Cortado vs. Flat White: What's the difference? If you love your coffee, you want to know what's in it, from caffeine to milk to the overall taste. Knowing the difference can be the difference between a good cup of coffee, and you need another cup of coffee.
Cortado is a Spanish coffee that became popular in Spain in the 1960s. During that time, the popularity of the cortado spread throughout Europe, becoming the most popular in Portugal. The flat white originated in Sydney in the 1980s. It's now part of American coffee shops like Starbucks.
There's also a lot more history that goes into these coffees and what makes them different. This article explores those unique differences. We can give you an idea of which one you would like more.
Cortado vs. Flat White: Different Ingredients
If you like espresso, you'll love the flat white coffee. This coffee comes with two shots of espresso. Although, you can use just one shot if you want. Then, there's micro-foamed milk poured over the top of it. This is then filled with air, creating bubbles to create the flat white. The texture is creamy, and it has a velvety texture.
The cortado is also made the same way. However, one important difference is that while the cortado uses a 1:1 ratio of espresso to steamed milk, the flat white uses a ratio of 1:2-3 ratio of steamed milk to expresso. This means the cortado will have a stronger coffee flavor because there's less milk.
Additionally, when making the cortado, there's typically one or two shots of espresso, depending on how much caffeine you want in your coffee. And while there's no foam in a cortado, you can have lots of foam in the flat white. Or you can choose to have little to no foam in the flat white. It can be made in a variety of ways.
The most similar thing between the cortado and the flat white is how they both have steamed milk. Cortados are described as having a smooth texture, while flat whites have a velvety texture. They are also served in small cups because of the little milk added.
However, because flat whites have more milk, you may see latte art on the top of the cup to give it some extra flair.
Differences In Calories
The calorie difference between a flat white and a cartado is almost unnoticeable. A flat white will naturally have more calories because it has more milk.
However, you can reduce the number of calories in a cartado and a flat white by changing how much fat you want in milk. Choosing options like reduced fat, no fat milk, or oat milk can help keep those calories off you, and the coffee will taste just as good.
Differences In Taste and Texture
The cortado will have a much stronger espresso taste because there's less milk in it compared to a flat white. While the cortado still has foam and milk, you can still taste the presence of the espresso.
If you enjoy the milk taste and the velvety texture, you might like the flat white more. However, if you enjoy a cortado's smooth coffee and milk texture, you might want that coffee more.
However, if you want that ultra-creamy taste with micro-bubbles in a flat white, you might like that more. They both have a unique coffee flavor because of the espresso in it. Your preference will depend on what texture you like more.
When to Enjoy a Cortado and the Flat White
There's hardly a wrong time to enjoy a cortado. Traditionally, in some countries, you'll see a flat white and a cortado enjoyed in the morning. But you'll also see some cultures drink them in the afternoon and evening to give them an extra pep in their step.
However, if caffeine strongly affects you, you may consider limiting the caffeine you get in either drinks or making them decaf. Taking out the caffeine doesn't mean you can't enjoy either drink. It allows you to enjoy either one of them later in the day.
Cortado vs. Flat White: Which Should You Choose?
Choosing between a cortado and a flat white is about what kind of coffee you enjoy drinking the most. You might enjoy the espresso from a cortado or the velvety texture from a flat white. Learning about both gives you more insight into how you can make them yourself or order them from a coffee shop.
Trying both coffee can help you decide what you like more. They are both some of the finest-tasting coffee and energizing because of the espresso. You'll ultimately find that they are one of the best coffees every morning.