The key difference between flat white and cortado is that flat white typically has a higher ratio of milk to espresso, resulting in a creamier texture, whereas cortado has a more balanced ratio, with the espresso and milk in equal proportions, maintaining a bolder coffee flavor.
Flat white and Cortado are two distinct coffee beverages originating from different parts of the world. Both are prized for their balanced combinations of espresso and steamed milk and share a common thread of artful simplicity in their preparation.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Flat White
3. What is Cortado
4. Similarities – Flat White and Cortado
5. Flat White vs. Cortado in Tabular Form
6. FAQ – Flat White and Cortado
7. Summary – Flat White vs. Cortado
What is a Flat White?
A flat white is a popular espresso-based coffee beverage known for its smooth and velvety texture. Hailing from Australia and New Zealand, the flat white has gained global popularity for its balanced combination of strong espresso and silky steamed milk. What sets the flat white apart is its emphasis on creating a seamless integration of coffee and milk, with the milk featuring a microfoam texture.
To make a flat white, a shot of espresso is pulled and then combined with steamed milk, which is carefully textured to achieve a fine and velvety microfoam. Unlike a latte, where the milk tends to be creamier and more voluminous, a flat white maintains a higher coffee-to-milk ratio. This results in a beverage that showcases the boldness of the espresso while still offering a smooth and satisfying mouthfeel. Flat white is usually served in a smaller cup than a latte.
The artistry of the flat white lies in the quality of the espresso and the delicate balance of the milk. The goal is to create a harmonious blend where the rich and robust flavors of the coffee are complemented by the creamy yet subtle sweetness of the steamed milk.
What is a Cortado?
The cortado, originating from Spain, is a well-balanced combination of strong espresso and smooth steamed milk. The term “cortado,” meaning “cut” in Spanish, refers to the drink’s preparation, where a small amount of steamed milk “cuts” the intense espresso.
To make a cortado, a shot of espresso is combined with a modest amount of steamed milk, achieving a texture smoother than traditional cappuccino foam. This process maintains the espresso’s robust flavors while introducing a subtle sweetness and creaminess from the milk.
The cortado is usually served in a small glass or cup. It offers a balanced coffee experience, allowing enthusiasts to enjoy the essence of espresso without overwhelming milkiness. The appeal of the cortado lies in its simplicity—a testament to the art of balancing contrasting elements for a satisfying coffee experience.
What are the Similarities Between Flat White and Cortado?
- Flat white and Cortado are espresso-based coffee drinks that combine coffee with steamed milk.
- These beverages aim for a balanced ratio of coffee to milk, offering a harmonious blend without overpowering one another.
- Both drinks usually feature minimal foam in the milk.
- They are typically served in smaller cups or glasses, emphasizing a more concentrated and enjoyable coffee experience.
What is the Difference Between Flat White and Cortado?
Flat white typically has a higher ratio of milk to espresso, resulting in a creamier texture, whereas cortado has a more balanced ratio, with the espresso and milk in equal proportions, maintaining a bolder coffee flavor. Moreover, flat white uses microfoam, which is velvety, smooth, and finely textured milk with a thin layer of microfoam on top. However, cortado has steamed milk with minimal foam, providing a simpler and less creamy texture than microfoam.
The following table summarizes the difference between flat white and cortado.
FAQ: Flat White and Cortado
Is a cortado stronger than a flat white?
Yes, a cortado is generally stronger than a flat white because it has a more balanced espresso-to-milk ratio of 1:1, whereas the flat white has a larger coffee-to-milk ratio, consisting of 1:3 parts espresso and 2:3 parts milk.
What is the milkiest coffee?
Is a cortado a strong coffee?
Yes, a cortado is considered a strong coffee due to its balanced espresso-to-milk ratio, allowing the bold flavors of the coffee to come through.
Summary – Flat White vs. Cortado
Flat white typically has a higher ratio of milk to espresso, resulting in a creamier texture, whereas cortado has a more balanced ratio, with the espresso and milk in equal proportions, maintaining a bolder coffee flavor. Thus, this is the key difference between flat white and cortado.
1. “Flat white coffee at Sainsbury’s, Chingford, London, England 2” By Acabashi – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Café cortado – Alfonso Salgueiro” By Alfonso Salgueiro Lora from Luxembourg, Luxembourg – Café cortado (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia