Cortado vs flat white: Which is better? 

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Cortado vs Flat White

A cortado is tinier than a flat white, but it tastes way stronger because the milk is just a little bit heated.

Also, the flat white has textured milk, which makes it thicker and stronger in flavor, almost like a mini latte.

The cortado vs flat white are both types of coffee made with espresso.

We’re going to talk about how the milk is made and how much espresso is used.

The main differences between the cortado and flat white are the amount of espresso in the milk, how it feels in your mouth, and how the milk is made and served.

What is a cortado?

A cortado is a coffee drink that has the same amount of espresso and steamed milk.

It’s called cortado because cortar means “to cut” in Spanish.

The milk in a cortado lowers the coffee’s sourness and makes a tiny foam that adds a bold, tasty flavor to the drink.

Cortados are tinier than flat whites and have a more intense flavor.

They’re like macchiatos, but macchiatos have less milk and a bit more bitterness.



  • A cortado is a coffee drink made with one shot of a 1:1 espresso milk ratio and an equal amount of warm, steamed milk.
  • It is traditionally served in small glasses or cups, creating a smooth texture and mellowing the intensity of the espresso. 
  • The term “cortado” comes from the Spanish word for “cut,” indicating that the espresso is “cut” with a small amount of milk. 
  • Cortados are popular in regions with strong coffee cultures, such as Spain and parts of Latin America, but have gained popularity worldwide.

What is flat white?

A flat white is a yummy coffee made with espresso and frothy milk that feels smooth and tastes creamy.

It’s called a flat white because of the flat, white foam on top.

This drink is smaller and creamier than a latte, with less milk than an American-style latte.

Flat White

Characteristics :

  • A flat white is a milk-based coffee drink with a double shot of espresso, velvety microfoam milk, and minimal foam.
  • The second shot of espresso enhances its rich, creamy flavor, while the milk adds a hint of sweetness. 
  • Flat whites are served in smaller cups or glasses, similar to cortado, and are believed to have originated in Australia or New Zealand. 
  • They are often served with latte art, intricate patterns created on the drink’s surface using steamed milk.

Cortado vs Flat white: The main difference

In comparison with cortado vs flat white, For easy comparison, information will be shown in table format:

FeaturesCortadoFlat White
OriginSpainAustralia/New Zealand
EspressoEqual parts espresso and steamed milkdouble shot of espresso and steamed milk
Milk TextureMinimal foam, mostly steamed milkMicrofoam (silky, velvety texture)
Milk to Espresso RatioEqual parts espresso and milkMore espresso, less milk
Foam LayerMinimal to no foam layerA thin layer of microfoam on top
Serving SizeSmallerLarger
Flavor ProfileBalanced espresso and milk flavorsStronger espresso flavor with a velvety texture

Additionally, these are basic differences; it’s important to remember that specifics could vary depending on personal tastes or the coffee shop’s unique policies.

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How do I make cortado vs flat white at home?

How to Make Cortado at Home?

To make a cortado, you will need 1 or 2 shots of espresso and the same amount of steamed milk.

Start by brewing your espresso shots.

Then, steam the milk until it is warm but without any foam.

Finally, mix the espresso and steamed milk together in equal parts, which is usually around 2-3 ounces in total.

Enjoy your cortado!

How to Make Flat White at Home?

  1. You will need 2 shots of espresso and about 4 oz of textured milk for this recipe.
  2. Start by brewing your espresso shots and then steam the milk until it’s smooth with minimal foam.
  3. Finally, mix the espresso and textured milk in a 1:2 ratio to make a total of around 6 oz of delicious coffee drink.

Cortado vs Flat White: Which is the Healthier Choice?

In terms of pure health benefits, there isn’t a significant difference between a cortado and a flat white. They both use espresso as a base and are primarily milk drinks.

Cortado vs Flat White : Which is healthier

  • Calories: Cortados typically use less milk than flat whites (around 2-3oz vs. 3.5oz). This translates to slightly fewer calories in a cortado. However, the difference might be minimal depending on the milk type (whole milk vs. skim milk) and serving size variations.
  • Sugar and Fat: Unless you add sugar or flavored syrups, both drinks get their sweetness and fat content from the milk. Whole milk will naturally have more sugar and fat than skim milk. If you’re watching these elements, choose skim or plant-based milk alternatives.
  • Espresso: The espresso shot contributes a similar amount of caffeine and antioxidants to both drinks.

Therefore, the healthier choice between a cortado and a flat white depends on your specific needs:

  • Lower Calories: Opt for a cortado if you’re watching your calorie intake.
  • Less sugar and fat: Choose skim or plant-based alternatives in either drink.
Cortado vs flat white


Which is more effective, cortado or flat white?

The Cortados have way more caffeine than the flat white. Also, the flat white feels much smoother in your mouth compared to a cortado. The flat white has a higher coffee-to-milk ratio of 1:3 parts espresso and 2:3 portions milk, while the cortado has a ratio of 1:1.

What is a cortado’s nickname?

In France, a drink that has a similar taste to a cortado is called a noisette. In the US, people use the words “cortado” and “Gibraltar” to mean the same thing. The main part of a cortado is a small 4-ounce glass.

Why is a flat white more expensive?

The double-shot espresso in the flat white costs more because it needs a special coffee bean to taste really good. These beans have a unique flavor that coffee shops think is super important.

What makes a cortado seem so tiny?

A cortado is smaller than a flat white, so it tastes stronger. When things get smaller, their flavor can become more intense.

It’s like when you add less water to your juice, it becomes more concentrated. And just like how milk can make coffee taste milder, it can also make it less strong.

Why is flat white so popular?

Flat White stands out because it finds the perfect harmony between the bold taste of espresso and the velvety texture of milk. This unique combination sets it apart from other coffee drinks like cappuccinos and lattes.

Is a cortado stronger than a flat white?

Yes! A cortado, a stronger coffee with a stronger caffeine content, is characterized by its intense coffee flavor and smaller serving size, while a flat white offers a lighter texture.

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Wrapping up:

The cortado and flat white are both espresso-based drinks but differ significantly.

A cortado, from Spain, combines equal parts espresso and lightly steamed milk for a bold, robust flavor, typically served in a small glass.

The flat white, from Australia or New Zealand, uses a double shot of espresso with velvety microfoam, creating a creamier and smoother taste.

khadija fatima

khadija fatima

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