Cortado Vs. Piccolo: The Tale of Two Delicious Coffees

crazy by Editorial Staff | Posted on August 6th, 2023

Are you a coffee aficionado looking to navigate the complex world of artisan coffee? Then you’re likely to stumble across the age-old question, “Cortado or Piccolo?” Each offers a unique espresso experience that caters to different tastes. So, how do you choose between these two?

This article explores the intriguing differences between the two espresso-based drinks, helping you decide which of these delightful concoctions deserves the next spot on your coffee list. Ready to embark on a flavorful journey?


Understanding Cortado and Piccolo: The Basics

Let’s kick off by decoding these two espresso variations. A Cortado, originating from Spain, typically uses two shots of espresso and an equal part of steamed milk. The Piccolo, an Australian-born coffee, uses a single espresso shot topped with steamed and lightly foamed milk.

Here’s a quick rundown of the main differences:

  • Cortado: Slightly sweet, well-balanced, with 136 mg of caffeine, and 38 calories.
  • Piccolo: Mild flavor, well-balanced, with 68 mg of caffeine, and between 38 to 57 calories.

Delving Deeper: What’s In a Cup?

The devil is in the detail, and when it comes to coffee, it’s about digging deeper into what makes these drinks unique.

Flavor Profiles

The cortado, thanks to its double shot of espresso, has a robust flavor, delivering an intense experience without the bitterness. If you love strong flavors with a hint of creaminess, you’ll appreciate a well-made cortado.

On the flip side, the Piccolo provides a milder flavor with a hint of sweetness from the frothy milk. It’s the go-to choice for those who prefer a smooth, less intense coffee experience.

The Caffeine and Calorie Consideration

For caffeine lovers, the cortado packs a punch with its double shot of espresso translating to 136 mg of caffeine. The piccolo, with its single shot of espresso, offers 68 mg of caffeine, making it a less buzzy choice.

Calorie-wise, both drinks are pretty similar, especially when made with whole milk. A cortado stands at around 38 calories, while a piccolo can range between 38 to 57 calories, depending on the milk-to-espresso ratio.

Milk Preparation: A Subtle Difference

While both cortados and piccolos include steamed milk, the key difference lies in the foam. A piccolo gets its charm from the small milk foam topping, adding a creamy texture, while the cortado uses steamed milk sans the foam, offering a smoother coffee flavor.

Cortado or Piccolo: The Final Verdict

The preference for a cortado or piccolo is highly subjective and depends on what you seek from your coffee experience. Cortado is a more potent choice with its equal milk-to-espresso ratio and the absence of foam. In contrast, a piccolo, served in a smaller cup, has a silky texture with a layer of foam, creating a smoother and milder espresso experience.

I personally lean towards a cortado because of its robust double espresso flavor. However, a piccolo also finds its way into my cup now and then for a change of pace!

For an in-depth comparison of cortado and piccolo with other coffees, I recommend these articles:

Wrapping Up: A Matter of Personal Preference

In essence, the choice between a cortado and piccolo boils down to personal preference. Both coffee types have their unique strengths, and what matters most is the taste. A cortado offers a stronger coffee experience, while a piccolo is ideal if you enjoy milder flavors.

Regardless of your choice, exploring the world of coffee is an adventure in itself. So why not try both and discover your coffee love today?

Coffee is a personal journey, and as your guide, I aim to equip you with all the information you need to make your journey enriching. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a newbie, I invite you to try new coffee recipes and share your experiences.

Here’s to brewing the best coffee at home and savoring every sip!

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Disclosure: No compensation or free products were received in exchange for writing this review.


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.