What is a Cortado?

What is a cortado? Cortado coffee is a Spanish drink containing a double espresso shot mixed with hot milk. It’s the espresso version of a latte, just without all that milk foam on top.

The drink originated in Spain and has become one of the most popular coffee drinks in Europe. In Italy and Sweden, it’s sometimes called “espresso macchiato.”

What is a Cortado?

Cortados are a delicious, smaller-sized hot coffee beverage containing espresso and steamed milk. The balance between the two components makes the drink just right as well as reduces acidity due to using steamed rather than frothy milk.

Most coffee shops carry this espresso-based drink, though some may call it another name. 

Like all espresso drinks, cortados are made of shots of espresso that have been brewed using a high-pressure espresso machine. The creamy milk is then added to the espresso and stirred together. The final drink is served in a small cup or glass.

If you’re looking for a unique espresso-based drink that’s not too sweet, a cortado is a great choice. It’s also perfect if you want something that’s not as strong as an espresso straight up. Give it a try the next time you’re at your favorite espresso shop.

What is a traditional cortado?

This espresso drink originates from Spain and consists of espresso with warm milk added to it. The perfect balance between the strong espresso flavor and reduced acidity makes the drink amazing! Especially when served in glasses!

A cortado is a Spanish word that means “cut off.” The name comes from this espresso-based drink consists of an espresso shot cut with steamed milk.

Cortado coffee recipes may vary. The cortado “condensada” or “bombon” is an espresso with frothed condensed milk, which has the consistency of rich creaminess.

In some countries like Italy and Spain, people enjoy sweetened coffee, adding sweeteners like honey. Other cultures prefer it brewed stronger than usual so they can really taste each shot’s complexity from start to finish! 

A cortado is an espresso drink where espresso and steamed milk are mixed to make the perfect balance between coffee and milk flavors.

To find the answer to the question “what is a cortado” you need to try this amazing coffee. You can go to your favorite local coffee shop or make a cortado yourself.

Is a cortado sweet?

The traditional cortado is unsweetened, but it’s easily customizable to your taste with the perfect amount of sugar. A Cuban version made just for tourists has been known as a “cortadito.” This drink will have you feeling like a true Havana native!

Why is a cortado served in glass?

This comes from one of the coffee shops in San Francisco that wanted to make an iced cortado for those warm summer days.

They realized it would be perfectly served into the Gibraltar glass, designed initially as an open-mouthed wine goblet with thick sides and a short bowl shape. So you could sip your coffee beverages without getting any ice water on top!

Cortado recipe

The two ingredients you’ll need are milk and espresso.Cortados are the perfect drink for beginners who want to make espresso at home but don’t know where or how.

traditional cortado

They only require a basic setup with an electric stovetop Moka Pot (or another type) that has been heated up enough so you can pour hot water into it without burning yourself!

Once your cup is ready, add some simple ingredients like coffee grounds and sweetener, then serve immediately before milk foam starts forming on top due to high temperatures generated by using unheated vessels such as thermal cups.

Non-dairy cortado?

For those who are not huge fans of dairy milk, buying it for your coffee alone is not ideal. Are there any non-dairy alternatives that would work in the same way?

Hands down, oat milk, is the best! It has a great consistency and complements cortado flavor.

If you love almond milk, It’s a perfect alternative to dairy, and it has so many health benefits!

Try Cortdos at Starbucks!

ou’re at Starbucks, and you want a cortado. What do you do?

The cortado is typically made with 2 ounces of steamed milk, poured over a double espresso. If you order it at Starbucks, make sure to ask for two shots of espresso because they may not know how to make it otherwise!

A cortado vs. latte

These coffee drinks taste similar. Cortado is stronger since there are two shots of espresso and less milk.

The silky texture of this drink will give your day the kickstart it needs! Plus, if you go into any other coffee shop besides Starbucks, chances are they won’t have this drink on their espresso-based drinks menu. So be prepared to explain what it is when ordering or get something else instead!

cortado recipe

How to make a cortado?

You will need:

Espresso machine

Coffee grinder (if your espresso machine doesn’t have one)

Freshly roasted coffee beans

Milk or milk substitute

To make the perfect cortado, you need to start with a double shot of espresso. The best way?

Pull two scoops of coffee beans and grind up for fine ground coffee! After that, just use your espresso machine’s filter or French press, so all those antioxidants stay in there while making this lip-smacking drink known as ‘Cortadanking’.

To make the perfect cortado, you need to start with a double shot of espresso. The best way? Pull two scoops of coffee beans and grind up for fine ground coffee! After that, just use your espresso machine’s filter or French press, so all those antioxidants stay in there while making this lip-smacking drink known as ‘Cortadanking’.

For the perfect cortado, you need to start with frothing your milk.

4 ounces of lightly textured milk (or “Corto”) will give you the best results — but you will use only half milk! The importance of frothing milk can’t be overstated. It will prevent burning and give you that added layer of sweetness on top! Make sure to steam at least 4 ounces, but no more than 8 oz per cup since too much could create clumps in your drink or even cause it does not fully melt into itself while steaming.

Divide steaming milk into equal parts and pour 2 ounces of lightly textured milk into your cup with black coffee.

Nespresso and Keurig

The Nespresso and Keurig espresso machines are two of the most popular coffee makers in today’s world. The process for making a cortado is quite simple, but there can be some confusion when using these specific appliances to prepare your drink. Each has its unique way of making delicious drinks! 

Makes sure you read all instructions before starting so you know what steps must take place at every stage throughout the preparation time.

Add a double shot of espresso to a small glass, then add milk. If you have a Keurig machine, put on the K-cup and add 2 ounces of milk.


 The cortado is a small coffee drink. It’s typically made with espresso shots and just enough steamed or frothed milk to top the cup off. This type of coffee is perfect for those who enjoy both creaminess and caffeine strength in their morning beverage.

A cortado can also be served as an after-dinner dessert paired with cake, chocolate, or biscotti! Drop your thoughts on this delicious coffee below if we have answered the question “what is a cortado”!

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Nathan is the founder of The Darkest Roast (featured in the NY Times, Yahoo, and Tasting Table). He is a self-taught coffee expert and has tried 100s of coffees from around the world. Nathan's goal is to help you find the best coffee, so you only drink the best.