Cortado vs Latte comparison - The Ultimate showdown!

In the world of coffee enthusiasts, the choice between a Cortado and a Latte can be as crucial as picking the right roast.

Let's delve into the intricacies of these two espresso-based wonders and decipher which one should grace your cup.

Cortado vs Latte comparison- The Ultimate showdown!

What is Cortado Coffee?

Originating from Spain, Cortado is a beverage that strikes a harmonious balance between espresso and warm milk. The name 'Cortado' itself means 'cut' in Spanish, signifying the cut of acidity that milk brings to the intense espresso.

What is Latte?

On the other side of the spectrum, we have the beloved Latte. Hailing from Italy, Latte is an espresso-based drink generously adorned with steamed milk and a thin layer of foam. The name 'Latte' is derived from the Italian word for milk.

Cortado vs Latte - The Ultimate showdown!

1. Origins

Cortado: A Taste of Spain

The Cortado, a gem in the world of coffee, traces its roots to the vibrant coffee culture of Spain. Originating from the Spanish word "Cortar," meaning 'to cut,' this espresso-based beverage reflects the essence of Iberian coffee craftsmanship.

In the bustling cafes of Spain, the Cortado emerged as a favorite, capturing the spirit of sociable coffee consumption. Its inception can be linked to the desire to enjoy a strong espresso while mitigating its intensity with a touch of warm milk. Thus, the Cortado was born – a drink that embodies the spirit of balance and community found in Spanish coffee traditions.

Latte: The Italian Elegance

On the other side of the coffee spectrum, we find the Latte, an emblem of Italian elegance. The word 'Latte' itself is derived from the Italian term for milk, signifying the prominence of this ingredient in the beverage.

Italy, renowned for its espresso culture, saw the evolution of the Latte as a way to appreciate the velvety texture and richness that steamed milk brings to coffee. The Latte became not just a drink but a symbol of the artistry present in Italian coffee-making, with its roots intertwined with the country's rich history of crafting exceptional espresso-based concoctions.

2. Espresso and Milk Ratio

  • Cortado: This Spanish delight achieves a delicate equilibrium, blending espresso and warm milk in a moderate ratio. The result is a harmonious marriage of bold espresso notes with a subtle milk undertone.
  • Latte: With origins in Italy, the Latte leans towards creaminess, boasting a higher milk-to-espresso ratio. This lavish combination creates a velvety texture, offering a smoother, milk-forward flavour.

3. Taste & Flavour Profiles

Cortado: Enthusiasts savour the robustness of espresso, complemented by the milk's softening touch. The Cortado delivers a rich, smooth flavour profile with a nuanced interplay between the intensity of espresso and the soothing milk.

Latte: Known for its sweeter and mellower taste, the Latte appeals to those seeking a gentler coffee experience. The increased milk content imparts a creamy texture, making it a delightful treat for those with a sweet tooth.

4. Strength and Bitterness

Cortado: A powerhouse of concentration, the Cortado offers a strong espresso kick with a milder bitterness. It strikes a balance between intensity and drinkability, making it a favourite among espresso aficionados.

Latte: Opting for a gentler strength, the Latte caters to a broader audience with a milder coffee flavour. The increased milk content tempers the bitterness, resulting in a more approachable and comforting brew.

5. Appearance

Cortado: Served in a small glass, the Cortado showcases a visually striking contrast between the dark espresso and the creamy milk. The layered presentation adds to its allure, making it not just a treat for the taste buds but also for the eyes.

Latte: Embracing unity, the Latte presents a seamless blend of espresso, milk, and foam in a larger, comforting cup. The homogenous appearance reflects the balanced amalgamation of its ingredients, inviting coffee lovers to indulge in its creamy allure.


In the Cortado vs Latte face-off, the choice boils down to personal preference. If you crave a bold and balanced concoction, Cortado might be your go-to. However, if you seek a creamier, milder experience, the Latte could be your daily companion. Whichever path you choose, rest assured that both Cortado and Latte bring a symphony of flavors that will elevate your coffee ritual to new heights.

In the realm of coffee, the Cortado and Latte stand as testament to the diversity of brewing styles, each offering a unique experience for the discerning palate. So, the next time you stand at the coffee counter, armed with the knowledge of these two classics, make your choice wisely and savor every sip.

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