Cortado vs Flat White – What’s the Difference Between These Espresso Drinks?

If you’re wondering what the difference is between a cortado and a flat white, you’re not alone – these two espresso drinks are often confused with each other. So, what’s the difference between cortado vs flat white? Read on to find out!
cortado vs flat white

What’s a Cortado Coffee?

Before we’ll discuss the difference between cortado vs flat white, let’s begin with the basics. What is a cortado coffee, and how is it made?

Cortado coffee is a delicious coffee beverage that combines espresso with milk. The coffee originates from Spain, and the name “cortado” comes from the Spanish word for “cut.” It comes from the fact that this coffee is “cut” with milk.

Cortado coffee is made with equal parts of milk and espresso (1:1). The result is a coffee with a creamy texture and a slightly sweet taste. Cortado coffee is typically served in a small glass or mug, and it can be enjoyed at any time of year.

Cortado coffee is similar to a latte, but it has less milk and no foam in comparison to a latte. The milk is boiled and then poured over the espresso, and the result is a coffee with a smooth texture and no foam on top.

What’s Flat White?

Flat white coffee is a type of coffee that originates from Australia and New Zealand. It is made by pouring steamed texturized milk over espresso coffee and results in a creamy and smooth texture. The coffee is then garnished with a thin layer of microfoam. Microfoam is milk that has been steamed until it forms tiny bubbles.

Flat white coffee is becoming increasingly popular in North America and Europe as more people are introduced to this unique type of coffee. Many coffee aficionados believe that flat white coffee is the perfect balance between espresso and milk.

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Cortado, flat white coffee, cappuccino, or even macchiato are made similarly, so it’s no wonder that many people are confused about all different types of coffee beverages. But what’s the difference between cortado vs flat white?

Differences Between a Cortado vs Flat White Coffee

Flat white and cortado are two coffee drinks that are often confused with one another. Both drinks feature espresso and steamed milk, but the key difference lies in the proportion of espresso to milk. A flat white features less espresso than milk, while a cortado has an equal ratio of espresso to milk. Also, flat white has micro foam, while cortado does not.

When it comes to taste, they are similar, however, there are some differences. First, the flat white’s taste is not as strong as cortado and the milk taste is more dominant. Secondly, because there is more milk in flat white, the drink is less bitter than cortado. Additionally, cortado is served in a smaller cup than flat white (4.5 ounces and 5-6 ounces, respectively).

Which Drink Is Better – Cortado or Flat White?

As coffee lovers, we often find ourselves debating which is the better coffee drink – a cortado or a flat white. Both drinks have their own unique flavor profiles and brewing methods, so it can be tough to decide which one to order. So, which one is better, cortado vs flat white?

Cortado is generally stronger in flavor than a flat white, due to the higher coffee to milk ratio. A cortado typically contains a double shot of espresso and the milk is steamed but not foamy. This results in a coffee that is slightly sweet and smooth.

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As flat white, on the other hand, contains less coffee and more milk than a cortado. The milk is also steamed until it is foamy, which gives the drink a creamy texture. Flat whites are known for being well-balanced between coffee and milk flavors.

So, which one is better – cortado vs flat white? It really depends on your preference. If you like a stronger coffee flavor, then go for a cortado. If you prefer a creamier drink, then a flat white is probably more up your alley.

Which Has More Caffeine – Cortado vs Flat White?

When it comes to caffeine, both cortados and flat whites pack a pretty good punch. But which drink has more of the stimulating substance?

Cortado is typically made with a double shot of espresso and so is flat white. So right off the bat, we can assume that both types of coffee are quite similar and the difference in caffeine content is actually quite small. However, the stronger taste is cortado, due to the amount of milk and coffee.

How to Make a Flat White?

Many people think that making a flat white coffee is difficult, but it’s actually quite easy! You don’t need to go to a coffee shop to get a great tasting flat white. You can make one right at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 shots of espresso;
  • 3/4 cup of steamed milk;
  • 1/2 tablespoon of sugar (optional).


  1. Start by brewing your espresso.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, steam your milk, until it’s hot and frothy.
  3. Pour the steamed milk into the espresso shot.
  4. Sweeten to taste with sugar, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!
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How to Make a Cortado?

So, now that you know the key difference between cortado vs flat white, let’s learn how to make a cortado!


  • 1 double shot of espresso;
  • 2 ounces of lightly textured milk.


  1. Pull a shot of espresso.
  2. Steam your milk until it is hot.
  3. Pour the espresso and milk into a glass or cup, in a 1:1 ratio.
  4. Enjoy!

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