nutrition Stats of Cappuccino in Starbucks


Is a cortado the same as a Flat White?

Although both coffees are made with the same ingredients, the difference lies in the consistency of the milk used. The milk in Cortado is not textured. It is just steamed and without foam (50% milk, 50% Espresso). The milk in Flat White is thicker and velvety, and the drink is sweeter (33% Espresso, 67% Milk).

Is cortado stronger than latte?

It all depends on the number of espresso shots in the drink. Cortado is prepared with only 1 shot of espresso, which is between 40 and 60 mg of caffeine. Late coffee can be made with 1, two, or three shots of espresso. If two or more shots of espresso are used for a latte, it makes it stronger than Cortado coffee.

Is a cortado the same as a macchiato?

Cortado and Macchiato are prepared with the same ingredients – Espresso and Milk. The differences are in the preparation of milk. In Macchiato, we have foamed milk floating on top. While in cortado, the milk is steamed.


As you already know, there are not one or two types of coffee that are made with only two ingredients – espresso and milk. Here are the common characteristics. The differences are observed in the way the drink is prepared. 

Whether it is in the number of Espresso shots or the way the milk is prepared, there is always an amazing result. 

What are the differences between Cortado and Cappuccino: 

  • Cappuccino is sweeter and hotter than Cortadoto.
  • The milk in cappuccino is steamed and foamed in two different layers, while in Cortado, it is only steamed. 
  • The Ratio in Cappuccino is 1/3 espresso shot, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk. In comparison, Cortado is ½ espresso shot + ½ steamed milk.

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