Cortado vs Flat White, Which is the Better Brew?

Cortado vs Flat White

Cortado vs Flat White, Which is the Better Brew?

Cortado vs Flat White, which is the best coffee? This is a great debate going on among coffee enthusiasts. So what’s the difference, and which should you order? Here is an analysis of each drink so you can decide for yourself. There seems to be some confusion about the difference between a cortado and a flat white. Most people assume they are the same coffee drink, but they couldn’t be more different. In this blog post, we will break down the key differences between these two coffee drinks so you can decide which is best for you.

When you walk into your favorite coffee shop, you might be tempted by the names of some of the drinks on the menu. espresso-based drinks can be confusing to order, especially if you’re not familiar with all of the lingo. There are a number of coffee drinks that may be unfamiliar to those who don’t work in or around coffee shops. Today, we’ll discuss the difference between a cortado and a flat white. Both of these drinks are made with espresso and milk, but they have different textures and flavors. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

What is Cortado?

cortado coffee

Cortados are created by mixing steamed milk and espresso together to create two distinct layers. The top layer should be tan or light brown depending on the kind of milk used. A cortado has less foam than other drinks made with steamed milk because the drink blends the steamed milk and espresso together instead of simply topping them both off separately.

How is Cortado made?

The cortado is a small, espresso-based drink that has been cut with a little bit of warm milk. According to the Starbucks website, it should be served in a “demi tasse” or an espresso cup. This means that the total liquid volume will vary depending on the size of the cup you use. It is normally somewhere between 3 and 4 ounces. The cortado contains roughly 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk plus the foam on top, and it is often sweetened. Some recipes say to add up to 1 tablespoon of sugar, while others call for powdered sugar. The cortado originated in Spain, where it was prepared without any foam at all Later, cafes began adding some milk foam to cut the bitterness of the espresso. If you love classic bold espresso flavors, this is a drink for you. The cortado also offers a glimpse into history, as it was one of the first drinks developed from what we now know as an “espresso.”

The history of Cortado:

A cortado is a Spanish word that means “cut.” There are some who believe it originated in the coffeehouses of Gibraltar. While this drink is not as popular as some others, you can still order one at many cafes, including Starbucks. If you’ve ever ordered an iced Americano with soy milk, then you have requested a cortado without knowing it.

The term “cortado” has its origins in Spain. At first, cortados were made by combining coffee and milk (rather than steamed milk and espresso). After a few sips, the drinker would be offered more hot water to mix with his or her remaining beverage. This is because the drink was very strong and too concentrated to finish in one sitting.

People began referring to this as “el cortado,” which means that it had been cut down (or tempered) with water. Eventually, taking a cigarette break or stepping outside for fresh air became known as “Tomar un cortado.”

What is Flat White?

Flat White Coffee

The flat white is a small, less milky version of the latte. It’s creamy white foam sits on top of the drink instead of being mixed in with it.

For those who enjoy a little bit more foam in their coffee drinks, the flat white is perfect for you. In fact, its name doesn’t lie – there is very little milk here. Instead, this drink is created with a double-shot espresso and microform, which means that a steamed pitcher of milk has been frothed until barely any bubbles remain. This will result in a white layer at the top of the cup topped off with an espresso shot layered below it. The flavor tends to be slightly sourer than other drinks made with steamed milk, which makes it perfect for someone who enjoys citrus.

How is Flat White made?

A flat white is an espresso drink with microform, not steamed milk. It contains roughly 1/3 espresso and 2/3 microfoam with the foam sitting directly on top of the liquid in the cup instead of being mixed together. According to “Barista Magazine,” Australian baristas created this drink in the 1980s to compete with their counterparts in Britain. At that time, British cafes were serving large drinks topped with lots of frothed milk while Aussies wanted more emphasis on coffee flavor. Baristas began creating smaller servings of “flat whites” that only used half as much milk but just as much foam. The caffe latte, which is often used in the United States to mimic a flat white, has twice as much milk as espresso.

The history of Flat White:

The flat white is an Australian drink that was born in the 1980s. The “flat” portion of the title refers to the fact that there isn’t as much milk as a latte, and the “white” refers to how little foam it has. According to “The New York Times,” coffee lovers in Australia, Britain, and the United States were all trying to outdo each other in the early 1980s. Coffee shops in these countries began experimenting with different drinks so they could get a stronger hold on their customers.

At that time, British cafes started serving large steamed milk drinks topped with mounds of frothed milk, which Australians weren’t entirely happy about. As a result, baristas began making smaller flat whites that contained less milk but just as much foam. The name “flat white” was created because it reflects how little milk is used to create this drink (only 1/3 espresso).

Cortado vs Flat White, The taste of each drink:

The taste of Cortado:

Cortados are typically served in a glass that is narrower at the bottom than the top. This type of glass will allow you to fit more milk foam on top of your espresso shot for added texture and flavor, which will result in a more full-bodied cup of coffee. Compared to other drinks made with steamed milk, cortados tend to be slightly sourer because it has less milk.

A cortado tastes like a well-balanced cup of coffee because it has the same intensity as espresso, but with added milk and sugar to tone down the flavor. This creates a smooth and creamy texture that is both sweet and rich at the same time. It is not too heavy or too light in body, which makes it easy to drink! A well-made cortado also feels warm and comforting when you drink it, which adds to its overall appeal.

The burnt flavor found in some espresso shots is completely removed from this beverage, leaving behind only the floral notes of the beans (similar to an Americano). When done right, a cortado will have just enough bitterness for a rounded flavor while also being smooth and easy to drink.

If you’re looking for a change of pace from traditional coffee drinks, then this might be the drink for you. It’s only slightly more complicated than a drip brew and can give you a shot of energy without adding too much extra work into your day! So what are you waiting for? Make up a batch of cortado today and see if it becomes your new morning go-to!

The taste of Flat White:

Flat whites are typically served in a ceramic cup to retain heat. Like cortados, flat whites only use about half as much milk as other drinks made with steamed milk (like lattes). However, it has more foam than a cortado because baristas will create microfoam to sit on top of the drink.

This strong beverage is rich in flavor with just enough of that bitter espresso taste that you love. The milk gives it a mild sweetness that makes this drink surprisingly light and easy to enjoy! It has a creamy texture which also helps tone down any bitterness so if you’re not usually a fan of dark roasted coffee then you might be pleasantly surprised by how tasty flat whites can be! A well-made one should balance out the acidity of the coffee while also bringing out the brighter notes of the bean. This can give you a little boost to power you through your day, but without adding too much caffeine into your system to cause problems later on!

Comparing both:

Cortados and flat whites may taste similar but there is one huge difference between them – the amount of milk used. Cortados use twice as much milk as espresso, while flat whites utilize 1/3 less milk than an espresso shot. If you’re looking for a caffeinated kick that’s not too strong and doesn’t contain too much caffeine from the milk, then you should definitely order a flat white.

A local café!

The price of a flat white is higher than other drinks made with steamed milk.

Flat whites are easier to prepare at home than cortados because they only require one ingredient (milk) and no extra steps. The above statements are myths according to “All About Coffee.” You may have noticed that the cost of a flat white is typically more expensive than other drinks made with steamed milk, including lattes. However, the truth behind this myth is that it’s difficult for baristas to create foam on top of steamed milk if their espresso machine isn’t properly calibrated. Therefore, making the same amount of foam used in coffee-shop flat whites can be very costly To avoid spending too much money on your own at-home flat white, try making it yourself with store-bought coffee and adding some foam on top!

The taste of the drinks are nearly identical.


If you want to try the flat white and cortado side by side, then I would suggest ordering one of each from your local coffee shop or café. Both drinks contain pure espresso shots, even though they taste slightly different from each other thanks to the ratio of milk used in them. If you’re looking for a caffeinated kick that’s not too strong and doesn’t contain too much caffeine from the milk, then I would definitely order a flat white. On the other hand, if you prefer sweeter flavors in your drink instead of sour ones, then I recommend trying a cortado instead!

Finally, The taste of a cortado and flat white is basically the same. The only difference is that the latter has very little microfoam, which means that it’s slightly more concentrated than its counterpart. According to “Bakers and Baristas,” baristas complain that flat whites are too simple because they don’t feature the espresso and milk combination as lattes do.

Flat White vs Cortado: What’s the difference?

In traditional Italian espresso, a microfoam is used to create a coffee-based milk drink. Since you have less milk foam in a flat white, the flavors of the two drinks are slightly different. A cortado has a stronger flavor because there is more milk paired with it! This allows for more nuanced coffee flavors and aromas to shine through. While both drinks have less caffeine than regular Americano or drip brews, they still have enough to give you a quick energy boost without making your heart race too much! In case you were wondering where exactly these drinks come from… They originate from the cafes down under (Australia and New Zealand)! Though Americans seem to be catching on now as well!

Cortado vs Flat White: Which is better?

The truth is that both are fantastic coffees! If you have tried both before and can’t decide which one you prefer, then I would suggest you try them side by side so you can taste each drink’s subtle flavors.

How do you make the perfect Cortado or Flat White at home:

To make a cortado or flat white at home, you should use dark roasted coffee beans.

As far as the kind of milk to use in your drink, this is completely up to you! Some people prefer to stick with dairy milk, while others go for soy milk or almond milk.

If you are lactose intolerant then try using lactose-free milk in your cortados or flat whites. You can also ask for them to be made with half-and-half instead of traditional cream. This way there’s no need for any extra modifications at the counter!

You may be interested “List Of Best 5 Cup Coffee Makers For Small Families” or “The Complete Guide to Cold Brew vs Iced Coffee and What You Should Know“.

Cortado and Flat White recipes:

Chocolate Covered Cortado:


1 tablespoon whole milk 1.5 ounces chocolate syrup 1/2 cup cold brew coffee 2 tablespoons heavy cream Directions: Combine the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 20 seconds. Serve immediately, or pour into an ice cube tray to serve later. For best results, use very cold coffee.

Flavor variations:  add some spice by adding cayenne pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves! Or turn it into a sweet treat by adding whipped cream to the mix!

If you are feeling adventurous then check out this recipe for homemade hazelnut cortados ! It might be nice to make these up as gifts for friends and family.

Flat White Recipe:

Ingredients: 1 cup whole milk 5 ounces espresso 1 teaspoon white sugar

Directions: Fill a medium sized mixing bowl with hot water and place it in the freezer. Pour the milk into a metal pitcher and use a steam nozzle to steam the milk while keeping it inside of the metal pitcher (with one hand holding the nozzle and another on top of the metal container). Once there is about 2 inches of foam atop your steamed milk, slowly pour your espresso on top of it while still maintaining the gentle head of foam on top. With a spoon, stir slowly around in circles beginning at 12 o’clock and then slowly moving toward 6 o’clock until all ingredients are completely mixed together. Use high quality espresso for best results!

Flavor Variations:

Some people like to add a bit of cinnamon or cocoa powder to make their flat white unique. However, this is completely optional and the drink tastes great on its own as well!

Here are some recipes that I found on “Food & Beverage World”:

Flat White Espresso Recipe Serves 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 tablespoons hot water 1/2 cup strong coffee 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups half-and-half

Directions: In a microwave safe container, mix together the sugar and water. Microwave for 10 to 15 seconds or until it boils. Stir to dissolve the sugar completely. Add the coffee and creamer flavors if desired. Mix well with a wire whisk until foamy. Pour into serving cups

Cortado Espresso Recipe Serves 4 teaspoons granulated sugar 3 ounces hot water 1 cup strong coffee

Directions: Place granulated sugar in an even layer on the bottom of a heatproof glass (like a cordial or Irish Coffee glass). Holding your finger over the top of the glass, slowly pour the hot water over the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the coffee and stir to combine.

What are some ways you can make your cortado or flat white more interesting?

Here are some tips for making your cortados or flat whites more interesting! Spicy Dark Roast Coffee Mexican Hot Chocolate Spice up this simple drink by adding different spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cloves, or cardamom. Milk Flavored Syrups Make your own flavored milk at home by mixing syrup flavorings into the milk before you steam it! Flavoring Ideas: Hazelnut, Pistachio, Almond, Raspberry, Irish Cream Cold Brew Coffee A cortado is made with espresso so why not try substituting cold brew for the traditional hot cup of joe?

How to make Cortado vs Flat White

FAQs on Cortado vs Flat White, Which is the Better Brew?

What are the benefits of drinking cortados and flat whites over other coffee drinks?

Both drinks contain pure espresso shots, making them both very caffeinated. If your goal is to stay awake and alert throughout the day, then you should definitely reach for a cortado or flat white instead of other caffeinated beverages like energy drinks or soda.

How many calories are in a cortado?

If you’re watching your weight, then it’s best to stick with less milk in your drink. Why? This means that there are fewer calories and fats (and more caffeine). Creamy drinks like lattes and cappuccinos contain more fat than these two options because they use steamed milk as well as milk foam.

What about the calorie content of flat whites?

Flat whites also contain less nutrition than their counterparts such as lattes. This is because steamed milk contributes to the nutrient content of a drink, while milk foam does not.

Does drinking cortado affect diabetes?

Drinking cortados or flat whites may help your body in multiple ways! First, they both contain pure espresso shots which can promote weight loss by increasing thermogenesis (heat production) and regulating blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. More importantly, these drinks may decrease the risk factors associated with developing type 2 diabetes. A study conducted by research scientists at Tufts University’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging found that when people drank caffeinated coffee daily for 30-days followed by decaf for 30-days then back to regular coffee for another 30 days, fasting insulin levels were lower than when they drank no coffee at all.

Lastly, If you have type 2 diabetes then drinking one of these two drinks can help to keep your blood sugar levels in check because they’re both very low in carbohydrates!

Cortado vs flat white, cortados or flat whites are delicious choices for any coffee-lover looking for an alternative to their daily latte. Both contain pure espresso shots which can promote weight loss by increasing thermogenesis (heat production) and regulating blood sugar levels in the bloodstream. Flat whites also contain less nutrition than their counterparts such as lattes. This is because steamed milk contributes to the nutrient content of a drink, while milk foam does not. Overall, either cortados or flat whites will provide you with many health benefits!

What is the best coffee shop near me that serves cortado or flat white?

As always, we recommend that you go to a high-quality cafe or roaster for your best tasting experience. If you have a local favorite then it’s even better! As long as they use fresh and high quality beans, they will most likely make a great cortado or flat white. You can also check out our list of the top coffee shops in America to see if there are any nearby! Which drinks do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!


So, Cortado vs Flat White, which is the better brew? In our opinion, it’s a close tie. Both have their own unique qualities that make them appealing to coffee drinkers. If you’re looking for a creamy, frothy cup of coffee with a strong espresso flavor, go for the flat white. But if you want something lighter with more subtle flavors and a little bit of sweetness, the cortado is definitely worth trying.

The Cortado and Flat White are two types of coffee drinks that have become popular in recent years. They both involve espresso, but the main difference is that a Cortado has milk while a Flat White does not.
– So which one is better? The answer depends on your preferences. Some people prefer the creaminess of a Cortado, while others prefer the stronger flavor of a Flat White.
– At the end of the day, it’s all about what you like best. If you haven’t tried either drink before, we recommend giving them both a try and decide for yourself which one is your favorite.


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