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How To Make A Cortado Coffee? - Recipe

Mar 30, 2024 ● Jasmin Tétreault

Gaining popularity recently, the cortado remains somewhat a hidden coffee for most people. Coming from Spain, the term "cortado" means "cut," referring to the blending of equal parts espresso and steamed milk. This coffee is quite strong ans tasty.

Origin of the cortado

The cortado comes from the Spanish Basque Country and was developed to mellow espresso's acidity and add a touch of sweetness with a small amount of milk microfoam. This coffee has gained popularity for its small milk-to-espresso ratio that enhances the coffee's flavors. Today, it's served in cafes across Spain and globally, with notable popularity in Portugal and Latin America.

Cortado recipe



  1. Grind for a double shot of espresso.

  2. Pour a short double espresso (2oz) into a 4 oz glass.

  3. Foam a small portion of milk or plant-based milk.

  4. Pour 2oz of milk into your espresso.

How to make a cortado

A cortado starts with a double short espresso poured into a small, often a Gibraltar glass of 4 to 5 oz. It's then mixed with microfoamed milk or plant-based alternative in a ratio of 1/2 espresso to 1/2 milk. This specific proportion, varying by cafe and location, ensures a rich and creamy foam perfect for latte art, with the microfoam seamlessly integrating with the espresso without creating air bubbles.

Despite the cortado's simple recipe, finding an authentic version can be challenging outside specialty cafes. Many commercial chains adjust its proportions for a larger serve, so always verify when ordering a true cortado.

What makes a cortado special?

The cortado's appeal lies in its balanced blend of espresso and steamed milk, delivering both boldness and creaminess, enhanced by microfoam for latte art without the coffee being overpowering.

Is a cortado the same as a flat white?

While cortados and flat whites both mix espresso with milk, they diverge in their espresso-to-milk ratios, the texture of the milk, and their cup sizes. Cortados provide a more intense coffee flavor with balanced milk and thicker microfoam, in contrast to the larger and thinner microfam flat whites.


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