Cortado vs Cappuccino: Key Differences Explained

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Cortado vs. Cappuccino: What's the difference?

In the world of coffee, finding the perfect cup means exploring many flavors and styles. Two popular espresso-based drinks are the Cortado vs Cappuccino.

Both are delicious, but they have some key differences. Let’s look closer at what makes each unique and see which one might become your favorite.

What is a Cortado?

A Cortado is a coffee drink from Spain. It mixes warm milk and espresso in equal parts. The name “Cortado” means “to cut” in Spanish because the milk cuts through the strong taste of the espresso, making it smoother.

Cortado Coffee

Characteristics of a Cortado:

  • Equal parts espresso and milk.
  • Served in small glasses.
  • No foam and a strong coffee flavor, softened by the milk.
  • It’s perfect for those who like a smoother, less acidic drink.

What is a Cappuccino?

A Cappuccino is a famous coffee drink from Italy. It combines espresso, steamed milk, and a thick layer of milk foam, often sprinkled with cocoa or cinnamon.


Characteristics of a Cappuccino:

  • Made with equal parts espresso, milk, and foam.
  • Served in 6 to 8-ounce cups.
  • Has a rich, creamy texture with a foamy top.
  • It’s beautiful to look at, especially with latte art or toppings.

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Cortado vs. Cappuccino: What’s Different?

Here’s a simple table to show how Cortados and Cappuccinos are different:

Espresso contentEqual parts with milkOne part espresso
Milk ContentEqual part steamed milk, no foamEqual parts steamed milk and milk foam
FoamNoneThick layer on top
Serving SizeSmaller, 4-6 ouncesLarger, 6-8 ounces
Flavor ProfileStrong coffee taste, milkySmooth, sweet froth, balanced flavor
TextureSilky, creamy milkCreamy with noticeable foam
Ideal Time of DayAny timeTraditionally morning, but any time
PresentationSmall glass or cup, simpleCup, with art or cocoa on foam

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How to Make Cortado and Cappuccino at Home?


  1. Brew a shot of espresso.
  2. Steam some milk until it’s warm with a little froth (remember, no thick foam for Cortado).
  3. Pour the milk over the espresso so it’s a 1:1 mix.
  4. Enjoy your smooth Cortado.


  1. Brew a shot of espresso.
  2. Steam and froth the milk until it’s thick and glossy.
  3. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso, then top with foam.
  4. Sprinkle some cinnamon or cocoa if you like.
  5. Sip your creamy Cappuccino.

Which is Healthier?

A Cortado has fewer calories, about 40-70 per serving, because it’s smaller and has less milk. A Cappuccino has more calories, around 70-120 per serving, due to more milk and foam. Both drinks have the same amount of caffeine.

Choosing between a Cortado and a Cappuccino depends on what you’re looking for in a coffee drink. If you want fewer calories, go for a Cortado. If you like a creamier drink with a bit more milk, a Cappuccino might be better.

Cortado vs. Cappuccino Which is the Healthier Choice

Get a perfect all-in-one espresso brewing kit from HERE

Important FAQs On Cortado vs Cappuccino

Is cortado stronger than cappuccino?

Yes, because it has a higher coffee-to-milk ratio.

Are a flat white and a cortado the same thing?

No, a flat white has more milk and is creamier.

Is a cortado just a small latte?

No, a latte has more milk, making it less strong in coffee flavor.

Is cortado sweeter than cappuccino?

It might taste less sweet because it has less milk.

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