Cortado Coffee is a delicious bold coffee drink made of 1:1 ratio of espresso and steamed milk. You may not have heard of it as it's popular in Spain and Latin America. That should not deter you from trying some!
A Cortado coffee is like Enrique Iglesias; Spanish, strong, and (sometimes) sweet.
I bet you really want to know more about the Cortado coffee now?
Well, put your feet up and get comfortable while we tell you all about this exotic coffee drink and how to prepare the perfect Cortado at home.
Cortado coffee originates from Spain’s Basque region. From there it spread to Portugal and eventually Latin America.
Apart from that, not much is known about its history.
In Spanish cortar means “to cut” because the milk cuts through the espresso.
A Cortado coffee is an espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk added to reduce mitigate the strong espresso flavors. The steamed milk blends with the espresso and does not sit on top in layers like other espresso-based milky coffees.
The ratio of milk to coffee is generally agreed to be 1:1. This is one of the differences between a Cortado and other similar coffees (more below). The steamed milk is added after to the espresso, and it is not particularly foamy.
Back to Enrique for the taste. It is strong (obviously with the espresso) and smooth, with a hint of sweetness (optional). The steamed milk balances the bitterness of the espresso. Like covering Brandi Granville in sugar...
Cortado coffee meant to be sipped and usually enjoyed in the afternoon.
When pouring in the steamed milk, tilt the glass towards you slightly. Lift the milk jug high (not above your head high like an idiot jumping into a paddling pool from the highest diving board high though).
Pour the milk in slowly so it cuts through the espresso turning it from dark brown to a sumptuous caramel color.
In a small metal or glass cup. You can decorate it with foam art if you’re feeling fancy but it’s all about the taste with a Cortado.
We recommend using these glasses from this collection by DeLonghi. Not only they look nice, but also they are double walled which is great to keep your cortado hot!
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It is served in a four and a half ounce Libbey Gibraltar glass tumbler and contains two shots of espresso and two shots of steamed milk.
In Cuba, there is a similar version, known as a Cortadito.
It’s traditionally served in a glass with a metal ring base and metal wire handle. Cortadito means “little cut” and is made with a dark roast espresso whipped with a spoonful of sugar and thick foam.
In Australia it is known as a Piccolo café latte or Piccolo which is a single espresso with steamed milk and, slightly different to the Cortado, with foam on top.
You will get a lot of different versions of a Cortado depending on where you get it from. The ratio of milk is what makes the Cortado a Cortado, however, some establishments will use too much milk and it will be more like a latte or cappuccino.
There are a couple of different variations on a Cortado. The Cortado Condensada is made with condensed milk and the leche y leche is made with condensed milk and cream.
In any café with real coffee connoisseurs you can specify how you want the milk for your Cortado. Either very hot, warm, or cold.
Flat white coffee originated in (depending on who you ask) either Australia or New Zealand (just like the controversy with the Pavlova, it’s fiercely debated between the two).
It is an espresso-based drink with generally a 1:2 espresso to micro-foamed milk ratio (as opposed to the Cortado consisting of a 1:1 espresso to milk ratio.
Another difference between a cortado and white flat lies on the consistency of the milk. A cortado features a smoother texture as opposed to the more velvety texture from a flat white.
A Cortado is similar to a cappuccino, but it is less foamy.
Macchiato is Italian and is an espresso-based coffee with a a dollop of milk foam on top. The difference then between a Macchiato and a Cortado is that a Macchiato uses mostly foam instead of actual steamed milk.
It’s easy to make a Cortado at home!
We recommend using espresso blends for this type of coffee, and grinding them just before you make the Cortado. The fresher the beans, the better the flavor.
|Espresso Coffee||2 oz|
If you can’t be bothered making one (if you’re not a morning person and need a caffeine fix quick), you can always head to Starbucks or Costa Coffee which serve versions of a Cortado.
Yes, you can. Other milks won’t froth as much but a Cortado doesn’t have a lot of foam anyway.
You can try it with oat milk, coconut milk, or anything else if you’re lactose intolerant or if you just want to experiment.
Yes. Leave it to chill in the fridge or freezer (of course, don’t forget about it if you put it in the freezer otherwise that’s a coffee ice lolly).
A chilled Cortado is perfect for a caffeine hit on a hot sunny day. Watch as the little beads of condensation slide down the glass.
Not technically a Cortado, a matcha Cortado, as the name suggests is made with a shot of matcha and a little bit of milk.
Matcha is a healthy drink, packed with antioxidants for a healthier option but it does still have caffeine but less than coffee.
Check out our recommendation for the best matcha green tea to use for a matcha Cortado.
This smooth and balanced coffee drink is easy to make and tastes delicious. What are you waiting for, go spend some time with the Enrique of coffee.