The Ultimate Competition: Flat White Vs Cortado – Which One Is Better?

Discover the differences between Flat White vs Cortado to determine which suits you best.

Flat White and Cortado are two of the most popular coffees around. Both have unique flavor profiles, so deciding which is best for you is challenging. We’re here to help with an ultimate competition between Flat White and Cortado – find out which is better. 

So please sit back, enjoy your cup of joe, and let’s get started! Learn about each drink’s origin, brewing process, flavor notes, caffeine content, and more. Get ready for a taste test as we compare Flat White and Cortado side-by-side.

Flat White Vs Cortado: At A Glance

What Is Flat White?

Flat white coffee is a popular espresso-based drink that originated in Australia and New Zealand. It’s made with two shots of espresso, steamed milk, and microfoam (very fine air bubbles mixed into the milk). The result is an intensely aromatic and creamy cup of coffee that has become increasingly popular worldwide. 

The flat white has been gaining popularity since its inception in the 1980s. It’s a favorite among baristas because it requires precise technique to make it properly. Two espresso shots are pulled directly into a small preheated cup or mug. Then comes the steamed milk – which must be heated at just the right temperature (not too hot!) to create a smooth microfoam without any large bubbles or “scorching” on top. This creates an even layer between the espresso and foam for an incredibly smooth sip every time!

flat white vs cortado

Flat whites have a bold flavor thanks to their double shot of espresso but also balance out nicely with creamy notes from the microfoam topping off each sip perfectly. This makes them ideal for those who want something strong but not overly bitter. The microfoam provides a velvety mouthfeel ideal for blending with other flavors, like syrups and spices. Plus, it leaves a nice foamy foam mustache when sipped – making it great to drink on the go or while enjoying a conversation. 

For those looking to create their flat white at home, there are several tips and tricks to keep in mind. The most important is to use freshly ground espresso beans – the fresher, the better! Also, make sure to use a good quality espresso machine and steamer wand that can correctly produce the right temperatures for frothing and steaming. Finally, practice makes perfect so don’t be afraid to experiment with different techniques until you find your unique flat white recipe. 

Flat whites are a delicious and sophisticated espresso-based beverage that can be enjoyed anytime. With its bold flavor, silky texture, and creamy foam topping – it’s no wonder why flat whites have become so popular all around the world.

Bestseller No. 1
Rocket Espresso 5oz Flat White Cup, White, Porcelain - Set of 2
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SaleBestseller No. 2
Saeco super-automatic espresso coffee machine with an adjustable grinder, double boiler, for brewing espresso, cappuccino, latte & flat white. SM7685 Xelsis
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL Super-automatic espresso coffee machine with an AUTOMATIC CAPPUCCINO system that delivers a tasty barista-quality Cappuccino, Latte and Flat white in less than 3 minutes. Can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee for preparation of two cups of coffee within a single brewing cycle.
  • PROFESSIONAL Brew two cups of magic drink simultaneously with Saeco bean-to-cup brews two cups. Great brewing without having to learn how to be a barista. This fully automated machine has an integrated coffee grinder with 12 adjustable grinding settings, a pump generating up to 15 bars of pressure, a water filter, an automatic milk frother,a milk jug as well as electronic temperature control.
Bestseller No. 3
Delonghi super-automatic espresso coffee machine with double boiler, milk frother maker for brewing espresso, cappuccino, latte, macchiato & flat white, ECAM65055MS PrimaDonna Elite
  • MULTIFUNCTIONAL Super-automatic espresso coffee machine with a patented AUTOMATIC CAPPUCCINO system that delivers a tasty barista-quality Cappuccino, Caffelatte, Latte Macchiato, hot & cold Milk, Flat White in less than 3 minutes. Can be used with either coffee beans or ground coffee for preparation of two cups of coffee within a single brewing cycle.
  • PROFESSIONAL Brew two cups of magic drink simultaneously with Top-of-the-line Delonghi bean-to-cup brews two cups. Great brewing without having to learn how to be a barista. This fully automated machine has an integrated silent coffee grinder with 13 adjustable grinding settings, a bypass doser, a pump generating up to 15 bars of pressure, a water filter, a double boiler system, an automatic milk frother, a milk jug and cup warmer, as well as electronic temperature control.
Bestseller No. 4
NESCAFÉ DOLCE GUSTO Flat White Coffee Pods, 16 Capsules (Pack of 3 - Total 48 Capsules, 48 Servings)
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  • Our Flat White coffee combines the smoothness of whole milk with a robusta coffee and a fruity arabica; It offers a balanced coffee flavour, with velvety notes
Bestseller No. 5
ACME USA Acme USA Espresso Range Flat White Cup (150ml, 5oz), Penguin Black, 6-Pack Acme Evo Flat White (150ml, 5oz)
  • The Acme 150ml flat white cup is now available in The Espresso Range design.
  • Sized to suit double or single shot milk beverages. Also an elegant solution for serving filter coffee.

What Is Cortado?

Cortado is a coffee drink that combines espresso with milk. It is popular in Spain and Latin America but has gained popularity worldwide as an alternative to more traditional coffee drinks. The word “cortado” means “cut,” which refers to how espresso and milk are blended for this drink. Cortado usually contains one shot of espresso combined with roughly equal parts steamed milk, resulting in a creamy beverage with a strong flavor profile. 

The origins of cortado can be traced back to 19th century Spain, where it was known as “Café con Leche” or “coffee with milk.” Over time, its popularity spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way across the Atlantic Ocean into South America and beyond. Today, cortados are enjoyed by people from all walks of life who appreciate their unique flavor combination. 

flat white vs cortado

Unlike other coffee drinks, such as cappuccinos or lattes, cortados have no foam on top; instead, they feature just a thin layer of microfoam that adds texture and body without overpowering the flavors underneath it. This makes them ideal for those who want something smoother than an espresso but want to enjoy that intense espresso flavor. 

If you’re looking for something to perk up your day, give a cortado a try! Cortados are typically served in small glasses or ceramic cups and are usually finished with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon or cocoa powder. The amount of milk used can be adjusted to suit individual tastes, and some even add extra espresso shots for an even more powerful kick. Whatever the preference, cortados are a great way to enjoy the flavor of espresso without having to drink an entire cup of it.

With its unique espresso-milk combination, delicious flavor profile, and caffeine kick, it’s no wonder the cortado has become such a popular drink. Whether you’re looking for an alternative to your usual morning coffee or want something new, give a cortado a shot and discover why so many people love it! So next time you find yourself in the mood for something different, give the cortado a try! You won’t be disappointed.

Bestseller No. 1
Set of Two Libbey Duratuff Cortado Glasses | Gibraltar Rocks Glass 4.5 OZ ~Paper Coasters Included~
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  • This is a set of two Libbey Cortado Duratuff 4.5oz Rock glasses with paper coasters
Bestseller No. 2
VERO 4.25 oz. Cortado Glass - Smoke (2 units)
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  • Glass
Bestseller No. 3
Libbey 15248 Duratuff Cortado / Gibraltar Rocks Glass 4.5 OZ (2 Pack)
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SaleBestseller No. 4
Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g
  • Tassimo Cortado Marcilla

Flat White Vs Cortado: Main Differences

Coffee lovers everywhere know that there are many different types of coffee drinks. Each type brings a unique flavor and texture, making it enjoyable for all drinkers. Two popular espresso-based drinks are the flat white and cortado, which have similar ingredients but differ in several ways. If you want to try something new or learn more about these two tasty coffees, let’s explore the differences between a flat white and a cortado! 


The first major difference between a flat white and a cortado is size. A flat white is typically served in an 8oz cup, while a cortado usually comes in a 6oz cup. This means you get slightly less volume with your drink when ordering a cortado than if you had ordered the same amount as a flat white.  

Milk Content

flat white vs cortado

Another key difference between these two beverages is how much milk they contain. Cortados tend to be thicker due to their lower milk content; some even consider them more like a cappuccino than a flat white. Flat whites include more milk than cortados, giving them their signature creamy taste and smooth texture. 


When it comes to temperature, these two drinks have very different preferences. Flat whites are served extremely hot, while cortados tend to be much cooler. This means that a cortado is the better choice if you’re looking for something to cool down with. 

Coffee Taste

The taste of each drink can vary depending on the type of coffee used and how it is brewed, but in general, flat whites are known for their bold coffee flavor, while cortados are more subtle. This is because flat whites use two shots of espresso and twice as much milk, while cortados only use one shot of espresso and less milk. 

flat white vs cortado


The texture of each drink also differs significantly. Flat whites are smooth and creamy, while cortados are thicker due to their lower milk content. Cortados also tend to be airier than flat whites, as the foam created by steaming the milk is fluffier.

Foam Content 

One of the main differences between flat whites and cortados is the amount of foam they contain. Flat whites are topped with a thick layer of milk foam, while cortados typically have no foam. This gives them a much denser texture than their foamy counterpart.

Caffeine Content

The amount of caffeine in each drink is also quite different. Flat whites contain more because they have two espresso shots, whereas cortados only have one. A flat white might be better if you need an extra energy boost. 

Milk Steaming 

flat white vs cortado

When it comes to steaming the milk for these drinks, there is also a difference. Flat whites are typically made with microfoam and steamed at a higher temperature, creating denser foam. Cortados, on the other hand, are generally made with textured milk, steamed at a lower temperature, and producing fluffier foam.


The last major difference between these two drinks is the variations available. Flat whites can come in different sizes and flavors and even have special add-ons like syrups and spices. Cortados, on the other hand, are usually served in standard size with no additional ingredients. 

Whether you’re new to coffee or just looking to expand your knowledge of specialty drinks, it’s important to understand the key differences between flat whites and cortados. With this information, you can make an informed decision on which drink is right for you.

Our Picks

With numerous factors to consider before choosing Flat White or Cortado, we know it is hard to make up your mind. To simplify things for you, here are some honourable mentions for both kinds of drinks.

Nescafe® Dolce Gusto® Plant Based Flat White Vegan Variety

Nescafe® Dolce Gusto® Plant Based Flat White Vegan Variety – a delicious vegan-friendly coffee that will please everyone. This unique flat white blend contains plant-based ingredients and has been specially crafted to provide an indulgent, creamy taste with a hint of sweetness. 

As the name suggests, this vegan-friendly beverage provides all the flavor of traditional flat whites but without any animal products making it perfect for people with lactose intolerant or who follow a vegan lifestyle. The Nescafe® Dolce Gusto® Plant Based Flat White Vegan Variety is made with 100% plant-based ingredients, including oat milk powder and coconut oil. It creates a deliciously creamy texture as it blends with freshly ground Arabica beans. The pods also contain a unique blend of natural flavors, such as coconut and hazelnut, to give the coffee a subtle nutty sweetness that is sure to please even the most discerning pallet. 

The convenience factor cannot be ignored with this delicious vegan beverage either. Thanks to Nescafe’s easy-to-use pod system, you can quickly make yourself a cafe-style flat white in minutes with no mess and minimal effort. Pop the pod into your Nescafe-compatible machine, and there’s a good cup of coffee within seconds. The pods are also incredibly easy to dispose of, making them an environmentally friendly option. 


– Made with plant-based ingredients for a vegan-friendly option

– Crafted to create a creamy, frothy flat white beverage 

– Includes all the rich flavors of quality Nescafe® coffee 


– Contains sugar and sweeteners

cafféluxe Compatible Coffee Pods Variety Pack Flat White

Cafféluxe Variety Pack Coffee Pods - Hot Chocolate, Cappuccino, Café Au Lait, Caramel Latte & Flat White Coffee Pods - Capsules Compatible with Dolce Gusto Machine - 50 Coffee Capsules
  • DIVERSE SELECTION - Indulge in the rich diversity of our mixed selection, featuring 50 Dolce Gusto coffee pods. This assortment includes Hot Chocolate Pods and Caramel Latte, Cappuccino, Café Au Lait and Flat White coffee pods, catering to every preference.
  • DOLCE GUSTO COMPATIBILITY - Our coffee pod variety pack is expertly crafted for perfect compatibility with Dolce Gusto machines, ensuring each cup is brewed to café-quality perfection.

cafféluxe’s Compatible Coffee Pods Variety Pack Flat White filled with eight coffee pods that are sure to please even the pickiest coffee drinkers. Each pod contains a carefully selected blend of high-quality Arabica beans, roasted and blended for an intense yet balanced flavor profile. With these compatible pods, you can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed flat white or espresso any time you want – no barista needed! Whether you need an afternoon pick-me-up or want to treat yourself after dinner, let cafféluxe’s Compatible Coffee Pods Variety Pack Flat White be your go-to choice for premium quality coffee in an instant. 

The convenience of cafféluxe’s Compatible Coffee Pods Variety Pack Flat White makes it easy to get great-tasting coffee on demand at home or work. Pop one of the eight included pods into your compatible machine, press start, and enjoy a fresh cup within minutes – no mess, no fuss! Each pod contains the perfect balance of hand-selected Arabica beans, roasted to perfection for an intense yet balanced flavor that’s sure to please even the most discerning coffee drinkers. The variety pack includes four flat whites and four espressos, so there is something for everyone, whether you prefer strong black coffees or something more indulgent with some frothed milk.

For those looking to upgrade their morning or afternoon coffee break, cafféluxe’s Compatible Coffee Pods Variety Pack Flat White is a perfect choice. You can get a perfectly brewed cup with just one pod without needing to go to a specialty cafe. And because the pods are compatible with many existing machines, you don’t need to invest in expensive new equipment either – plug and play! Breathe new life into your daily coffee routine with this convenient and delicious variety pack that allows you to make a fresh cup of coffee or espresso instantly. 


– Great taste and rich aroma 

– No messy cleanup after brewing  

– Keurig compatible


– Non-recyclable plastic lid on each pod

SmileMore Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cortado Coffee Capsules

SmileMore Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cortado Coffee Capsules brings together the best of two worlds. Featuring an intense and flavourful espresso shot combined with a creamy layer of steamed milk, these innovative capsules allow you to enjoy a genuine cortado experience in no time. These capsules come packed with all the classic elements of a traditional cortado but with the convenience of a single capsule – all you need to do is pop it in your Dolce Gusto machine and enjoy. With a rich aroma and smooth creaminess that lingers on the palate, this coffee makes an ideal drink to savor any time of day.

SmileMore Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cortado Coffee Capsules are made with high-quality Arabica beans that have been carefully roasted and blended to create an intense and flavourful taste. Plus, the capsules are made with 100% recyclable materials, giving you a convenient and eco-friendly way to enjoy your favorite cortado coffee. SmileMore Nescafe Dolce Gusto Cortado Coffee Capsules combine convenience and quality for an unbeatable experience every time. Transform your kitchen into a barista cafe and enjoy a delicious cortado without leaving your home’s comfort. With an authentic taste sure to please, these capsules are the perfect way to start or end any day. 


– Easy to prepare at home

– Rich and creamy flavor

– Quality ingredients used 


– A bit pricey compared to other coffee capsules 

Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g

Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g is a delicious and convenient way to enjoy your favorite coffee. This single-serve espresso blend comes in an easy-to-use pod, so all you have to do is pop it into your Tassimo machine and you’ll have a perfect cup of espresso in just seconds. With its intense aroma and rich flavor, this espresso blend will satisfy even the most discerning coffee connoisseur. 

Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g is made from premium Arabica beans that are carefully selected worldwide for their unique flavor profiles. The beans are then expertly roasted with precision for a deep, dark roast that brings out the full complexity of each bean’s profile. The result is an intense yet balanced espresso with notes of chocolate, caramel, and nuts on top of its signature boldness. It’s perfect for those who like their coffee strong but don’t want it to be overwhelming or bitter. 

The convenience factor makes Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g ideal for busy mornings when you need something to get you going before you head out the door. Pop a pod into your Tassimo machine and press the button – in seconds, you’ll have a perfect cup of espresso every time. Not only is it incredibly convenient, but it also ensures that each cup tastes exactly as intended by preserving the flavor and aroma of each bean until it’s brewed. No more worrying about weak flavor or trying to guess how much coffee is needed for each cup – with Tassimo Marcilla Cortado 184g, you can trust that your espresso will be spot-on every time. 


– Creamy foam that stays hot for longer 

– Authentic espresso with Arabica and Robusta beans

– Perfectly balanced taste of bitter cocoa and mild sweetness 

– Instant preparation – no mess or hassle!


– Only compatible with Tassimo machines 

Flat White Vs Cortado: The Overall Winner

Coffee is enjoyed by people all over the world. Among many different types and styles of coffee, two that stand out, in particular, are flat white and cortado coffees. Both offer a unique flavor profile, but which one is better?

Flat whites are usually served in small cups, around 8 ounces or less, so the flavor intensity isn’t diluted by excess liquid. The foam helps to enhance the espresso flavor while adding a creamy texture. The overall taste of a flat white is rich and flavorful but not overly bitter like some other espresso-based drinks.

flat white vs cortado

Cortado coffee is made with two espresso shots and an equal amount of warm, textured milk. The milk’s warmth and texture help round out the espresso flavor and make it more palatable. Unlike flat whites, cortados are usually served in larger cups, giving them a lighter overall flavor. 

Regarding taste, both drinks offer unique flavor profiles that different people can appreciate. Flat whites have a more intense flavor due to their smaller size, while cortados are lighter and slightly sweeter. The choice between the two ultimately comes down to personal preference. 

Overall, flat white coffee is the better option since it provides a richer, more delicious espresso-based flavor. Its small size emphasizes the boldness of the espresso, while its creamy foam adds a delightful texture. 


What is the main difference between Flat White and Cortado?

A Flat White is a creamy drink made with two ristretto shots (double shot) of espresso, steamed milk, and micro-foam. A Cortado consists of an equal part of espresso to warm milk with no foam. 

flat white vs cortado

Is either one more caffeinated than the other? 

No, both are typically made with double shots (ristrettos), so they have about an equal amount of caffeine.  

How is Flat White served?

A Flat White is typically poured into a small cup or mug, with velvety micro-foam covering the top of the beverage. 

How much caffeine is in a Cortado?

Generally speaking, one shot of espresso contains 75mg – 100mg of caffeine depending on the roast and grind used to make it, so you can expect your cortado to have around that amount of caffeine per serving size (approx 60ml). 

Do I need special equipment to make them at home?  

An espresso machine or Moka pot works best for making these drinks, but you can also use other methods such as pour-over or French press.  


Flat White and Cortado are two delicious coffee drinks that offer a unique flavor experience. Whether you’re looking for something light, creamy or espresso-forward, Flat White and Cortado have the perfect blend of flavors to satisfy your taste buds. Both drinks will give you an energy boost but with different intensity levels – depending on what kind of day you’re having! With their smooth texture, subtle sweetness, and intense aroma, these coffees make delightful additions to any cafe menu. So why not try one today? You won’t regret it!

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