The difference between Cortado, Flat White and Macchiato

Knowing the difference between a Cortado, Macchiato and Flat White will help you decide which one’s the right one for you.

If you’re looking for a coffee with more milk than a Macchiato and more punch than a Flat White, Cortado is the one.

Nicely positioned between the Macchiato and the Flat White, the Cortado is intense yet sweet.

It maintains a similar mouthfeel to that of a Flat White, but it’s served in a smaller 4.5oz (130ml) glass.


Cortado, translated means “the cut” which refers to the milk cutting the espresso. As the drink settles, you can see the silkiness of milk and espresso combine with 0.5cm of micro-foam settling on top – it’s mesmorising to watch.

One of the key reasons the Cortado tastes the way it does, is because of the way the milk’s prepared.

Cortado milk’s prepared the same as a Flat White, with less foam, allowing for a denser milk. With roughly a 1:2 ratio of espresso to milk in the Cortado, the milk reduces the acidity and presents a sweeter taste.

It provides the perfect balance between the bright acidity and rich aromas of the Caffè Nero Classico Blend and sweetness of the milk.


The Flat White is prepared in an 8oz (240ml) ceramic cup with a double ristretto as the coffee base, steamed milk and a thin 0.5cm layer of micro-foam.

The size of the serving means the taste of the espresso is less profound in comparison to the Cortado.


Made with a single espresso, dash of milk and “mark” of foam, the Macchiato has a more pronounced intensity.

This allows for the notes of chocolate, caramel and honey found in Caffè Nero Classico Blend to be more prominent.

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