Cortado Vs Americano: What’s The Difference?

Cortado and Americano are two of the most popular, yet misunderstood coffee drinks out there. Many people think they’re one-in-the same, but in reality both coffees have different assertages of flavor and textures that make them unique among other espresso beverages. In this blog post, we will explain what separates a cortado from its cousin – an Americano – as well as how to order each correctly. From steamed milk quality to caffeine strength levels, you’ll be determined to find which coffee works best for your preferred cup of joe!

What Is A Cortado?

What Is A Cortado?
What Is A Cortado?

A cortado is a coffee beverage consisting of equal parts espresso and warm milk. Originating in Spain, the cortado is traditionally served in a small glass and is known for its rich, smooth flavor and creamy texture. Unlike other coffee drinks, the cortado is not excessively sweet, making it a favorite among those who prefer a more nuanced palate. The preparation of a cortado requires a skilled barista who can expertly balance the espresso and milk to create a harmonious blend. Whether you’re a coffee connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, the cortado is definitely worth trying for a unique, satisfying coffee experience.

What Is An Americano?

What Is An Americano?
What Is An Americano?

An Americano is a popular coffee drink that has its roots in European coffee culture. Unlike espresso, which is concentrated and often too strong for some coffee drinkers, an Americano is a more diluted version of espresso, made by adding hot water to a shot of espresso. Its origins are uncertain, but many believe it was created by American soldiers during World War II who wanted a less potent cup of coffee during their time in Europe. Today, the Americano is found in coffee shops around the world and continues to be a go-to choice for coffee lovers who enjoy a lighter, yet still bold, caffeine kick.

Differences Between A Cortado And An Americano:

Difference In Taste And Flavor Profile 

The most significant difference between a cortado and an Americano is in their taste and flavor profiles. A cortado contains steamed milk, which adds sweetness and smoothness to the drink, while an Americano relies on hot water to dilute its concentrated espresso flavor. This difference makes it easy for coffee drinkers to identify which drink they prefer as the cortado has a creamier, more mellow flavor, while the Americano is bolder and more intense.

Difference In Texture:

Cortados have a thicker texture due to the addition of steamed milk, whereas an Americano is thinner because its espresso base is diluted with hot water. This difference can be noticed when drinking either beverage, as the Americano has a more watery consistency while the Cortado is thicker and creamier.

Difference In Strength

Cortados are generally seen as the weaker of the two drinks, due to their diluted espresso strength. An Americano, on the other hand, has a stronger flavor and more intense caffeine kick because its espresso is not watered down with milk or water. Additionally, an Americano contains more liquid than a cortado, which means it has more caffeine per ounce than the latter.

Difference In Ingredients And Preparation

The main difference between cortados and Americanos lies in the ingredients used to make them. While both drinks use espresso as a base, a cortado also includes steamed milk that is expertly blended with the espresso shots. On the other hand, an Americano is made by diluting one shot of espresso with hot water. Both drinks require skillful preparation in order to achieve the desired flavor profile, but a cortado requires more finesse as it is more complex than an Americano.

Difference In Coffee-To-Milk Ratio

The ratio of espresso to milk in a cortado is usually 1:1, while an Americano typically contains two parts espresso and one part hot water. This difference in the coffee-to-milk ratios gives each drink its distinct flavor profile and texture.

Difference In Caffeine Content

Cortados often contain less caffeine than Americanos as the addition of milk reduces the espresso’s potency. However, this can vary from coffee shop to coffee shop and is dependent on the barista’s skill in blending the ingredients together. An Americano typically has more caffeine per ounce because it contains two shots of espresso that are diluted with hot water.

Difference In Serving Temperature

Another difference between cortados and Americanos lies in their serving temperatures. A cortado is typically served hot, while an Americano can be enjoyed both hot or cold. This makes the Americano a great choice for those who don’t like drinking their coffee too hot, as they can enjoy it at a much lower temperature.

Difference In Serving Size

Cortados are usually served in smaller cups ranging from 4 to 6 ounces, whereas Americanos are usually served in larger sizes such as 8 or 12 ounces. This difference can be helpful when deciding which drink is right for you, as a cortado might be too strong for those who prefer more mellow coffee flavors.

Nutritional Value Of Cortado And Americano

When it comes to choosing a coffee beverage, it’s not uncommon for people to prioritize taste over nutritional content. However, for those who are health-conscious, it’s worthwhile to consider the nutritional value of the drinks they consume. Two popular choices, cortado and americano, offer a different balance of nutrition. A cortado is a Spanish-inspired coffee drink that consists of espresso and a small amount of warm milk.

Compared to an americano, which is simply espresso and hot water, the cortado contains more calories and fat due to the inclusion of milk. However, the milk also provides a source of calcium and protein. On the other hand, an americano offers a lower calorie and fat content, making it a better option for those watching their weight. Overall, both cortado and americano can be enjoyed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

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Which Drink Is Better – Cortado Or Americano?

When it comes to which drink is better, there is no definitive answer as both are delicious and provide different flavors and levels of caffeine. Cortados offer a smooth and creamy texture that can be enjoyed hot or cold. On the other hand, Americanos have a strong coffee flavor with more intense caffeine kick due to their higher espresso content.

Ultimately, the choice between which drink to order will depend on personal preference. If you prefer a smoother flavor, opt for a cortado; if you like more intense coffee flavors, an Americano might be better for you. No matter what your taste buds prefer, both drinks are equally delicious and make great accompaniments to any meal or snack.

Whether you choose a cortado or an Americano, just remember to savor the flavor and enjoy your coffee experience!

How To Choose Between Cortado And Americano?

When choosing between a cortado and an Americano, it’s important to consider the differences between the two drinks. Think about the coffee-to-milk ratio, caffeine content, serving temperature and size that each drink offers. The cortado, is made with espresso and steamed milk in a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio. This results in a smooth, rich, and creamy texture. On the other hand, the americano is made with hot water and espresso in a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio, resulting in a stronger, more bitter taste.

Additionally, be sure to take into account your personal preferences when deciding whether to order a cortado or an Americano. If you’re looking for a smooth and creamy coffee experience, opt for a cortado; if you prefer a strong and intense flavor, an Americano might be the better choice. Ultimately, both drinks offer their own unique flavor profile, so it’s important to experiment in order to find the right one for you.

No matter which drink you choose, just remember to enjoy it and savor every sip!

Cortado Vs Americano: Best Paired With Food

When it comes to food, the cortado and americano both offer a unique flavor profile that can be enjoyed with various types of meals.

For those who prefer sweet flavors, the creaminess of a cortado pairs perfectly with pastries and cakes:

-Pair a cortado with a blueberry muffin or banana bread

-Try a cortado with a yogurt parfait or overnight oats

-Enjoy a cortado with fresh fruit and granola

For people who prefer a more intense taste, an americano can be paired with savory dishes:

-Pair an americano with a scrambled egg and toast breakfast

-Try an americano with a grilled cheese sandwich or panini

-Sip on an americano while enjoying a bowl of soup or chili

No matter which flavor profile you prefer, the cortado and americano both make great accompaniments to any meal. Enjoy experimenting with different combinations to find the perfect pairing for your taste buds!

Cortado Vs Americano: Ideal Time To Drink

When it comes to the ideal time to drink a cortado or an americano, there is no definitive answer as it ultimately depends on personal preference.

Generally speaking, cortados tend to be better enjoyed in the morning or early afternoon as they provide a smoother and creamier flavor experience. The milk content also adds a little extra energy boost. On the other hand, an americano can be sipped throughout the day as its intense flavor and higher caffeine content provides a long-lasting buzz.

Other factors to consider when deciding which drink to order include time of day, level of alertness desired, and sleep schedule. Whether you’re looking for a quick pick me up in the morning or a mid-day energy boost, both the cortado and americano offer unique flavor profiles that can be enjoyed at any time.

How To Brew Cortado At Home?

Making a cortado at home is easy and requires only a few simple steps.




-Sugar/Honey (optional)


-Coffee maker or espresso machine

-Milk steamer/Frother

-Mug or cup for serving


-Start by heating 8 ounces of milk until it becomes steamy, then add the steamed milk to your espresso shot, creating a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk.

-If desired, add a teaspoon of sugar or honey to sweeten the drink.

-Stir together the espresso and steamed milk until combined.

-Pour your cortado into a mug and enjoy!

The key to a great cortado is using freshly roasted beans and steaming the milk to a smooth, velvety consistency. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious and professional-grade cortado right at home.Experiment with different types of milk or sweeteners to find the perfect combination for you!

How To Brew Americano At Home?

Brewing an americano at home is just as easy as making a cortado.



-Hot water


-Coffee maker or espresso machine

-Mug or cup for serving


-Start by brewing a double shot of espresso into a mug or cup.

-Add 6 ounces of hot water to the espresso shot, creating a 1:3 ratio of espresso to water.

-Stir together the espresso and hot water until combined.

-Pour your americano into a mug and enjoy!

The key to a great americano is using freshly roasted beans and hot water that has been freshly boiled. With a few simple steps, you can enjoy a delicious and professional-grade americano right at home. Experiment with different amounts of espresso or water to find the ideal balance for you!

How To Choose Right Coffee Beans For Cortado Or Americano?

When choosing the right beans for a cortado or americano, it is important to consider the flavor profile and intensity of each type of bean. For a classic cortado, medium-dark roast coffees tend to be best as they provide a balanced taste that is not too acidic or bitter. For an americano, light-medium roasts work best since they provide an intense flavor and higher caffeine content.

It is also important to choose the right grind size for your beans, depending on the type of machine you are using. For espresso machines, it is best to use a fine or extra-fine grind as this will help to extract a more flavorful and robust cup. If using a drip coffee maker, it is best to use a medium grind for optimal results.

Finally, consider the origin and flavor notes of your beans to ensure you get the most out of your cup. For a cortado, look for coffees with cocoa, chocolate, or caramel notes as these will bring out the creamer texture of the drink. For an americano, look for coffees with berry or citrus notes as these will bring out the more intense flavor of the drink.

When done right, enjoying a cortado or americano can be a truly delightful experience! With just a few simple steps and the right beans, you can make a delicious cup at home that rivals any barista-made espresso.


What are some fun facts about cortado?

-A cortado is also known as a “café noisette” in some countries, which translates to “nutty coffee.”

-The word “cortado” comes from the Spanish verb “cortar,” meaning “to cut.” This refers to the “cutting” of espresso with steamed milk, creating a creamy and balanced cup.

-A cortado is traditionally served in a small glass or mug, usually no larger than 3 ounces.

What are some fun facts about americano?

-The word “americano” comes from the Spanish word “Americano,” meaning “American.”

-The americano originated during WWII when American soldiers stationed in Europe wanted a milder version of espresso.

-An americano is typically served in an 8 ounce mug or cup.

-Adding more water to the espresso makes it less bitter and more drinkable, resulting in a milder flavor.

-The higher caffeine content of an americano makes it ideal for those looking for a more energizing cup.

Does a cortado have more caffeine than a latte?

Yes, a cortado typically has more caffeine than a latte. Since the ratio of espresso to milk is higher in a cortado (1:1) compared to a latte (1:2 or 1:3), it will have more caffeine per ounce. It is important to remember that caffeine content can vary depending on the type and origin of the coffee beans used.

What type of milk is best for cortado?

Whole milk is typically the best option for a cortado as it provides the creamiest texture and richest taste. But if you are looking for a lighter version, you can also use 2% or skim milk. Almond and oat milks work well too, although they may not provide the same creamy texture as whole milk does.

Are cortados healthy?

Cortados can be a healthy option if you are mindful of the ingredients used. Opt for lower-fat milks and use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup, instead of processed sugar. Avoid adding syrups and flavored powders as these contain added sugars that can negate any health benefits. Also, make sure to choose high-quality, organic beans to ensure the freshest cup possible.

What type of coffee should I use for making a cortado or americano?

When making a cortado or americano, it is important to use high-quality beans that are freshly roasted. Medium-dark roasts are usually best for a cortado, as they provide a smooth flavor that is not too acidic or bitter. For an americano, light-medium roasts work best since they provide an intense flavor and higher caffeine content.

What temperature is a cortado?

A cortado is typically served at around 70-80 degrees Celsius. The temperature can vary slightly depending on the type of espresso machine used and the brewing method. For best results, use freshly brewed espresso that has been extracted in a short amount of time (around 25-30 seconds). This will ensure optimal flavor and balance.

What are the benefits of drinking Americano everyday?

Drinking an americano every day can provide a number of benefits. It is low in calories and contains less caffeine than other types of coffee, making it ideal for those looking for an energizing yet milder cup. The higher caffeine content also means that it can help to boost alertness and focus throughout the day. The antioxidants found in coffee can also provide health benefits, such as reducing inflammation and aiding in digestion. Additionally, the rich flavor of an americano is perfect for those looking for a satisfying cup without having to add any sweeteners or syrups.

Is Americano better hot or cold?

Although an americano can be enjoyed hot or cold, it is generally best when served hot. Hot espresso has a richer flavor and aroma than its cold counterpart, making for a more satisfying cup. However, if you’re looking for a refresher in the summertime, an iced americano can be just as enjoyable. Simply pour your espresso over ice, add some milk or cream, and enjoy. With its milder flavor and higher caffeine content, an americano is the perfect drink for any time of year.

What blend is best for Americano?

When making an americano, it is best to choose a light-medium roast espresso blend. This type of blend will provide the most flavor and intensity to your cup without being too acidic or bitter. If you’re looking for an extra kick, try using a darker or stronger blend. The flavor profile can vary depending on the origin of the beans, so experiment to find a blend that best suits your taste.

Are there any alternatives to Americano?

Yes, there are several alternatives to an americano that can provide similar flavor and caffeine content. A latte macchiato is made with espresso and steamed milk, while a cappuccino features a combination of espresso, steamed milk, and foam. A mocha is also a great option for those looking for something a bit sweeter, as it contains chocolate syrup in addition to the other components. Finally, an affogato is made with one shot of espresso poured over ice cream or gelato – making it both decadent and delicious!


After reading this blog post, you now understand the difference between cortado and Americanos: Cortado is an espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk to reduce its acidity, while an Americano is made by adding hot water to traditional espresso shots. Both coffees are light and smooth but present slightly different taste profiles.

The ideal choice comes down to personal preferences. If you like your morning cup of joe sweet and creamy, then cortado is the way to go. If, however, you’re looking for a lighter coffee then an Americano should do the trick. Ultimately both drinks provide a great jolt of caffeine and first-rate flavor – it simply comes down which one will make you more excited to wake up in the morning! So pour yourself a cup (or two!)and drink up – your daily pick-me-up awaits!

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