Cortado vs Latte – A Brief Comparison

Being a coffee lover, you might have tried all those espressos and the lattes, brewed with those classic and traditional ways – however, if you haven’t tried the Cortado and are not aware of the differences between Cortado VS Latte, you are missing out on quite a bit here.

Coffee has become an integral part of our lives. Be it homemade or a take away, a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning is something that keeps people going for the rest of the day.

The major difference between a latte and a cortado is drink size and milk to espresso ratio.

Variations of coffee like lattes, mochas, espressos, breves, americanos, macchiatos, iced mochas and cold coffees are all equally famous around the world.

What is a Cortado

This type of coffee is basically an espresso that originated in Spain. It basically translates to ‘cut’ in Spanish. This espresso shot is cut by steamed milk. It is made from equal parts of steamed milk and espresso – nothing else.

It is a small drink with about 4 ounces in a cup. There is no sugar or flavors added to the drink. It is a strong espresso flavor with a slight touch of milk that balances the taste. Unlike a latte, it does not have froth at all.

It can be made with or without little foam since Spanish people do not prefer foamy coffees, hence the little froth.

The Taste, Texture and Mouthfeel

This coffee has a silky texture and is well balanced between espresso and milk. Cortado has a bold, rich and creamy feel to it and is very popular in Spain and the US. The serving size makes it an ideal drink enjoyed by many as it is light and still strong.

Cortado is popular in Latin America as well. The drink is supposed to be enjoyed slowly and taken in small cups or glasses. It now has found its way into cafes around the world as its popularity has grown worldwide.

Types of Cortado

Let us have a brief look at the various types of Cortado available these days:

Coconut Milk Cortado

This coffee is basically made the same way a cortado is made. The only difference is using coconut milk instead of milk. This adds the coconut flavor to the drink and sweetness. The texture is also creamier. It is great for diet plans or restrictive diet patients.

Nespresso Cortado

This is only for people with Nespresso coffee machines. It is a cortado with a richer crema and great aroma as well. For use with the same brand coffee makers only.

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cortado

This coffee beverage has added brown sugar and cinnamon. The flavor is thus rich and full with extra sweetness.

Gibraltar Coffee

We would not exactly classify the gibraltar coffee as a cortado type, however, it is quite similar to it. The gibraltar coffee is a double espresso shot and a little amount of milk.

It is usually served in a small Libbey ‘Gibraltar’ tumbler, and that is where it got its name from.

What is a Latte

A latte is an espresso that has origins in Italy long time ago. It translates to ‘milk’ and is called café latte in Italy meaning coffee and milk. It is made with espresso and a lot of steamed milk with froth at the top.

Latte is a favorite among people globally and taken anytime of the day. It can be taken in any size and mostly taken between 6 and 20 ounces of cup sizes. Basically, the steaming of the milk make the natural sugar of milk and sweeten the drink.

The Flavor of a Latte

The flavor of a latte mainly depends on what kind of milk you are using. It is advised that you use whole or reduced milk to get the best foamy layer. With this milk, you get a mild and creamy drink with an essence of espresso feel.

For sweetness, sugar or vanilla flavoring can be added separately depending on the drinker. Latte became famous due to its taste and the designs made on top of the foam by baristas such as hearts, pirates, swans and faces.

Overall, it is a nice tasting coffee with creamy and sweet flavor.

Types of Latte

Being a coffee aficionado, you know for a fact that the best cup of latte will have a creamy and fresh milk that is steamed to perfection, with a shot of rich espresso.

However there are certain latte variations that you need to be fully aware of:

Classic Latte

This is the basic latte with steamed milk and espresso. This is very easy to be made at home with or without a coffee maker.

Hot Buttered Latte

This is a latte topped with butter, cinnamon and ice cream. This latte is very creamy and can be taken as dessert as well. Many people love this as a social drink at cafes or elsewhere.

Café Latte

This drink is a basic latte added with flavors and syrups that sweeten it. This is a more luxurious latte that’s has a great taste and aroma.

Snickerdoodle Latte

This latte is made with steamed milk and espresso together with brown sugar plus cinnamon. Also, other ingredients like Nutella, salted caramel and pumpkin spice maybe used too. This is a very sweet type of latte.

Lavender Latte

This drink is made with espresso, steamed milk and 2 tablespoons of lavender. This is a unique kind of latte with a very smooth and strong flavored hot drink that some people really love.

Comparison of Latte VS Cortado

Both these coffee types are available at cafes and restaurants around the world. Also, you can make these types of coffee from the comfort of your home as well, considering that you have the right recipe and equipment for the brewing.

Although cortado and latte are similar coffee types, however, there are differences that make them unique in their taste and aroma. Let us have a quick look at the major differences between these two coffee types.

Made with equal espresso & steamed milkMade with 1 espresso shot, 60z + milk
No sugar is addedSugar is added according to taste
Small servingBis serving sizes
No froth only steamed milkFroth on top of drink, textured
Bold, strong and creamyCreamy, smooth and mild
Not too sweet, no sugar or syrups at allSweet and tasty, can be added with syrup
Popular in the US, Latin America and SpainPopular in Italy, Europe, America

In the United States, the cortado is usually considered as a secondary option beverage, which means it is not that common as you might think it to be.

To make it short and precise, the major difference between a latte and a cortado is the overall size of the drink and the composition of milk to espresso – Cortado is espresso-focused while latte is a milk-heavy coffee beverage.

Other Similar Coffee Beverages

As coffee machines and espresso makers are becoming modern, it has become easier to make barista-level coffee beverages at home – same goes for cortados and lattes, too. Just by pressing a few buttons or clicks, you can get rich, aromatic coffee drinks at home.

Let us now have a look at other coffee variations that maybe similar to cortados and lattes but are still different in characteristics.


An espresso is simply hot water poured over ground coffee extracted from coffee beans. It is taken in single or double shots and has a very concentration of coffee in little cups.

It is a very strong kind of coffee. The time of contact between coffee and water is around 30 seconds and still it is very strong.


This is where steamed milk is added to the drink. It is similar to a cortado but differs in the ratio of espresso and milk. The ratio is 2:1 espresso to milk. Also, macchiato is served in a demitasse cup on a saucer and served with a spoon. It is also a strong coffee.


A cappuccino is a drink made with espresso shots and steamed milk. Sugar can be added as per the drinker. It is a famous coffee and loved by many people all over the world. It is a very rich and full of texture kind of coffee. This coffee is much lighter than a latte and is foamy.


Americano is a coffee that originated during World War II by American soldiers. During their stay in Italy, the soldiers modified the Italian café by adding more water into the espresso.

Hence came the café Americano – literally “American coffee”. This large coffee only has espresso shots and hot water. It is strong and bold coffee but lighter than an espresso.

Café au Lait

Café au Lait is a brewed coffee with milk. The milk is steamed always. It means coffee with milk in French and is mostly found in the US. You can select different roasts – mild, strong, dark or decaf roast.

Every roast will taste differently. It is a mild and creamy type of coffee served in a medium cup size.

Wrapping Up Our Cortado VS Latte Guide

As mentioned in this cortado VS latte comparison guide, they are both very delightful variations of coffee. Although cortado might not be that common in the US, however, they are loved by many people all over the world.

Cortados came in later than lattes but have still found their place in the hearts of many coffee drinkers. Their flavor, boldness and texture comes second to none. Their serving size also plays a role when it comes to their liking.

Latte, on the other hand, is also great to have at cafes with lots of offerings in taste. Lattes are rich, creamy and full of flavor that people love! They are easily made at home or office as well without much input.

Enjoying a cortado or a latte is easier than one thinks these days. Many brands are making their own coffees that are very good quality and taste really awesome. The high quality of coffees and machines means great coffee breaks every now and then!