Cortado vs Latte vs Cappuccino

5 min read MAR 29, 2022

One of the many benefits of being a coffee lover is that there are so many different types of coffee out there that you’re sure to find one you like. 

But all the different names can get a bit confusing too. And you don’t just want to find a coffee that you like, but rather one that you love. This is why we are going to run you through a few of our favorites.

Cortados, lattes, and cappuccinos are definitely some of the most popular espresso-based drinks. But how is a cortado different from a latte and cappuccino? And who is each one more suited for?

In this article we will be talking about the differences and similarities of these three drinks are, as well as 

What is a Cortado?

While most people have heard of, and are familiar with, a cappuccino or a latte, a cortado coffee is a little less heard of. You might find yourself wondering “What is a cortado coffee?”

cortado vs espresso

A cortado coffee is made by mixing together equal parts espresso and hot milk. It’s important that the milk is steamed and not frothed like it is with many other hot espresso drinks.

The amount of milk used, and the way it is prepared are crucial elements in a cortado. The amount of milk used is crucial because it has to be exactly the same amount as the espresso that was used in order to be labeled a cortado. 

The way in which the milk is prepared is important too, as it can only be steamed milk. If these two factors are incorrect, it can’t be labeled as a “cortado”.

Because the amount of espresso and milk are equal, it’s a much stronger coffee compared to a cappuccino or latte. 

This drink is normally smaller than a latte or cappuccino and packs a punch from the espresso. But, the flavor is still balanced, and not too strong, thanks to the milk.

What does a Cortado Taste like?

As we mentioned before, cortado are a stronger coffee drink, and because of this, are much more bitter. 

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It allows the coffee flavor to be the hero of the drink and really stand out.

This coffee-based drink is perfect for those who love a strong coffee but want something that’s a little bit lighter than a long black coffee or a black eyed coffee

Cortado variations

Traditionally, cortados are made with no added sugars or flavors. So, if you want to keep with tradition, it’s best not to use any flavored coffee beans or syrups.

However, cortado can be varied by changing what type of coffee bean you use to make it.

We have a variety of light, medium, and dark roasted beans that can be used to make a cortado according to your taste and how strong you like it.

What is a Latte?

what's the difference between cortado, latte and espresso

A latte is made with either a single or double shot of espresso, mixed with two-thirds of a cup of steamed milk and a small layer (about half an inch) of frothed milk on the top.

What does a Latte Taste like?

Since lattes have a lot more milk than a cortado, the espresso flavor is quite dialed back, which some people prefer. 

But you can also order lattes that have anything between 1 to 3 shots of espresso in them, so some of them are still plenty strong. 

In general, though, lattes have a subtle, creamy, espresso taste. 

If you’re not a fan of milk, then this may be the wrong choice of drink for you, as the majority of it is made up of milk. 

Latte Variations

Lattes can be varied in many different ways. By using different syrups or different flavored coffee beans, such as French Vanilla or Caramel Macchiato you can transform your latte into a completely different drink.

Using flavored syrups and beans is recommended for people who aren’t a fan of the bitter coffee taste that the espresso gives off. 

Some of the most popular latte variations are Chai Lattes, Caramel Macchiato, Caffe Mocha, and Pumpkin Spice Latte. 

What is a Cappuccino?

what are the differences between cortado, latte and espresso

A cappuccino is made up of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and froth milk. Since a third of the drink is made up of foam, it’s much fluffier and foamier than the previous two drinks.

What does a Cappuccino Taste like?

Since cappuccinos are a third part steamed milk and a third part frothed milk, as opposed to a thin layer of frothed milk like lattes, the espresso taste comes through a lot stronger. 

The frothed milk makes a cappuccino airy, light, and flavorful, but still lets the strength and bitterness of the espresso shine through.

Cappuccino Variations


differece between what's the difference between cortado, latte and espresso


Similar to lattes, cappuccinos can be varied by using different syrups and coffee beans to make them taste unique and different. Our personal favorites are made by using Cinnamon Cappuccino, Ginger Bread, or Hazelnut flavored coffee beans. 

Cappuccino variations also include iced cappuccino, cappuccino with cream, dry cappuccino, etc. 

cappuccino vs cortado vs latte

A Summary of the Differences of the Three Drinks

As you can tell, the biggest difference between these espresso-based drinks is the ratio of milk to coffee, as well as how they are heated. 

If you like more of a strong coffee, a cortado or cappuccino is recommended. If you enjoy a slightly milder coffee taste, we’d recommend going for a latte.

Latte vs Cortado vs Cappuccino

Cortado vs Latte vs Cappuccino FAQs

What are good options if you don’t want milk in your coffee?

If you aren’t a fan of milky coffee, then lattes and cappuccinos definitely won’t be the drink for you. 

Cartado will probably be your best bet of the three, but if that’s still too milky, and you are after something stronger, we’d recommend a plain espresso or a red-eye espresso.

Are cappuccinos, lattes, and cortados healthy

Firstly, this depends on what you classify as healthy, as well as what milk you are using. 

Cappuccinos and lattes use a lot of milk, so that makes them quite high in calories. But, if you use something like almond milk or oat milk, this reduces the number of calories in them by a significant amount.

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