Cortado vs Flat White: Get to Know All the Differences

There is no doubt that coffee is the perfect drink for any time of day. But with all the different types and variations available, it can be hard to choose which one to order.

Are you looking for a delicious and refreshing coffee drink, but you’re not sure which type to order? Check out this Cortado vs Flat White: Which to Choose? blog post to learn more about these two drinks and help make your decision.

If you’re new to the world of specialty coffee, you may be wondering what the difference is between a cortado and a flat white. Both are espresso-based drinks, but they have different characteristics. Here’s a look at the differences between cortados and flat whites, so you can choose which one is right for you.

Cortado Coffee

Cortado is a beverage that has been growing in popularity over the last few years. It is known as a type of coffee drink that mixes espresso and steamed milk. The word Cortado itself comes from Spanish, where it means “cut”. This is an apt name for the beverage due to its resemblance with both espresso and flat white coffee drinks.

Cortado is made by pouring shots of espresso into glasses that are about twice the size of normal espresso cups used for regular servings. Then, hot or cold milk is poured into the cup so it nearly fills it up, but does not overflow. An ounce or two of milk remains at the top which can be frothed on top if so desired. From there, it’s time to enjoy the coffee drink that has been created. The steamed milk in a Cortado has a light, creamy texture to it and is often used as a substitute for cream if so desired.

So why have Cortado coffee drinks become so popular? One reason is the mild taste of espresso combined with the creamy, flavorful steamed milk. An additional reason is that Cortados are not very heavy in caffeine but still provide an excellent pick-me-up in the morning or during work hours throughout the day. It can also be enjoyed as an after dinner beverage due to its flavor profile and lack of heaviness from cream and milk products commonly used in other drinks such as Irish coffee or hot chocolate beverages. In this sense, it makes a great drink that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

In addition, Cortado coffee drinks are extremely versatile, which helps contribute to their popularity among consumers for both working professionals and those looking for a drink they can enjoy at home. In fact, many people don’t even treat it as a true beverage and instead use it as a substitute for other beverages such as hot chocolate or Irish coffee drinks. But clearly, the popularity of the Cortado remains high due to its great taste and unique quality in terms of how frothy and creamy steamed milk is mixed with espresso shots in one sitting. Also known as Latte Macchiato (a similarly popular type of coffee drink), this combination has been popularized thanks to Starbucks’ introduction of such an offering on its menu.

Cortados can both be made at home or ordered in cafes and restaurants throughout the world, depending on how much you want to make at once and your personal preferences. They are simple enough to make at home, but if time is not an option, it may be easier to simply order one instead of making your own.

Note that there are several other variations on the traditional Cortado, although they are not as popular. Some of these include putting cold steamed milk in a glass first, creating an Americano-like drink with shots of espresso poured over top. Or, you can make it more like a latte by pouring shots of espresso into steamed milk in a glass. From there, you can add milk to taste and top it off with foam before mixing your shot of espresso into the cup for an end result that is similar to the Cortado but slightly different in its own right.

How To Make A Cortado Coffee

Cortado, literally meaning “cut” is a traditional coffee drink in Spain and Portugal. It’s roughly equal parts of espresso and milk with just enough foam to cover the entire surface.

Having said that it’s not difficult at all to make one yourself. When you want to learn how to make Cortado coffee , just follow these steps:

– Grind 18 grams of fresh ground coffee finely . The size of the grind particles should look like sea salt or sugar crystals.

– Preheat an espresso cup by filling it with boiling water for 10 seconds, then discard the water…

– Tamp down your freshly ground coffee using a high pressure portafilter machine if you have one or even better, use a manual lever espresso machine. If you don’t have one of them, use a spoon so pack the coffee very tightly with even pressure on top – just like when packing soil around a plant.

– Draw up 50-70 ml of an espresso shot into your cup using a portafilter machine or manual lever espresso machine.

– Carefully pour about 100 ml of steamed milk evenly into the espresso in your cup, but make sure it doesn’t go over 70% of the volume of your cup.

– Complete by gently drawing down another 30 milliliters of steamed milk directly onto the darker “crema” forming at the top part of the Cortado drink.

– Using a spoon , float 14 inch foam on top by spooning it, one spoonful at a time directly onto the darker “crema” forming at the top part of the Cortado drink.

– Serve with biscotti or cookies on the side.

Cortado vs flat white – Trying to cut down your daily coffee costs? Now you know how to make cortado coffee ! This is not only delicious but also very easy to make now that you know how! It’s perfect for those mornings when you need an extra kick or if you want something special without having to pay too much.

What is Flat White Coffee?

Flat white coffee is a type of coffee that has become very popular and common in Australia and New Zealand. It’s served in cafes as well as many local bars and it is now starting to become very popular here in the States as well, especially places like Los Angeles.

So what exactly is flat white coffee? Well, it consists of two parts: espresso and steamed milk. That might sound familiar to you because those same ingredients are used for a latte, however there does seem to be one key difference which sets this drink apart from its counterpart. When making a latte, the barista will steam or froth the milk first and then pour it into the cup with the espresso shot and put some designs on top. When making a flat white, the barista will pour the steamed milk into the cup first and then add the shot of espresso on top. Although this might seem like a small difference it gives this drink its name because when you are drinking it, you can see that there is no layer of foam or froth above your drink, hence the “flat” in flat white.

How To Make A Flat White Coffee?

Making a good flat white takes more than putting an espresso shot through creamy milk. Get the proportion of coffee and milk right, use freshly drawn cold water, keep your frothing pitcher warm, and you’ll be well on the way to mastering the art of barista-style coffee at home.

– Prepare The Espresso Shot

Ground fresh roasted whole coffee beans are placed into a portafilter’s baskets (the part that holds the ground coffee). Insert this into an espresso machine with two handles – one is for hot water, one for steam – then press your desired amount of water through it using your machine’s controls.

– Steam The Milk

Use cold fresh milk with 2/3 of liquid content in a half cup jug.

Before you begin steaming, shake the jug to mix in any liquid that may have separated from the milk. This will add more liquid content and help steam the entire half cup.

Turn your steam wand on by moving its switch up to the ‘On’ position. Make sure it’s pointing down toward the jug below, not up toward anything else.

When a steady stream of milk appears, turn off the steam by moving your switch back down to ‘Steam’. If no stream appears after a couple of seconds, move the switch back up to ‘Steam’ for a second or two then back down again – this should get things going. The temperature at which you’re steaming is also important: aim for around 165°F (74°C).

– Combine The Ingredients Using A Flat Bottomed Spoon

Allow the milk to fall into the cup below before adding your shot of espresso – this helps prevent messy overflow when you combine the two together. When making multiple coffees, start with the liquid ingredients first so your shots don’t go cold. Pour over roughly an ounce of steamed milk per one ounce of espresso.

For best results, use a stainless steel flat bottomed spoon (the sort used for cooking) to mix and pour rather than a plastic or wooden one (which can absorb oil from the milk). And keep stirring until you’ve reached your desired consistency; ‘dry’, not quite mixed enough or ‘wet’ will all produce different flavours in your drink.

– Add The Froth

Pour the frothed milk into the cup, again using a flat bottomed spoon to combine where needed. Then pop on your latte art stencils…

Make sure you’re using fresh cold milk with 2/3 of liquid content for steaming and frothing, keep everything clean and hygienic, and enjoy your perfect flat white!

Cortado vs Flat White: What’s The Difference?

The coffee house is an iconic cornerstone of society, offering us a place to meet with friends and socialize over a cup of joe. Traditionally, coffee houses have served mainly two types of espresso-based drinks: cappuccinos and lattes. However recently, there has been another contender on the scene – the cortado.

The origins of these names are hotly debated among baristas and café owners alike, as each country seems to have its own take on how it should be prepared. Regardless of where your favorite variation originates from however, it’s safe to say that one thing those who know their coffee would agree on is that they all taste great!

In spite of this however, many people still don’t know the difference between a cortado and a flat white. So with that in mind, we’re going to explore these two delicious beverages in greater detail, starting with their most basic of differences: The milk.

The Milk

This is probably where it gets a little more complicated for most people when looking at a cortado vs flat white. Let’s start with what both have in common – they are both served without foam! However, while the flat white is served with whole milk, often steamed or textured so as to enhance its flavour, the cortado calls for only a small amount of milk added to an espresso shot which has been diluted slightly by being poured into a glass beforehand!

The difference between these two drinks starts to really become apparent however, when you take a closer look at the amount of milk added. Where the flat white is served with around one-third of an inch’s depth worth of milk, the cortado instead calls for somewhere between half and three-quarters of an inch.

This does make sense given that the main focus of this drink is meant to be on its espresso, but also allows you to appreciate the flavour notes which it carries even more!

Size Matters(Cortado vs flat white)

Now this may not be something specifically related to how they taste, but size certainly matters in terms of what time of day it is when you order either a flat white or a cortado! By definition then, neither are considered iced drinks.

Cortados are generally served in a glass, with room for your usual serving size of pure espresso. As such, these are ideal for that mid-morning pick me up or as an afternoon treat to keep you energized between meals! On the other hand, flat whites are almost always prepared using fresh milk which is steamed and foamed right before it’s added to the drink (something which makes them similar to cappuccinos). This means that they tend to be larger than cortados and can be great choices if you would like a stronger coffee kick first thing in the morning – particularly if you have a long day ahead of you!

So there we have it – everything there is to know about cortados vs flat whites! In summary then, both of these delicious coffees have a lot in common but importantly, they are both very different. I’d advise that anyone who is new to either of these drinks tries them side by side so they can see the subtle differences for themselves and appreciate just how good each one tastes.

Which Drink Is Better Cortado Or Flat White?

In terms of caffeine content, both drinks are quite close to each other. A flat white coffee contains about 95-105mg caffeine while a nutty and velvety cortado has around 90mg. Despite this similarity, the key differences in taste certainly distinguish between these two drinks.

Cortado vs flat white – Flat white is a blend of espresso with micro foam milk while a cortado works just like a macchiato – that is, it’s an espresso shot topped up with steamed milk. In fact, if you add slightly less steamed milk for a cortado than what you’d normally use for a macchiato, you’ll have an even stronger version of the drink which can be called a cortado ristretto.

Cortados and flat whites both have an intense coffee taste and they’re kind of similar to each other in that way. However, what makes them different is the intensity of their flavor as well as the taste of their creaminess. For instance, flat white has a lighter texture than cortado because it’s made with micro foam milk while its stronger coffee taste comes from the silky texture brought about by a macchiato-type preparation method.

On the other hand, cortado has a strong coffee flavor but not as much as you’d get from black espresso shots or americanos. The creamy taste can either be nutty or slightly sweet depending on how long your barista steams and froths the milk for. You can get a hint of bitterness and acidity with flat white but this is hardly the case with cortado because its preparation process tends to round off the flavors from the coffee.

Cortado vs flat white – If you’re not really the type who cares much about crema, then flat white is definitely for you. As mentioned above, this drink comes with silky micro foam milk which makes your drink look smoother and gives it a creamier texture. There’s no foamy top to this coffee too but you can still get that strong coffee taste from its blend of espresso shots mixed with steamed milk.

On the other hand, if you love the combination of creaminess and bitter flavors, then cortado might be more your thing because it has a stronger concentration of coffee flavor than flat white. The preparation process also brings out some slight acidity so you can expect a certain dryness in your drink. If don’t mind drinking black espresso shots, then you might want to try a cortado because the subtle mix of flavors from its coffee and creaminess makes it an interesting drink.

However, if you really prefer crema on top of your coffee, make sure to choose flat white over cortado since you won’t be able to get that creamy look with this latter drink. In terms of caffeine content too, a single espresso shot in a flat white is stronger than a single shot in a cortado though they’re both pretty close when compared cup for cup. Cortado vs flat white – If it’s intense flavor with rich texture that you’re after, then you’d most likely prefer flat white over cortado as well.

Flat White or Cortado? – The Final Verdict:

As outlined above, there are some key differences between cortados and flat whites. The former has a bitter undertone thanks to its strong coffee flavor while the latter boasts of a creamier texture because it comes with micro foam milk. If you like crema on top of your coffee, then flat white is more suited for you since it blends together espresso shots and steamed milk perfectly to create darker golden-brown color that’s more appealing to the eye. Cortado vs flat white – However, if you prefer stronger and smoother flavors, then try drinking a cortado which has more intense coffee taste than flat white.

FAQs About Cortado Vs Flat White Coffee

What Is The Difference Between Cortado And Gibraltar?

While the cortado contains more milk, they are essentially interchangeable in their simplest form (equal parts steamed milk and espresso). The keys to making a great cortado or Gibraltar are good quality espresso, well-steamed milk, and an understanding of how these two elements interact. That last point is particularly important. Steaming milk properly takes practice to get right. It’s possible to end up with either scalded or under-extracted milk if things don’t turn out perfectly. So until you’re ready for a perfect latte art throwdown, stick with a simple caffe latte made from well-prepared beans and properly steamed/textured milk.

Can I Get A Cortado/Gibraltar Without Espresso?

If you’re in the United States, the answer is “No.” To avoid confusion, our good neighbors across the pond refer to what we call lattes as milky coffee. So if you want your steamed milk with an added dose of caffeine, order your cortado or Gibraltar with an espresso shot or two on the side. Then mix them together yourself so that it’s exactly how you like it.

What Are Some Other Names For This Drink?

The cortado by any other name would taste as sweet! Our favorite alternative terms are macchiato and café au lait because they both sound fancier than just plain caffe latte, which doesn’t begin to convey the aromatics of a properly prepared cortado or Gibraltar. Other common names include Gibraltar and café con leche, though it should be noted that “cortado” does not necessarily refer to this specific drink unless you’re ordering in Spain.

What Is The Best Way To Drink A Cortado?

Since these drinks originated as espresso-milk combinations, we recommend enjoying them any time of day along with a pastry for dipping into that rich, sweet milk. When served on ice during warmer months, they’re also an ideal thirst quencher after a long walk outdoors.

What’s The Origin Of Cortado Or Gibraltar?

Though our favorite story is that these drinks were invented by an enterprising Spanish barista who ran out of clean glasses one morning, they are actually popular throughout Latin America and Europe. When you order a cortado in Colombia, it will probably look similar to what we call a macchiato in America because it has slightly less steamed milk than when ordering one in Spain. The word “cortado” roughly translates to “cut”, which may refer both to the drink’s preparation (two shots “cut” with steamed milk) as well as its reputation for being an occasional hangover cure.

Can You Please Tell Me The Difference Between A Flat White Coffee And Latte?

A flat white is like a latte, but with one major difference: more microfoam. When preparing a latte, the barista pours the steamed milk directly into the espresso shot; this results in large bubbles of froth on top of your drink. Because this pure-espresso drink contains only espresso and milk, it lacks any significant amount of foam or texture – resulting in a traditional cappuccino being virtually indistinguishable from a latte. On the other hand, a flat white contains generous portions of textured milk (microfoam), which lends to its appearance as well as its taste. In general, if you order a “flat white” in the United States you’ll actually receive a latte – and people who order lattes may very well think they’re receiving flat whites.

A flat white consists of espresso and textured milk, while a latte is straight-up espresso and steamed milk.

Flat White Coffee Is Essentially Like A Latte?

Not exactly. Latte art has become extremely popular in the past few years, but to make latte art you need to steam milk with microfoam (steamed milk with very little air) and use espresso shots that are about double the size of flat whites. Flat whites are typically made with single shots of espresso, so they have less crema compared to lattes. Also, many people believe that flat whites are easier to drink quickly because they have approximately half the volume of a regular latte.

What’s This ‘Microfoam’ All About?

Microfoam is created when steaming milk for espresso drinks by adding air and creating a velvety, white foam that retains the shape of the steaming pitcher. It’s difficult to make but well worth it for baristas everywhere because it has less moisture than regular steamed milk and creates a richer texture in drinks. Microfoam is the best way to add latte art!

>>> All Espresso Drinks Explained: Cappuccino vs Latte vs Flat White and more! Cortado vs flat white


The two drinks taste similar, but there are some subtle differences. If you’re looking for a drink to enjoy with friends or as the perfect accompaniment to breakfast, which one should you choose? Keep reading to find out! Cortado Vs Flat White: Which To Choose? The difference between the two is that cortados have less milk foam, and more espresso-style coffee flavor. A flat white has much more foamy milk on top of it than a cortado does because its made with steamed milk instead of an espresso shot. This makes them both delicious options depending on your preferences – if you want something lighter in terms of texture then go for the cortado . But if you’re after something richer tasting then opt for the flat white.

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