Cortado vs. Latte: Which Is Best Drink For You?

Espresso. The intense coffee shot that is the basis for the majority of caffeinated drinks we enjoy. Whether you are adding it to a cup of brewed coffee to make a red-eye or grabbing a classic latte, there is a way for everyone to enjoy a shot of espresso.

With there being more than 20 espresso-based drinks on the market, it can definitely be helpful to know the difference between your options so you can order your drink knowing you’ll enjoy it.

Today we are diving into the differences between one of the most standard espresso drinks, a latte, and one of the potentially lesser-known but still delicious ones, a cortado.

We will briefly dive into the origin of the two drinks and the basic makeup of both. Along with that, we will talk about the key differences between the two and which drink may be the best fit for you!

Diving Into the Cortado & the Latte: The Basics, Differences and More

The Basics of Coffee: The Golden Ratio

When it comes to comparing espresso-based drinks, one of the most important things to keep in mind is “ratio” of the drink. While most espresso-based drinks have the same ingredients, espresso and steamed milk, they all contain different ratios of these ingredients, causing them to have different flavor profiles.

A good example of how this ratio works is a cappuccino, one of the more foam forward coffee drinks out there. Traditionally, a cappuccino will have equal parts of espresso, steamed milk, and foam on top, creating a ratio of 1:1:1.

This ratio helps show how strong or weak tasting a drink may be. The smaller the ratio of espresso to milk, the stronger coffee flavor the drink will have.

This ratio sets the base line for how these drinks taste and how they are created and assembled.

Diving into a Spanish Drink:  The Cortado

Originating in Spain back in the early 1700’s, the cortado is a Spanish coffee drink likely created as a way to minimize the bitter or strong taste of an espresso shot.

According to Barista Magazine, the strong coffee drink was “named for the Spanish verb “cortar,” which means to cut” likely referring to the “watering down” of the espresso flavor with milk.

In the cafes I have worked at as a barista, the cortado has often been referred to as a smaller version of a latte. While this may not be the most technical way to describe the drink, it’s not exactly wrong.

What makes a cortado a cortado, and not just a strong latte, is the ratio of the ingredients. Unlike a latte, a traditional cortado consists of equal parts espresso and steamed milk.

You should expect this 1:1 ratio to total around 120ml or 4 ounces.

I have also read that some consider a cortado to be half of this size, consisting of only 30ml of espresso (one shot) and 30ml of steamed milk.

As you are steaming milk, a cortado will have some foam to it, but it should be much less then that of a latte (though you still can get some of that beautiful latte art on top if done well! )

The cortado is the perfect drink for someone who still wants to taste the espresso but doesn’t want to sip on a shot of it straight.

The Italian Original: The Caffè Latte

Tracing the origin of the latte or caffè latte, is a bit muddier than you may expect.

While there is an overall consensus that the popular drink started in Italy, as most of these delicious coffee drinks do, some believe it stemmed from the French drink “cafe au lait”, meaning coffee with milk, sometime in the 17th century. 

It is then thought that the name “cafe latte” was given to the drink later on in the 1900’s, in America, where it became the Starbucks phenomenon we know today.

Since the explosion in the late 1900’s, the Latte or caffè latte has been proven to be one of the most popular drinks you can order at a cafe, with 38% of Americans stating the Latte is their go to drink.

While you can add any flavoring you, please, as most people do, the latte consists of the “big three” coffee ingredients:

1. Espresso

2. Steamed Milk

3. Micro foam (created from the milk steaming process)

When done correctly, a latte will contain around an inch or so, of smooth foam on the top of the drink, depending on the size you order.

This amount of foam is a middle ground between the amount of micro foam found on top of a cappuccino (a lot of foam) and a flat white (pretty much no foam).

Another characteristic feature of a latte is that you can choose the size as you please.

This characteristic may seem obvious, but as with some espresso drinks, such as the traditional cortado or flat white, they tend only come in one size.

However with a latte, there is no limit on the number on the number of shots or flavors you can add.

Overall, the latte is considered a relatively weak coffee drink as much of the espresso flavor is washed away by the quanity of milk added.

According to  James Hoffman, a coffee expert, the average ratio of espresso to milk in a latte falls around 1:4 or 1:6.

This is a much larger ratio compared to the cortado’s 1:1 ratio that we talked about before.

Travel Tip: If you find yourself in Italy and craving a latte, be sure to order a “cafe latte”. If you just order a “latte” the chances, are you will receive a large glass of milk as latte is the Italian word for milk!

The Key Differences Between a Cortado and a Latte

Now that we’ve covered the basics of both the latte and the cortado, let’s talk about what actually makes them different.

Like I’ve said in the previous sections, the ratio of milk, espresso, and foam, is the main difference between a latte and a cortado.

A latte or caffè latte, is considered a milk heavy drink, with the espresso being diluted at a ratio between 1:4 and 1:6.  This is a major difference between the cortado’s 1:1 espresso to steamed milk ratio.

Beyond the ratio of ingredients, the next key difference is the flavor profiles of each drink.

Because of the ratio of ingredients used, the latte is a pretty weak coffee drink, meaning you won’t taste too much of that espresso because of all of the milk added.

A cortado on the other hand, you will have very strong espresso flavor that has been slightly diluted by the 30-60ml of milk added.

These flavor differences are even more noticeable when you start adding syrups or other flavors to lattes.

While adding your favorite syrup to your latte is delicious, it’s quite uncommon to add any syrups to a cortado.

If you are really looking to sweeten up your cortado, only honey or a bit of sugar is typically added.

Lastly, we will talk quickly about the type of glasses the drinks are served in.

Traditionally, a cortado is served in a Gibraltar glass (below), or a glass that has a wider top than bottom. Having this wider top of the glass is thought to give you the best ratio of espresso to milk when you’re enjoying the drink.

A perfect example of a Gibraltar glass

Lattes on the other hand are less commonly served in a specific glass, especially in the United States. I believe this is mainly because the size is not specified for the drink most of the time.

It is definitely worth noting that as an American, I think many coffee shops are more relaxed when it comes to serving a coffee in the correct glass compared to other countries.

A Close Relative: The Piccolo Latte

While were here, I will also talk very briefly about a drink that is a hybrid version of a cortado and a latte.

This is a small espresso drink, similar to the cortado, called the piccolo latte (piccolo meaning small in Italian).

This latte has very similar flavor profiles to the cortado as it is very espresso forward, but with a higher espresso to milk ratio, like the latte.

In a piccolo, a single ristretto shot is mixed with two or three times the amount of steamed milk.

If you haven’t heard of a ristretto shot before, don’t worry! A ristretto is simply a shot of espresso that has been “pulled” for shorter period of time.

When this happens, less water has gone through the espresso shot, creating a bolder espresso flavor.

This drink is concentrated espresso shot is combined with two or three parts milk (creating a 1:2 or 1:3 ratio) to produce the piccolo latte, a popular choice for inhabitants of Australia, where the drink originated.

A Cortado or A Latte? Which Is Right For You?

Thankfully, deciding which of these drinks is right for you is pretty straight forward as they’re very different. Here are some questions to ask yourself to see which you may prefer:

“Do I like the taste of espresso?”

If this answer is a no, definitely skip the cortado and go with a latte!

If you’re looking for a bit of sweetness or extra flavor in your drink, again, it might be better to go with a latte and add a shot of whatever flavor syrup suits your fancy.

Cortados are typically for those who love espresso the way it comes, just a bit less intense than usual.

One great similarity about these two popular coffee drinks is that if they typically contain the same caffeine content (depending on the size of latte you order).

A double shot of espresso will typically contain around 120-150 mg of caffeine. As long as you have two shots of espresso in your latte, the only difference is the higher quantity of milk.

Summary: This History and Differences of a Cortado & a Latte

Both the cortado and the latte have captivated a wide range of coffee lovers.

While the latte or caffè latte is a traditional Italian drink, it has been transformed over the years into an extremely customizable beverage, found in almost all coffee shops on the market.

While the size and amount of espresso shots used in the drink may vary based on personal preference, the ratio of espresso to milk sits at around 1:4 or 1:6, making the latte a weaker coffee drink.

The cortado on the other hand is almost the complete opposite. Born out of Spain in the 1700’s, a traditional cortado consists of a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of steamed milk.

While you can alter this and only have a single shot of espresso, the most important component is that the ratio of espresso to milk stays the same, 1:1.

If you enjoy the bitter and complex flavor of espresso, a cortado may be perfect for you as the small amount of milk beautifully dilutes the espresso flavor ever so slightly.

On the other hand, if you want the caffeine kick but not the intense flavor, a drink containing a much higher ratio of milk to espresso may be the way to go.

If you’re like me and are quite indecisive, you can have the best of both worlds by ordering a double shot small latte.

Ordering a smaller drink with 2-parts espresso will bring down that high espresso to milk ratio we normally see in a latte. However, you will still have enough milk in your drink to have the delicious milky coffee flavor profile of a latte.

How Long Is Your Starbucks Iced Coffee Good For?

Ever since the birth of Starbucks in 1971, the coffee company’s popularity has skyrocketed.

In 2023 alone, Starbucks amassed a net revenue of $29.46 billion dollars.

Growing along with the company, Iced coffee popularity has significantly increased over the last few years.

The United States iced coffee market alone is valued at a whopping $47.4 Billion.

From Mochas to Frappuccino’s, some of Starbuck’s most popular drinks have made their way into our favorite supermarkets.

These ready to go cold espresso drinks are fantastic if you’re in a rush, but like everything else, they have a limit on how long they stay good for.

Today we’re going to talk about some of the best cold drinks to try from Starbucks and how long you can hang onto them before they go bad.

Are you in a rush? Here’s a quick summary of the important details to save you some time:

Average shelf life of Starbucks bottled coffees: 9 months

Time to drink after opening less than 3 days (if refrigerated)

Made To Order Drinks: 24 Hours

When in doubt: make sure the drink passes a smell, look & taste test before drinking

How Long Is Starbucks Iced Coffee Good For?

It’s crazy to think that Starbucks has been around for almost 50 years now.

Since the 70’s the company has put out some iconic beverages (hello pink drink) and their cold drink line has proved to be a crowd favorite.

TikTok videos and other social media posts have also played a major part in the growth of iced drinks over the years.

Cold foam, a popular fluffy topping that is added to many iced drinks, has become Starbuck’s number one customization.

If you’ve always been a hot coffee drinker like me, you may not know where to start when it comes to trying one of the hundreds iced coffees out there.

Thankfully two great websites, Parade and Tasting Table, have put together a list of their favorite Starbucks drinks, both bottled and freshly made.

Top 5 Bottled Coffees:

  1. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

  2. Caramel Frappuccino

  3. Espresso and Cream

  4. White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

  5. Mocha Frappuccino

Top 5 Store-Made Iced Coffees:

  1. Iced Vanilla Latte

  2. Nitro Cold Brew

  3. Caramel Frappuccino

  4. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

  5. Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Common Ingredients In Starbuck's Iced Coffees

Ever since the birth of Starbucks in 1971, the coffee company’s popularity has skyrocketed.

In 2023 alone, Starbucks amassed a net revenue of $29.46 billion dollars.

Growing along with the company, Iced coffee popularity has significantly increased over the last few years.

The United States iced coffee market alone is valued at a whopping $47.4 Billion.

From Mochas to Frappuccino’s, some of Starbuck’s most popular drinks have made their way into our favorite supermarkets.

These ready to go cold espresso drinks are fantastic if you’re in a rush, but like everything else, they have a limit on how long they stay good for.

Today we’re going to talk about some of the best cold drinks to try from Starbucks and how long you can hang onto them before they go bad.

Are you in a rush? Here’s a quick summary of the important details to save you some time:

How Long Is Starbucks Iced Coffee Good For?

It’s crazy to think that Starbucks has been around for almost 50 years now.

Since the 70’s the company has put out some iconic beverages (hello pink drink) and their cold drink line has proved to be a crowd favorite.

TikTok videos and other social media posts have also played a major part in the growth of iced drinks over the years.

Cold foam, a popular fluffy topping that is added to many iced drinks, has become Starbuck’s number one customization.

If you’ve always been a hot coffee drinker like me, you may not know where to start when it comes to trying one of the hundreds iced coffees out there.

Thankfully two great websites, Parade and Tasting Table, have put together a list of their favorite Starbucks drinks, both bottled and freshly made.

Top 5 Bottled Coffees:

  1. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

  2. Caramel Frappuccino

  3. Espresso and Cream

  4. White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

  5. Mocha Frappuccino

Top 5 Store-Made Iced Coffees:

  1. Iced Vanilla Latte

  2. Nitro Cold Brew

  3. Caramel Frappuccino

  4. Vanilla Sweet Cream Nitro Cold Brew

  5. Iced White Chocolate Mocha

Common Ingredients In Starbuck's Iced Coffees

When it comes to buying an iced coffee at Starbucks, the ingredient list is pretty straight forward!

If you’re ordering an iced latte or similar drink, you will have a coffee or espresso base (made of coffee and water), milk, and any classic syrup used in the drink.

If you’re ordering a more traditional iced coffee like an iced americano, your drink will just consist of the espresso or coffee base and ice!

Surprisingly, the bottled drink ingredients were very similar to a freshly made iced coffee.

While I struggled a lot to find an ingredient list for these bottled drinks, I finally came across a mocha Frappuccino on the Walmart online store.

The ingredients for the Mocha Frapp as are follows:

  1. Brewed Starbucks coffee (coffee & water)

  2. Reduced fat milk

  3. Sugar

  4. Cocoa

  5. Pectin (helps flavor release, mouthfeel & viscosity)

  6. Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C, used as an antioxidant)

This short ingredient list is great for a few reasons. Firstly, the drink is not absolutely loaded with preservatives.

 Second, we can see that it’s actually made with real milk, not milk powder, which gives the drink a better taste in my opinion.

Nutrition Tip! Some of these bottled coffees have a higher sugar count than you might expect. A bottled Mocha Frapp contains more sugar than a can of coke! (around 43 grams of sugar) 

Bottled Coffee Shelf Life: The Main Factors That Affects The Shelf Life of Starbucks Coffee

There are a few main factors that will affect the shelf life of pretty much anything, including bottled coffees.

Factor #1: Oxygen exposure

If you’ve ever left a food out unwrapped and it goes stale, you know how oxygen can affect the things we eat and drink.

The color, flavor, nutritional value and overall quality of the item can decline when exposed to oxygen. 

This is why antioxidant ingredients (like ascorbic acid) are added to foods and drinks to help extend their lifetime.

Factor #2: Processing Techniques

How the item is processed plays probably the biggest role in the shelf life as the processing technique is what kills all the harmful bacteria and microbes that may be in the food or drink.

One of the more popular forms of processing that you’ve probably heard of is pasteurization, which so many things we love undergo.

Milk, eggs, juice and alcohol are all drinks that may undergo the pasteurization process.

For those not familiar with the processing technique, pasteurization is a process when the item is heated at extremely high temperatures for a very short period of time.

This intense but short period of heat kills of bad bacteria while keeping the quality of the product the same.

There are two different types of pasteurization that apply to coffee: high heat and ultra-high heat (UHT)

Ultra-high heat (UHT) processing is when “the product is heated between 280° to 300° F for only 2 – 6 seconds to sterilize the liquid.” 

Depending on what type of brewing process was used (brewing with hot vs. cold water), it will need to undergo one or the other.

Coffee that goes through a hot brew process (a.k.a hot water is used) has a low PH and therefor has to go through higher heat or ultra-high heat pasteurization.

Cold brew coffee has a different PH, so while it still needs to go through pasteurization, it doesn’t have to be at super high temperatures.

After this process is completed, you are left with a delicious coffee drink that doesn’t have to be refrigerated until opening and has a much longer shelf life.

Factor #3: Packaging

Packaging is important for one main reason, sun & UV exposure.

Sunlight and UV rays can increase how fast an item degrades, hence why many companies recommend their product is stored in a cool or dry place.

If you purchase an item that comes in clear cups or see-through packaging, it may degrade quicker than one in a darker or opaque packaging.

How Long Will My Starbucks Iced Coffee Last Before Going Bad?

Bottled & Canned Starbucks Coffee:

Now to the important information! As we just discussed, drinks that undergo UHT & pasteurization don’t need to be refrigerated and tend to last a long time.

Certain products, like long life milk. can have an almost indefinite shelf life.

The majority of Starbucks bottled drinks that undergo pasteurization allow them a shelf life of around 9 months in unopened.

If you have your doubts on if the drink is still good, check the printed expiration date on the bottle!

If the drink is past expired, it may be unsafe to drink, and potentially has lost some of its delicious flavor.

Note: This lifespan of around 9 months is drastically cut down once you open the drink.

You immediately introduce bacterial growth as well as oxygen to the drink. Once opened, you have around 3 days to enjoy your drink (if you keep it refrigerated)

Fresh or Made to Order Drinks:

Like any other product that made to order, the lifespan isn’t that long.

Unlike bottled coffees, the drink is immediately exposed to oxygen and heat. This instantly allows more bacteria to start forming in your coffee.

Your best bet for keeping the drink safe from unhealthy amounts of bacteria, is to refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy it again.

Overall, the lifetime of these drinks is much more play it by ear.

Depending on the weather and how long you’ve had it at room temperature for, the lifespan of your coffee can change. I personally wouldn’t leave it in the fridge longer than a day.

With fresh drinks, there are a few things to consider as the flavor might change the longer you keep it.

1. Melting Ice

Unfortunately, the ice in your drink is bound to melt eventually.

When this happens, your coffee will become watered down and potentially lose that delicious, iced coffee flavor we all love.

An easy fix for this is making coffee ice cubes at home or holding off on the extra ice.

You can swap out the normal ice for these and instead of being left with a watery coffee, you’ll get an extra coffee burst when they melt.

2. Fridge Storage

Another factor to consider is what you have in your fridge.

If you decide to store your drink in the fridge overnight, it may absorb some of the flavors from other foods nearby.

This may not have a huge impact on the flavor, but trust me, you don’t want to have even a slightly onion flavored coffee.

A great way to avoid any unfortunate flavor transfers is to put the drink into an airtight container for storage. That way you keep can keep the coffee flavors in and onion flavors out!

3. The Brewing Process

When a coffee is made using hot water, or made using an espresso base, you’ll want to enjoy it sooner than later as the flavor may change the more it cools.

When a coffee is cold brewed or made with cold water over a long period of time (12-24 hours) it creates a smoother flavor that is less likely to change over time.

How To Tell If Your Coffee (or drink!) Has Gone Bad

Please don’t make the mistake of drinking an expired coffee… it’s not pleasant and can be dangerous!

Three things to look for if you worried your drink may have gone bad:

  1. The Color and/or Look 

    Your drink should never change color unless you add something to it!

    Especially with drinks containing milk, it may have gone off if the texture, consistency, or color has changed.

    A drink color will typically change if bacteria or mold has been growing, which can lead to food poisoning and other unpleasant symptoms.

    This is easy to see if the drink is a lighter color, but with a black or dark colored coffee, a color change into a darker black color may be a warning sign.

    Lastly, if a coffee, iced or hot, has been sitting for a while, the coffee oils may rise to the surface.

    If you’ve ever seen an almost translucent rainbow color on top of your drink before, this is coffee oils!

  2. The Smell 

    When bacteria and other nasties are growing, the smell of a drink can change.

    A sour smell is almost always an indication that the item is no longer good to drink.

  3. The Taste 

    If the drink passes the color and smell test, you might want to give it a small taste if you’re still skeptical.

    While the taste may change when the ice melts in your drink, it shouldn’t taste sour or too different.

Alternative Uses for Stale or Gone-off Iced Coffee

If you’re hesitant to toss your drink out entirely, there are a few things you can reuse it for!

1. Water your plants

Coffee contains so many nutrients, like Nitrogen, that can be great for plant growth,

Coffee is a pretty acidic drink, and while there are some acid-loving plants out there like Hydrangeas, not all plants will love the highly acidic drink.

It is recommended to dilute the old coffee with a bit of water to ensure you don’t harm your beautiful plants!

2. Add it to your compost!

Again, coffee contains a lot of great nutrients and can help speed up the decomposition process! Adding your leftover coffee to your compost pile is a perfect way to give back to the environment.

Summary: How Long is My Starbucks Iced Coffee Good For?

There are so many factors that can influence how long a drink is good for.

Thankfully, Starbucks has kept it simple with only a few ingredients going into both their store made and bottled cold coffees:

Thanks to using high temperature and ultra-high temperature (UHT) pasteurization, the bottled coffees are expected to have a shelf life of around 9 months.

Keep in mind, once you decide to open the bottled, the life span drops to around 3 days if you refrigerate it correctly.

Freshly made drinks have a much shorter lifespan, around 24 hours, which is expected as they’re exposed to the elements straight away!

The biggest concerns with freshly made drinks is how the flavor may change if you decide to refrigerate them.

Beyond the ice melting, your drink may absorb some of the other flavors in the fridge if it’s not stored in an airtight container.

You may be left with a nasty onion-y taste in your coffee if they’re close to each other!

Lastly, if you’ve left your drink in the fridge a  bit longer than you wanted, there are three things to look for to see if it’s gone bad are:

1. Any color or Texture Changes

When bacteria and mold grow, it can cause color and texture changes in the drink itself.

If the drink becomes curdled or turned a darker or strange color, it’s probably time to toss it

2. Smell

If the drink in question smells different than normal, such as sour or just “off” its probably a sign that it has spoiled.

Drinks that have been exposed to air naturally lose some of their good smell over time, but a total change in smell is definitely a sign of it going bad.

3. Taste

when in doubt, you can always give it a tiny taste. Use your best judgement here and if you have doubts throw it away!

If you dont want to waste your drink, adding the stale coffee to your composter is a great way to reuse the leftover iced coffee! 🙂

Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane? (US, CAN & AUS)

Picture this.

You go on a fantastic vacation and find the best coffee you’ve ever had.

You decide to buy some to take back home with you and the next thing you know…. it’s getting thrown out by airport security.

How deflating would that be??

To avoid this hypothetical situation from ever happening, today we are covering everything you need to know about bringing coffee and other coffee products on a plane!

Note: This guide touches primarily on the customs rules in the USA, Canada, and Australia.

To be 100% sure what products back into your own country, I recommend giving the airline you’re flying with a call.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through a link on this page, I may get a small commission from the product, at no extra cost to you!

Can You Bring Coffee On A Plane?

With how strict TSA (transportation security administration) and customs can be, it is quite surprising to learn just how much you can bring with you on a plane.

We will be covering a variety of different coffee items, even coffee machines, and more!

Keep in mind, the final decision on if you can bring an item onto the plane lies with the TSA officer.

Roasted Coffee Beans - declare these!


Yes, you are allowed to bring roasted coffee beans both in checked baggage and in your carry-on baggage when traveling into the USA.

As of now, there are no limits to the amount of roasted coffee beans you can bring in


Yes, you can bring roasted coffee beans into Canada without issue.

Unlike the United States, there is a limit to the amount you may bring in.

The maximum amount of roasted coffee you can bring into Canada is 20kg per person.


Similar to Canada there are limits are the amount of roast coffee you can bring in Australia.

You are allowed to bring in 10 kg of roasted coffee per person through customs into Australia.

Note: the rules are different if you plan on bringing in Civet coffee into Australia and will be discussed further in a section below.

Ground Coffee - declare these!


Similar to the roasted beans, there is no limit to the amount of ground coffee you can bring into the USA. This applies to both your hand luggage and checked luggage.


Yes, you are allowed to bring ground coffee, up to 20 kg per person, into Canada without having any issues.


Ground coffee is allowed into Australia in quantities up to 10 kg per person.

Similar to roasted beans, if you plan on bringing in ground civet coffee, specific rules apply which are discussed below.

Note: If you do decide to bring more than 12 oz of ground coffee with you in your carry-on bags, the grounds may go through additional screening per TSA rules.

This extra screening is due to the coffee being considered a powdered substance.

Green (unroasted) Coffee Beans - absolutely need to declare

Green coffee beans are technically unprocessed and therefore may contain agricultural hazards such as quarantine pests.

Due to the potential risk to native plants, these rules are a bit more restrictive.

Fact: A quarantine pest is a pest that is regulated at the federal, provincial or municipal level, to prevent its introduction or additional spread.


Again, green coffee beans are allowed in both your carry on and checked luggage when entering the USA. However, there are a few more restrictions in place as the beans are unprocessed and may contain “quarantine pests”.

If you plan on traveling to or through Hawaii or Puerto Rico, you are NOT allowed to bring green coffee beans with you, in your checked or carry-on luggage.

Lastly, the beans are likely to be tested for quarantine pests and potentially could be “seized or destroyed” if any are found on the beans.


Although there was no mention of green coffee beans on the Inspection Canada website, multiple other articles state that similar to other countries, the beans will go through additional screening.

If quarantine pests are found during the screening, the product will be destroyed or exported.


You are allowed to bring green coffee beans into Australia in quantities up to 5kg or less according to a statement put out by the Internation coffee Expo.

The beans must also have be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate.

If the beans are inspected and found to not meet the import conditions they will be exported or destroyed.

Whole Coffee Berries (aka, coffee cherries)- Absolutely need to declare

Coffee cherries on a plant


Similar to green coffee beans, whole coffee berries are considered unprocessed.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to bring these coffee cherries into any U.S. port of entry as the coffee cherries contain a pulp that “presents an exotic fruit-fly risk”


There was no mention of coffee cherries on the Canadian customs website.

If you plan on bringing coffee cherries back to Canada, talk to your chosen airline before your arrival.


There was no mention of coffee cherries on the Australian customs website.

If you plan on bringing coffee cherries back to Australia, talk to your chosen airline before your arrival.

Bringing Civet & Lupi Kuwak Coffee Into Australia

An asian civet cat

For those who haven’t heard of Civet or Lupi Kuwak coffee before, this is a type of coffee that is made by using coffee cherries that have been digested by an asian palm civet cat.

Essentially, the animal is fed the coffee cherries which then are processed in the digestive tract and later pooped out.

The digested beans are then washed, roasted and turned into this famously expensive coffee.

If you plan on bringing back this Civet coffee from any of your travels into Australia, the following limitations apply:

  • the beans, or the beans from which the product is made, have been roasted
  • the product is commercially prepared and packaged
  • the product is imported in an amount up to 1 kilogram
  • the product is for the personal consumption of the person wishing to import it

Similar to unprocessed coffee beans, the Civet coffee will be inspected upon arrival into Australia.

If there are any issues with the product causing it not to meet import conditions, it will be destroyed or exported.

Coffee Pods, Instant Coffee, K cups and More

Coffee pods, k-cups, coffee powder or anything similar are widely considered solids or powders by the airline industry since they contain ground coffee.

Due of this, there are not any limitations on bringing them into the USA, Canada, or Australia.

If you plan on bringing the pods in your carry on, they will be treated as powders and will only be inspected if you have more that 350 grams or 12oz of product with you.

Again, to be sure, feel free to call the airline you’re flying with to double check.

Declaring Coffee: General Rules

Coffee is a product that you absolutely need to declare with customs, especially if bringing in unprocessed products like the green coffee beans and coffee cherries.

Since some of the products can pose agricultural threats to the country you’re bringing them into, customs officers or TSA agents need to thoroughly check the product before you enter.

If you fail to declare a product and are caught, you can potentially be fined up to $1,000 in the USA for a first-time offense.

If you’re unsure if you should be declaring a product, it is best to declare it just in case, or talk to one of the customs workers.

General Airline Guidelines for Coffee Lovers

Here are some basic rules to keep in mind when traveling with coffee or your favorite coffee products to keep them from being taken by a TSA officer.

TSA’s 3-1-1 rule

I’m sure this one comes at not surprise for anyone who has traveled before!

Liquids are not permitted in a carry on unless they are at or under 3.4oz or 100ml.

There are certain exceptions to this rule (for instance I bring my contact solution with me) but liquid coffee and general drinks are not one of them.

Additionally, the container the liquid is in has to be the regulated size as well.

This means you can’t bring 3oz of your favorite coffee drink in a 12 oz coffee mug.

Rules for powdered substances

If you plan on bringing K-cups, ground coffee, or any other powdered substance with you onboard, try to keep the amount under 350 grams or 12oz.

If you bring more than this amount, the item may be additionally screened.

Organization is key!

Due to not knowing if TSA will need a closer look at what you’ve packed, it is best to keep your bag organized and have the items that may be inspected in an easily accessible area.

Can You Bring Starbucks on a Plane?

This question is dependent on when you actually buy your cup of coffee.

Due to the TSA 3-1-1 rule, if you purchase your coffee before going through security, you will likely have to throw it out.

However, if you visit the Starbucks in your terminal before boarding the plane, you should be all set to bring it on with you.

This may change if you’re catching international flights.

For instance, I was not allowed to bring a bottle of water I bought in the terminal on my flight to Australia, but any rules should be made clear by gate agents before boarding.

Bonus: Looking for a great travel mug as a student? Check out our list of stores you can shop at to get the best discount!

Can You Bring Iced Coffee on a plane with your carry-on luggage?

Similar to bringing Starbucks or other liquids on a plane, unless your iced coffee is under 3 fluid oz, you will have to through it out when you go through security.

The alternative is purchasing an iced coffee from one of the coffee shops inside the airport or at one of the other service stations.

Can You Bring a Coffee Grinder or Coffee Making Equipment on a Plane?

Surprisingly, you actually can bring the majority of your coffee equipment with you on a plane!

The few exceptions to this mainly apply to coffee grinders due to the blades inside of them.

If you plan on bringing a coffee grinder with you on board, make sure it has removable blades.  Otherwise place it in your checked bag for safe keeping in the meantime.

Note: Many airlines will have a weight restriction on carryon bags before adding additional charges! Below is a breakdown of the general size and weight limit for hand luggage.

How to Pack Coffee for Air Travel

One of the best parts about bringing coffee home from different areas of the world are the different flavor profiles and aromas the beans will have.

With experts stating “coffee beans are best used between two to 14 days after roasting” there isn’t too much time to travel with your new coffee finds.

In order to keep the coffee beans as fresh as possible, there are a few things to consider:

  • exposure to air
  • exposure to sunlight
  • exposure to moisture

These are all factors that contribute to coffee beans going stale quickly.

To avoid these issues and keep your coffee fresher for longer, it is recommended to use an airtight and opaque container if possible.

To get an idea of what you should look for, some great coffee storage containers on the market currently are as follows:

Coffee Gator Stainless Steel Canister

Fellow Atmos Vacuum Coffee Canister

Of you don’t feel like purchasing anything fancy, don’t worry!

The bags many coffee roasters store their beans contain vents and other features that are meant to keep them fresh and flavorful for a while.

Many travelers put the bag into another resealable bag to stay on the safe side of things as well. Feel free to keep the bag in your carry-on or checked luggage.

Tip: It is recommended to buy whole coffee beans if possible. Ground beans are likely to lose their flavor quicker than the whole beans.

Summary: Can you bring coffee on a plane?

All-in-all, YES, you should be able to bring your favorite coffee on the plane with you or in your checked bag.

There may be quantity limits based on which country you will be entering, so it is best to check the relative customs site to avoid any disappointing situations with TSA or any customs officers.

It is especially important to follow guidelines when bringing in unprocessed coffee beans such as green coffee, coffee fruit or coffee cherries.

These items have the most restrictions in place as they can bring in quarantine pests that can cause damage to crops and other agriculture.

Additionally, coffee is considered one of the agricultural products you need to be declaring upon arrival in most countries.

If you are unsure if you should be declaring anything, it is best to declare it anyways to avoid any fines or other issues with security or customs.

Have you brought back coffee from your travels? Let us know in the comments!

You may also enjoy these other articles on the Procaffinator website.

Do you love cafes? Follow the Procaffinator Instagram to see cafes all around the world!

As always, thank you for reading, have a great rest of your day and keep on procaffinating!

8 Coffee Essentials to Stock up On During Amazon's October Prime Day

Prime day is back ladies & gentlemen! Coming up shortly is October Prime Day a.k.a Amazon's Big Deal Days.  

The deals this October will run from October 10th – October 11th , so you will have 48 hours to access all of the fantastic discounts. 

This is a perfect time to do a bit of extra shopping before the holidays and to grab any essentials you may have missed during July’s Prime Day.  

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I earn a small commision (at no extra cost to you) if you decide to purchase anything through one of the links :)

What do you need to shop during October Prime Day?

Before we get into the list of coffee essentials you may need, here is what you need to have to participate in this year's October Prime day: 


That’s it! 

And the best part of it is, especially, if you're on a budget, you don’t even have to pay to join. 

You can snag the next day shipping, discounts, and more using the 30- day free trial Amazon offers.  

Amazon offers a 30-day free trail if you're signing up with a new account so you can sign up for the awesome prime day deals and cancel your subscription if you don’t want to pay the $14.99/month to stay a prime member.

If you’ve already signed up for prime in the past and can't access the 30-day trial, maybe try digging out that cringy email address you made in 5th grade to get the great deals. 

Here are nine coffee essentials to keep in mind during your prime day shopping spree!


Travel & Insulated Coffee Mugs

Having a great takeaway/travel mug is so beneficial. You can get a discount at your local coffee shop for bringing in your own cup and help save the environment at the same time! 

Yeti and Contigo are two of my favorite brands that I would recommend to anyone looking for a new travel mug.

Eco-Friendly Takeaway Cups

If you don’t feel like investing in a good takeaway mug, you can grab some of these recycled takeaway cups to take your home brew with you.

Note: Many of these cups come in packs of 100 so be sure to check the amount you're buying!

Coffee Filters

If you make coffee at home, you know how fast you can go through coffee filters. This is a chance to save a bit of money and stock up on something that you use every day!

Pour Over & Drip Coffee Equipment

Drip coffee is one of my favorite things to make at home, especially using this Clever Dripper. You can just pour the water in with the grounds and leave it be for however long you want. Once you’ve let your coffee brew for long enough, just place it onto of your favorite mug and the coffee will come out! 

Pour over coffee is also perfect for those who don’t need to make 8 cups of coffee at a time. The amount of coffee I wasted in college due to not having a pour over coffee is.... unfortunate.


Coffee Makers & Home Espresso Machines

This is the time to save some BIG money if you’ve been looking at getting a new coffee maker or home espresso machine. In the past, some espresso machines have had discounts of $100, so if you have been thinking about getting on, now is the time! 

As I write this, this Phillips LatteGo Machine is $300 off and it’s not even Prime day yet! 


Coffee Mugs

Great. Coffee. Is. Better. In. Adorable. Coffee. Mugs. 

With Halloween right around the corner, now would be a great time to stock up on your favorite Halloween mugs to upgrade your home coffee bar.  

Not a Halloween fan? That’s okay! You can stock up on all the cups you accidentally broke earlier this year. Everyone is a winner with a coffee mug sale


Your Favorite Coffee Beans & K-Cups

An obvious essential, coffee. K-Cups of all roasts & brands have been on sale during past Amazon Prime Days so fingers crossed they will be for this event as well! While you’re shopping, you may as well see if your favorite coffee roasters have a sale going on.


Organizational items

Sugar, ground coffee, coffee beans, K-cups, syrups. There are so many items that you can put in cute organizers to help cut coffee bar clutter. A little bit of organization goes a long way!


Pro Tip: Don't miss your favorite items!

Make sure you don’t miss your favorite items by adding anything you want to your Amazon wish list. You will have easy access to these items during the 48 hour sale and won't have to stress!

Good luck & happy shopping! 

Why I Started a Coffee Blog

When you start a blog, you try and think of all the things you like or know about or care enough about to potentially write about for the foreseeable future

I thought about doing an art blog, a mental health blog (which i’ve decided I’m not qualified at all to have) and have landed on doing a coffee blog.

I’m sure that over the course of the next year or even the next few months, this blog will change a fair amount and honestly I hope it does.

As much as I love coffee and as much as I love coffee shops, I wouldn’t say I’m particularly passionate about either.

I spent the first few of my coffee drinking years, mainly drinking black coffee. Partially because I thought I was cooler for it and partially because it’s was the cheapest option on the menu, which is the most appealing thing to a college student.

Out of these few years, the only main factor that I looked for when buying a coffee was how acidic it is. I never picked up any preferences of flavor notes or any other details that a true coffee connoisseur might look into, and honestly I don’t think I will until I take a full on class to learn about them. 

I think what I care more about is where I’m drinking the coffee, why I’m there, and who I’m with.

For instance, whatever budget breakfast place is near you, Perkins, IHOP, whatever it may be.

I probably love their coffee.

Not because it’s good, because honestly it’s not. I worked at an IHOP when I was 16 and try not eat there for for a number of reasons.

But it’s because I used to go to study at these types of places all of the time.

They were open 24 hours a day, had cheap but decent food, and unlimited coffee for $4 thus leading to diner coffee growing on me big time.

So just like a lot of other things in life, the association of comfort and old memories is what makes this coffee good to me, not because it’s a fancy roast with 20 different flavor notes to it.

So instead of this blog being a evaluation and dissection of coffee beans and the equipment that’s most popular to brew with at home, I’m hoping the coffee side of this blog will become a place to talk about the other side of why we go spend our time and money in coffee shops.

Which places provide us the most comfort and relaxation that we might not be able to get anywhere else at the moment.

Of course I will be focusing on the quality of food and coffee at each place I go to, but ultimately I don’t see it being the end all be all of this blog.

Having just turned 25 in April, I am currently at a point in my life where I feel quite lost.

I don’t have a defined career path, I’ve decided not to go into engineering since I find it quite boring, and working in hospitality for the last 8 years has shown me that I really don’t want to do the same thing everyday, in the same spot, no matter how good the money might be.

I traveled to Australia back in 2022 with the hopes of all my problems sorting themselves out and that I would be able to find my passion and be infinitely wise after a just a few short hikes up a mountain.

Spoiler alert: that didn’t happen. And I now know it won’t happen any time soon.

However, I have learned a few things over the past year and a half after meeting some fantastic people who happen to be way more put together and wiser than my current self.

I now know that I enjoy traveling and meeting new people when I feel extroverted enough to do so.

I want to see weird animals and try new food for as long as I can while having the privilege of not having too many ties to one place.

I would like to share my struggles when they come up and how I attempted and probably failed to deal with them appropriately, so other people can learn from them as well.

And I want to be able to find a few hobbies that I will enjoy doing for more than a week or two, as that’s the usual amount of time I do something before getting bored and never doing it again.

So even though this blog is extremely small at the moment, and again, doesn’t have a very defined purpose yet, I’m hoping it provides me a way of being able to do what I want with my time over the next few years at least.

So yes, if you’re passionate about coffee and want to learn about different flavor notes and roasts and if you get your coffee from a certain country will it make a difference, this blog may not be for you at this moment.

This blog will be for the people who love a cozy coffee shop, who want to find places they can sit and relax for a while when they want to get away from their roommate or while traveling.

It will be for the people who want to learn about coffee with me as I go (so don’t worry I’m sure I’ll get into the nitty gritty of coffee flavors at some point) and who want suggestions on coffee brands once I learn more.

It’ll be for the people who for some reason want some life advice from a person who is figuring out their own and who want travel tips from someone who is beyond spacey and impulsive but who is trying their best to sort themselves out.

I’m not sure what exactly that would equate to when it comes to a type of blog, so for now keep I am going to keep writing about the cafe’s I visit and we will go from there.

But if you’re still interested and reading this blog post, welcome to the true Procaffinator blog. A place for a messy person to give advice on their messy life and use this blog as an excuse to travel and drink copious amounts of caffeine.