Cortado vs Macchiato: Understanding The Differences & Which One Should You Choose

Cortado and Macchiato are both espresso-based drinks, but there are some key differences that set them apart.

This article will explore the differences between cortado and macchiato, as well as which one you should choose.

What Actually Is A Cortado?

A cortado is an espresso-based drink that consists of equal parts steamed milk and espresso. The steamed milk helps to cut the bitterness of the espresso and results in a smooth, well-rounded drink.

A cortado is an espresso-based drink that originated in Spain. The name comes from the Spanish word for “cut,” which refers to the way that the milk cuts the acidity of the espresso.

Cortados are usually made with a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk, although this can vary depending on the barista. The milk is steamed and then poured over the espresso, resulting in a drink that is about 4 ounces in total.

Steamed milk is the preferred method of preparing Cortados. Steamed milk is heated but no air bubbles are added. This provides a smooth, creamy, and dense texture as a result of this. If you don’t have a steamer wand, boil water in a saucepan until it’s almost to boiling point instead.

Cortados are typically served in a small tumbler glass and can be enjoyed at any time of day.

What Actually Is A Macchiato?

A macchiato is also an espresso-based drink, but it contains less steamed milk than a cortado. The espresso is “marked” with a small amount of foam, hence the name macchiato which means “marked” in Italian.

Macchiatos are made with a 2:1 ratio of espresso to milk, so they are generally a bit stronger than cortados. The milk is steamed and then added to the espresso, resulting in a drink that is about 6 ounces in total.

Macchiatos incorporate foamed milk. To make foamed milk, baristas either use a frother or a steam wand. The tool agitates the warm milk as it moves through it, forming small bubbles of air that become trapped under the surface. This process gives beverages like lattes, cappuccinos, and other warm coffee drinks a light texture similar to meringue that tastes delicious.

Macchiatos are typically served in a small espresso cup and are best enjoyed after a meal.

Is Macchiato Stronger Than Cortado?

A macchiato has a stronger flavor because less milk is used in comparison to a cortado, resulting in coffee that tastes more like espresso. A cortado is balanced because an equal amount of espresso and milk are used.

Is There More Milk in a Cortado or Macchiato?

A macchiato has more espresso than milk, while a latte macchiato is the opposite. A cortado, latte or cappuccino all have higher milk content.

Is Cortado And Flat White The Same?

The difference between a cortado and flat white is very subtle; it all has to do with the consistency of the milk. Both drinks have the same amount of espresso, but in a cortado, the milk isn’t textured. A cortado is supposed to be smooth while a flat white should be velvety and slightly thicker.

Does a Cortado Have Foam?

Cappuccinos have significantly more foam than cortados, with the former often having around a third of the cup being composed of foam.

So, Which Should You Choose?

If you’re looking for a smooth, well-rounded drink, then a cortado is the way to go. However, if you prefer your espresso with a little more bite, then a macchiato is the drink for you.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and what you’re looking for in a coffee drink. So, why not try both and see which one you like best?

coffee types


Ellie L.

Ellie L.

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We are at “Elijah Coffee” group of people who love coffe and have something to say about it :-)


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