Coffee Types: What Is A Cortado Coffee

What Is A Cortado Coffee

What Is a Cortado? A cortado is an espresso drink that originated in Spain. It is prevalent in South America. “cortado” means “cut,” which refers to the amount of milk used to dilute the espresso. A cortado includes identical components of coffee and steamed milk. It produces a sweeter flavor than espresso served in a small glass. 

Cortado coffee

“A cortado coffee is an espresso-based drink made with one part espresso and one part steamed milk. The amount of milk added to the espresso. It depends on the preferences of the individual ordering it.”

The History of Cortado Coffee

The history of the cortado is as old as coffee itself. The drink’s earliest recorded mention dates back to the 1800s. During that time, it’s referred to as “café con leche cortado” or “coffee with cut milk.” In this version, they cut the milk with hot water, making it less concentrated than regular espresso.

Making a Cortado Coffee

What is a cortado?” This question often arises when exploring different coffee options. Making a cortado is simple:

Start with a shot of espresso, then add a full cup of steamed milk. The ratio of coffee to milk should be 1:1 or 2:1, depending on how strong you like your coffee.

Required equipment and tools

You will need an espresso machine, a quality grinder, and a milk steamer to make a cortado. If you can’t access an espresso machine, you can use a moka pot.

Espresso machine 

You’ll need an espresso machine with a portafilter and tamper. A suitable device should have adjustable settings. Adjust the temperature and pressure to get the right cup of coffee.


You will need a grinder to grind your beans to the appropriate size for making espresso. Grind the beans to a fine consistency to extract all their flavors. 

Milk steamer 

The milk gives the cortado its signature sweetness. It needs to be steamed for the espresso and milk to mix. A good milk steamer will have adjustable settings. To achieve the optimal texture and temperature for your coffee.

Final Steps

You can make your cortado once you have the necessary equipment and tools. First, pull a shot of espresso (or two if you prefer a more potent drink) into your cup. Then add steamed milk until the cup is full. You can adjust the amount of milk according to your preference.

Finally, stir the espresso and milk to blend them, and enjoy your delicious cortado! 

Cortado Coffee Variations

You can create many variations of the traditional cortado by using various ingredients. A “cafe con leche” incorporates condensed milk instead of regular steamed milk. While a “Machado” consists of a double shot of espresso. And steamed milk infused with chocolate flavor. It is a way to create your unique cortado concoctions! 

Cortado Coffee Benefits

A cortado coffee offers many benefits. Including an energizing boost of caffeine and a rich, creamy flavor. The milk in the drink adds some sweetness and helps balance out the bitterness of the espresso. 

Serving and Drinking a Cortado Coffee

A cortado serves in a small glass, usually about 4-6 ounces. The small size of the glass helps keep the drink warm longer. Make sure to drink it before the milk and espresso begin to separate.

To drink a cortado, take small sips and savor the taste. The milk sweetened the espresso, making for a smooth and balanced cup of coffee.

Cortado vs piccolo latte

The cortado is like a piccolo latte, but the main difference lies in the amount of milk used. To prepare cortado coffee, combine equal parts espresso and steamed milk. So, mix two espresso parts with steamed milk for a piccolo latte. The result is that the cortado has a more robust espresso flavor. At the time, the piccolo latte has more of a creamy taste. 

Cortado vs. Similar Coffees

The cortado resembles other espresso-based coffees, such as the flat white and cappuccino. The main difference between these drinks lies in the amount of milk used.

A. Cortado vs. cappuccino

A cortado uses one part espresso and one part steamed milk. At the same time, a cappuccino uses one part espresso, steamed milk, and foam. Since the cappuccino contains more foam than the cortado. It has a lighter texture and a milder flavor. 

B. Cortado vs. flat white

A cortado is like a flat white, but the main difference lies in the ratio of espresso to milk. To make a cortado, use an equal balance of espresso to steamed milk. In contrast, a flat white calls for a percentage of two parts espresso to one part steamed milk. It makes the flat white less sweet than the cortado. 

C. Cortado vs. macchiato

A cortado and macchiato are similar drinks, but the main difference is the foam used. In crafting a cortado, combine espresso and steamed milk in equal parts. For a macchiato, blend two parts espresso with a small quantity of steamed milk or omit it. It makes the macchiato more intense and bitter. 


Q: How long does a cortado stay fresh? 

A: A cortado is best enjoyed immediately after being made. As time passes, the milk and espresso can begin to separate, affecting the taste and quality of the drink. 

Q: Is a cortado stronger than a cappuccino? 

A: A cortado is more potent than a cappuccino because it uses less milk and more espresso. 

Q: What other drinks can you make with an espresso machine?

A: You can use an espresso machine to make drinks. Such as lattes, macchiatos, americanos, mochas, flat whites, and more. You can make specialty drinks. Like affogatos, espresso martinis, and more with the right equipment and ingredients. 

Q: Is a cortado suitable for people with milk allergies? 

A: No, a cortado is unsuitable for people with milk allergies. Because it contains both espresso and steamed milk. Avoiding this drink is best if you have an allergy or intolerance to dairy products. 

Q: Is a cortado vegan-friendly? 

A: Yes, a cortado’s made vegan-friendly. We use plant-based alternatives such as almonds, soy, oat, or coconut milk.

Final Thought

What Is a Cortado? The cortado is a great way to enjoy espresso while reducing its bitterness. It provides a delicious balance between solid espresso and creamy milk. But it also has a fascinating history that dates back centuries. You can make a cortado at home or find it in any cafe or coffee shop. So next time you’re looking for something more unique than your regular espresso, why try a cortado? With its smooth and balanced flavor, I assure you, you will not disappoint.

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