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Cortado vs. Cappuccino: 3 Differences Including Calories, Ingredients & More

cortado coffee in a glass glass on the table with coffee beans. Spanish coffee on wall background with copy space

Cortado vs. Cappuccino: 3 Differences Including Calories, Ingredients & More

Cortado vs. Cappuccino: What's the difference? While they are both coffee, specifically espresso, they are made differently. They are composed of different ingredients, like steamed milk and foamed milk. One of them is also less creamy and tastes more like coffee.

But which has more caffeine? Which one has more calories? These questions are essential to choose the one with the most nutrition. You may also wonder how a cortado tastes when compared to a cappuccino.

This guide covers everything you need to know regarding the difference between a cortado and a cappuccino. We give you a glimpse into which one may be better for you and help you decide what coffee beverage is better.

Cortado vs. Cappuccino: Different Ingredients

Vermont Cinnamon Maple Latte
A cortado and a cappuccino are more different than you might think.

©iStock.com/Candice Bell

The major difference between a cortado and a cappuccino is how much espresso is in each one. For example, a cortado is made with two espressos and milk, while cappuccinos are made with one espresso, steamed milk, and foamed milk. If needed, the cappuccino can be made with two shots of coffee, making for a stronger cup of coffee. You can add fun toppings to either coffee drink, especially the cappuccino because there's more foam. You can add chocolate, cinnamon, and whipped cream.

Another unique ingredient difference is the amount of foam on each one. For instance, there's much more foam on a cappuccino than a cortado. Because there's more foam on a cappuccino, there's often less of a coffee taste. The foam blends more with the espresso, which hides the coffee taste.

However, with a cortado, has more of a coffee taste and less foam. There's less milky foam to take away the taste of the coffee.

Another difference between these two coffee drinks, although it does not impact the taste, is that there is latte art on cappuccinos. You may see some drawings added to the top part of a cappuccino when you get it at a coffee shop.

Overall, the difference in ingredients is important if you're looking for a coffee bolder. Cortado is the way to go if you want more coffee and a pick-me-up, while cappuccinos are still delicious but are more for the foam.

Differences In Calories

The difference in calories is only slightly different. For a four-ounce cortado, there are only 15 to 30 calories. With a cappuccino, there are about 150 to 200 calories in a 12-ounce cup.

One of the reasons that cappuccinos have more calories is because they have more milk added to them. However, calories can be reduced if you get reduced fat or non-fat milk.

The coffee nutrients of the cappuccino and cortado depend on how much espresso is in each one. Another factor to consider that affects the nutrients is if there are any toppings added. If you get chocolate frosting, cinnamon dust, or whipped cream, it will add more calories to the drink.

While a cortado has slightly fewer calories, you can always reduce the number of calories in a cappuccino by decreasing the size or the toppings on it.

Differences In Taste

The cortado and cappuccino are different in taste regarding acidity and bitterness. For instance, the cortado is much more acidic and has a more pungent expresso taste because there's less milk. While the steamed milk helps blend in with the coffee in a cortado, there's still a strong taste.

For cappuccinos, the coffee taste is less noticeable. It's much sweeter when compared to the cortado because there can be added sugars to the drink. Sweeteners like chocolate, cinnamon, or whipped cream are also added to the top.

The biggest difference is that you should choose a cortado if you like coffee without sweeteners. However, you should select a cappuccino if you want the milky foam in your coffee with some sweetener.

Differences In Texture

Knowing the texture can also make a difference in which one you like more. The cappuccino, with all of its foam, tends to be frothy and a lot lighter compared to the cortado. On the other hand, the cortado is very smooth. It's also rich compared to the cappuccino.

Cortado vs. Cappuccino: Which Should You Choose?

What's the better coffee? Choosing between a cortado and a cappuccino is about your preferences. It's about knowing what you're looking for in a coffee regarding taste, texture, and calories. There's also the choice if you want more caffeine, like in a cortado.

Overall, significant differences make a cortado and a cappuccino different. One is not better than the other. It's more a matter of preference. Giving both a try can give you an idea of which one you like more.

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