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How many calories in a cortado?

How many calories in a cortado

A cortado, an espresso-based coffee drink that originated from Spain, has become quite popular in the UK’s ever-growing coffee culture. The word ‘cortado’ translates to ‘cut’, indicating that the espresso is ‘cut’ with milk. But as with any popular drink, one can’t help but wonder about its nutritional profile. How many calories does a cortado contain? Let’s delve deeper into the topic.

Calories in a Cortado

In general, the number of calories in a cortado can vary depending on the milk used, the serving size, and whether any additional sweeteners are included. However, a standard cortado typically consists of approximately equal parts espresso and steamed milk, usually about 150ml in total.

IngredientApproximate QuantityCalories
Espresso1 shot (approx. 30ml)2 calories
Steamed Milk (Semi-skimmed)120ml50 calories

Based on the data in the table, we can conclude that a standard cortado contains around 52 calories when made with semi-skimmed milk. Of course, if you opt for whole milk, almond milk, or any other alternatives, the caloric content could differ.

Additional Variables

While the table shows a simplified version, many people enjoy customising their cortado. Some common variables include:

  • Sugar or sweeteners
  • Flavoured syrups
  • Extra shots of espresso

These add-ons can increase the calorie count significantly. For example, adding just one teaspoon of sugar will add about 16 calories.

Is Cortado Healthy?

Whether or not a cortado is ‘healthy’ largely depends on what you’re comparing it to and your overall diet. In the grand scheme of things, 52 calories isn’t a lot, especially if you compare it to other popular coffee drinks like lattes or frappuccinos, which can contain upwards of 200 calories.

Benefits of Espresso

The espresso in a cortado does offer some health benefits. Espresso contains antioxidants, which can help fight inflammation in the body. Additionally, moderate coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of certain diseases like type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“Moderation is key. A cortado can be a healthy choice if you enjoy it in moderation and without a lot of added sugar.”


On the downside, excessive consumption of espresso can lead to jitteriness, insomnia, and increased heart rate. Moreover, if you are lactose intolerant, you may need to opt for lactose-free milk or milk alternatives, which can also alter the calorie count.

Nutritional Comparison with Other Coffee Drinks

Coffee DrinkCaloric Content
CortadoApprox. 52 calories
LatteApprox. 190 calories
FrappuccinoApprox. 300 calories

The table clearly shows that a cortado is a lower-calorie option compared to some other popular coffee drinks.


If you enjoy cortados, the good news is that they’re relatively low in calories, especially when compared to other popular coffee options. However, as with any beverage, the final caloric content will depend on your customisations. If you’re watching your caloric intake, a cortado can be a satisfying yet modest option.