What is the Difference Between Cortado and Cappuccino?

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When it comes to coffee, there are a lot of different ways to enjoy it. Endless combinations of flavors and ingredients can be used to create the perfect cup of coffee. But sometimes, you only need a simple, classic cup of coffee. And when it comes to traditional coffee drinks, two of the most popular options are cortado and cappuccino.

So, what exactly is the difference between cortado and cappuccino? At first glance, they may seem quite similar. After all, they are both coffee drinks that feature espresso and milk. However, a few key differences set these two drinks apart.

What is a Cortado?


A Cortado is a popular coffee beverage that originates from Spain. It’s characterized by a harmonious balance between espresso and warm milk. The name ‘Cortado’, meaning ‘cut’ in Spanish, implies that the strength of the espresso is ‘cut’ through with an equal amount of milk. This preparation method reduces the acidity and gives the drink a smooth and full-bodied flavor. Unlike other espresso-based drinks, a Cortado is served in a small glass rather than a cup.

What is a Cappuccino?


A Cappuccino is a classic Italian coffee drink that is globally beloved. It consists of equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. The preparation begins with a shot of espresso, followed by the addition of hot milk. The drink is then topped off with a substantial amount of frothed milk, which creates a luxurious and creamy texture.

The Cappuccino is typically served in a ceramic cup with a saucer, and the frothed milk on top is often garnished with a sprinkle of cocoa powder or cinnamon for an extra touch of flavor. The layered composition of a Cappuccino provides a harmonious blend of bold espresso and smooth, creamy milk.

What is the Difference Between Cortado and Cappuccino?


Here are a few of the critical differences between cortado and cappuccino:

1. Espresso

The first difference between cortado and cappuccino is the type of espresso used. For a cortado, espresso is brewed using an excellent grind. This results in a strong, concentrated coffee with a lot of flavors. On the other hand, cappuccinos are made with a coarser grind of espresso. This leads to a less focused coffee that is not as strong in flavor.

2. Milk

The second difference has to do with the milk that is used in each drink. An equal parts ratio of espresso and milk is used for a cortado. This creates a drink that is smooth and creamy. Cappuccinos, on the other hand, use more milk than espresso. This results in a drink that is lighter and frothier.

3. Texture

The absolute difference between these two drinks is the texture. Cortados are smooth and creamy, while cappuccinos are light and frothy. This is due to the different ratios of espresso to milk used in each drink.

So, there you have it. Now you know the difference between cortado and cappuccino.

How many calories are there in both of the drinks?

Now that we’ve gone over some of the critical differences between cortados and cappuccinos, you may be wondering about the calorie content of each drink.

A cortado typically contains around 100-150 calories. This varies depending on the ingredients used, but generally, a cortado is a relatively low-calorie coffee drink.

A cappuccino, on the other hand, has a bit more calories. A typical cappuccino contains around 200-250 calories. Again, this number can vary depending on the ingredients that are used. However, a cappuccino generally has more calories than a cortado.

What is the caffeine content in both of the drinks?

The caffeine content in coffee can also vary depending on a few factors. However, cortados and cappuccinos generally contain around 95-100mg of caffeine. So, if you’re looking for a coffee drink that will give you a little energy boost, either of these drinks would be a good option.

Where Can You Order the Drinks?


If you’re interested in trying either of these drinks, you’ll be happy to know that they are both widely available. Cortados and cappuccinos can be found at most coffee shops, so finding one should not be difficult.

However, suppose you’re having trouble finding a cortado. In that case, you can also ask for an “espresso con leche” or a “piccolo latte.” And if you’re having trouble locating a cappuccino, you can also ask for a “latte macchiato.”

How to Make Them Easily at Home?

If you want to save some money or you can’t find either of these drinks at your local coffee shop, don’t worry. Both cortados and cappuccinos are relatively easy to make at home.

To make a cortado, you will need:

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • Milk
  • A small cup

To make a cappuccino, you will need:

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • Milk
  • A small cup
  • A milk frother

As you can see, the ingredients needed to make these two drinks are quite similar. The main difference is that you will need a milk frother to make a cappuccino.

If you don’t have a milk frother, don’t worry. You can still make a cappuccino without one. Heat your milk in a saucepan on the stove until it is hot and bubbly. Then, pour it over your espresso and enjoy.

Cortado vs Cappuccino: Frequently Asked Questions

Is a cortado 1 or 2 shots?

A cortado is typically made with 1 shot of espresso. However, this can vary depending on the size of the drink and the preference of the person ordering it.

Is a cappuccino 1 or 2 shots?

A cappuccino is typically made with 1-2 shots of espresso. Again, this can vary depending on the size of the drink and the preference of the person ordering it.

Is cortado stronger than cappuccino?

Cortados are typically made with a finer espresso grind, producing more robust, concentrated coffee. So, in general, cortados are slightly more potent than cappuccinos.

Is cappuccino terrible for you?

Cappuccinos are not necessarily bad for you. However, they do tend to have more calories than other coffee drinks. So, if you’re watching your calorie intake, you may want to opt for a different coffee drink.

Cortado vs Cappuccino: Which One Should You Choose?

So, which coffee drink should you choose – cortado or cappuccino? Ultimately, the answer to this question comes down to personal preference. A cortado is a good choice if you’re looking for a robust and flavorful coffee. A cappuccino is better if you prefer a lighter coffee with more milk.

Cortados and cappuccinos are delicious coffee drinks worth trying. So, if you’re ever feeling undecided at the coffee shop, why not order one and see which one you prefer? After all, there’s no better way to figure out which drink is suitable for you than by trying them both.

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