Cortado Vs Latte: Are you a frustrated barista, gearing up for your everyday caffeine boost but undecided which espresso drink to order? Well wonder no more because we are here to compare two of the most popular espresso drinks – Cortado and Latte. Both these drinks have their own unique characteristics that make them distinct from one another in terms of taste, cost, health benefits and ingredients. Whether you are an experienced coffee connoisseur or just starting out, this comprehensive blog post will equip you with all the information that you need when deciding between Cortado vs Latte!
What is a Cortado and Origins?
A Cortado is a type of coffee that originated in Spain and has gained popularity worldwide. It is made by combining equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, creating a rich and creamy texture with a balanced flavor profile. The name “Cortado” comes from the Spanish word cortar, which means to cut, reflecting the way it cuts through the strong taste of espresso while still maintaining its distinct character. This delicious beverage has evolved over time, with variations such as the Gibraltar in San Francisco or Piccolo Latte in Australia adding their own unique twists.
Today, Cortados can be enjoyed at specialty coffee shops around the globe, often served in small glasses or ceramic cups for an authentic experience. Its versatility makes it a popular choice among coffee lovers who appreciate both bold flavors and subtle nuances in their drinks.
What is a Latte and Origins?
A Latte, on the other hand, is an Italian espresso drink that can trace its roots back to the 18th century. It consists of a single shot of espresso topped with steamed milk and often garnished with foam or syrup. The name “Latte” comes from the Italian word caffè latte, literally meaning “milk coffee”. It has become a popular drink around the world, particularly in the United States where it is often served as an iced beverage. Its creamy texture and subtle sweetness make it a crowd favorite for people who enjoy a mellower flavor profile.
Similarities between a Cortado and a Latte
Although Cortado and Latte differ in terms of origin and flavor, they do share some similarities. Both drinks feature espresso as their main ingredient, along with steamed milk that adds a creamy texture and sweetness to the drink. Additionally, both beverages can be enjoyed hot or cold, allowing for an even greater versatility when it comes to choosing between Cortado vs Latte.
Differences between a Cortado and a Latte?
The Differences in Ingredients
The main difference between Cortado and Latte lies in their ingredients. While Cortado combines equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, Latte has a single shot of espresso topped with steamed milk. This gives the latter a much sweeter flavor profile due to the added milk. Additionally, Latte often features frothy foam on top, while Cortado does not.
The Differences in Taste
While they both contain espresso and milk, the key difference between the two drinks is the amount of espresso shots that go into them. A cortado typically has two shots of espresso, while a latte only has one. This difference in the amount of espresso can affect the taste and strength of the drink, as well as the ratio of milk to espresso. Additionally, Latte often features frothy foam on top, while Cortado does not.
The Differences in Preparation
Cortado is prepared by combining equal parts of espresso and steamed milk, while Latte requires a single shot of espresso to be topped with steamed milk. The difference in preparation results in the two drinks having distinct flavor profiles.
The Differences in Acidic Levels
Cortado is usually less acidic than Latte due to the equal parts of espresso and steamed milk. This makes it a great choice for those who prefer a mellower drink while still getting a strong coffee flavor.
The Differences in Caffeine Content
Latte has a higher caffeine content than Cortado. This is due to the fact that Lattes generally contain more espresso and milk, which leads to an increased amount of caffeine in the drink. However, this difference can vary depending on the size of your cup or individual preferences.
The Differences in Calorie Content
Latte has a higher calorie content than Cortado due to the added milk. This can range from 80 – 200 calories depending on the size and ingredients used in the drink. On the other hand, Cortado typically contains fewer than 50 calories per serving.
The Differences in Cost and Health Benefits?
The cost of Cortado and Latte varies depending on the café where you purchase them. Generally, Cortado tends to be more cost-effective due to its simpler preparation.
In terms of health benefits, both drinks have similar nutritional values as they contain around two shots of espresso and some steamed milk. However, Latte may be slightly healthier due to the additional milk added which adds calcium and protein to the beverage.
Cortado vs Latte: Which one is right for you?
Ultimately, the choice between Cortado and Latte comes down to individual preference. Those who prefer a bolder taste without too much sweetness will love Cortado, while those who appreciate a mellower flavor with hints of sweetness may opt for Latte. Both drinks provide great health benefits and can be enjoyed either hot or cold. So why not try them both and decide for yourself?
Which is Better for Different Occasions? Factors to Consider
When deciding between Cortado and Latte, it’s important to consider the occasion you are drinking for. If you are looking for a stronger, bolder coffee to keep your energy levels up throughout the day, then Cortado is a great choice. However, if you want something more mellow and sweet for an afternoon treat or pick-me-up, then Latte is a great option. Additionally, the cost of each drink can vary depending on where you purchase them, so it’s important to consider your budget when making your decision.
Where to Find Cortado and Latte?
Cortado and Latte can be found in most cafes and coffee shops. However, if you’re looking for a specific variety of either drink, it’s best to do some research before picking a place to buy your Cortado or Latte. Additionally, you can also make both drinks at home with the proper equipment and ingredients.
How to Choose Right Coffee Beans for Cortado vs Latte?
The type of coffee beans used in each drink can also play a role in the flavor and intensity. Generally, Cortado is best enjoyed with dark-roasted Arabica beans that have a bolder flavor profile which complements the strong espresso taste. For Lattes, you may opt for lighter roasts such as Columbian or Ethiopian beans for a smoother, sweeter taste. Ultimately, the type of coffee beans used can make or break the perfect cup of Cortado or Latte, so it’s important to take this into consideration when choosing your ingredients.
How to Make a Cortado at home?
Ingredients and Equipments:
• Espresso machine
• 2 shots of espresso
• Milk (preferably whole milk)
1. Heat up the espresso machine and pull two shots of espresso into a tiny cup or demitasse.
2. Place the cup on your countertop and steam 4 ounces of milk using an espresso machine.
3. Slowly pour the steamed milk into your espresso cup, filling it up halfway.
4. Give the Cortado a stir and enjoy!
How to Make a Latte at Home?
Ingredients and Equipments:
• Espresso machine
• 2 shots of espresso
• Milk (preferably whole milk)
1. Heat up the espresso machine and pull two shots of espresso into a tall cup or mug.
2. Place the cup on your countertop and steam 6 ounces of milk using an espresso machine.
3. Slowly pour the steamed milk into your coffee cup, filling it up halfway.
4. Pour the espresso shots over the steamed milk and stir until everything is evenly combined.
5. Top off your Latte with a light dusting of foam and enjoy!
Tips for Brewing a Perfect Cortado and Latte
• Pre-heat your cup before brewing to ensure that the espresso and milk stay hot.
• Use fresh, filtered water for the best results.
• Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before use which will allow them to mix together evenly.
• Always use freshly ground coffee beans to get the most flavor.
• Adjust the ratio of espresso to milk depending on how strong or mild you prefer your drink.
• Experiment with different types of coffee beans and flavors to find the perfect balance for your tastes.
How to Make Foam on Milk for Latte?
If you’re looking to make a perfect latte, then creating foam on your milk is essential. To do this, use an espresso machine with a steam wand or a manual frother. Start by steaming the milk until it reaches 145-155°F and add some air as you stir so that the milk doubles in volume. Create a whirlpool-like motion as you stir to create the foam and fill your cup up with the foam and steamed milk, leaving a thin layer of foam on top.
What to Serve With a Cortado or Latte?
A great way to enjoy your Cortado or Latte is with some light snacks. For example, try pairing the drinks with a cheese plate featuring different kinds of cheeses like brie and cheddar, along with crackers and chutney. Alternatively, you could also opt for something sweet such as biscotti, cookies, or cake. This will help cut through the bitterness of the espresso and create a delicious balance.
How Can Add Flavor to Cortado and Latte?
If you’re looking to add some extra flavor to your Cortado or Latte, there are a few ways to do so. For example, adding a syrup such as hazelnut or caramel can sweeten the drink without making it overly sugary. Additionally, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg can add a warm kick to the drink, perfect for those cold winter days. Alternatively, you could also opt for some creamy flavorings such as Irish cream and coconut milk which will give your drink a unique twist.
Popular variations of Cortado and Latte:
- Cortado con Chocolate: a rich Cortado with a hint of chocolate.
- Latte Macchiato: an espresso-based drink topped with steamed and foamed milk.
- Mocha Latte: a latte made with both chocolate syrup and espresso.
- Honeycomb Latte: a smooth and sweet latte made with honey and espresso.
- Vanilla Cortado: a creamy cortado with added vanilla flavor.
- Nutella Latte: a decadent latte mixture of espresso, steamed milk, and Nutella.
- Espresso con Panna: a classic cortado with a dollop of fresh cream on top.
- Cinnamon Dolce Latte: an espresso blend combined with sweet cinnamon syrup and creamy steamed milk.
How to Store Cortado and Latte?
Once your Cortado and Latte are prepared, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator. If you plan on drinking your drink within 1-2 days, you can keep it covered in the fridge. However, if you’re planning on keeping it for longer than that, make sure to pour it into an airtight container and store it in the freezer. Make sure to allow your drink to thaw before consuming for the best flavor.
What is the difference between a cappuccino and a latte?
A cappuccino is made with espresso, steamed milk and a layer of foam, while a latte is composed of espresso and steamed milk.
What type of coffee beans should I use for my Cortado or Latte?
For Cortado, you should use dark-roasted Arabica beans that have a smooth and sweet taste. For Latte, you should use medium-roasted beans that have a light and fruity flavor.
What is the difference between a latte and a flat white?
A latte has more steamed milk and a thicker foam layer, while a flat white is made with just espresso and steamed milk.
Can I make Cortado or Latte without an espresso machine?
Yes, you can still make a delicious Cortado or Latte without an espresso machine. You will need a good quality French press or Aeropress to make the espresso shots, and then you can use a handheld frother to steam the milk.
Can I substitute almond milk for regular milk?
Yes, you can substitute almond milk for regular milk when making your Cortado or Latte. Just make sure that the almond milk is unsweetened and use it in the same proportion you would regular milk.
What is the ideal temperature for making Cortado and Latte?
The ideal temperature for brewing espresso should be around 195-205°F, and the best temperature for steamed milk is between 145-155°F.
How to Clean Your Espresso Machine?
It is important to clean your espresso machine regularly in order to ensure optimal performance. To do this, make sure to remove any coffee grounds from the portafilter after each use and also rinse out the portafilter with hot water. Additionally, you should descale your espresso machine every few months in order to prevent any buildup of calcium deposits. Finally, make sure to always clean the steam wand after every use to prevent any milk residue buildup.
Can I Choose whole milk or skim milk for Cortado or Latte?
You can choose either whole milk or skim milk when making your Cortado and Latte. If you are looking for a creamier and richer taste, then whole milk is usually recommended. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter drink with less fat content, then skim milk would be the better choice.
Can I Make Cortado and Latte with decaffeinated espresso?
Yes, you can make both Cortado and Latte with decaffeinated espresso. Decaf espresso is a great option for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake but still want to enjoy the flavor of coffee. However, keep in mind that decaf espresso will have a slightly different taste than regular espresso.
Can I Add flavored syrups to my Cortado or Latte?
Yes, you can add flavored syrups like vanilla, hazelnut and caramel to your Cortado or Latte for extra sweetness and flavor. Just be sure not to go overboard with the syrup or else it will overpower the taste of the espresso.
Can I Add spices or herbs to my Cortado or Latte?
Yes, you can add spices or herbs like cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to your Cortado or Latte for an extra burst of flavor. However, make sure not to overdo it as these ingredients can easily overpower the taste of the coffee.
Can I reheat my Cortado or Latte?
Yes, you can reheat your Cortado or Latte in a microwave for a few seconds. However, it is best to avoid this as microwaving your drink can alter its flavor and texture. If you want to heat up your drink, you can use a stovetop or double boiler to do so.
Can I make cold Cortado and Latte?
Yes, you can make cold versions of both Cortado and Latte. For cold Cortado, simply prepare the espresso shots normally and let them cool down before adding any milk. You can also substitute cold milk for the steamed milk in a cold Latte. To make it extra creamy, you can add some ice cream instead of milk for a delicious and refreshing treat!
Overall, making the decision between a cortado and latte depends entirely on your personal preferences. A cortado’s stronger espresso flavor, smaller serving size, and thicker texture makes it the ideal choice for those looking for a more intense coffee-drinking experience. If milder taste and larger servings are more important to you, then a latte will make a better choice. Remember to take into account the differences in calorie content when deciding how much of each drink to consume. Whether you’re enjoying a cortado or latte, savor their flavors for a truly luxurious beverage experience!
I am Chris Hines, a traditional chef with a focus on culinary culture. I teach cooking and enjoy exploring the origins of recipes and ingredients. I also work as a personal chef, catering to private events and families. My goal is to share my knowledge and passion for food with others, and help them create delicious, healthy meals for themselves and their loved ones.