Comprehensive Guide On How To Make Cortado Coffee At Home (2022)

If you’re a full throttle coffee addict like us, then you probably drink up copious amounts of caffeine each day. It’s however, nice to take a hiatus from knocking the caffeine back time after time. Additionally, you may also actually want to learn the varieties of these delectable drinks.

The Cortado, which you’ve probably noticed on the menu of your favorite coffee shop. You may have even tried to make a cortado or thought about ordering one once in a while. Maybe this is the first time you’ve heard the word and found yourself asking, what is a Cortado? Dive into our article to find out why this bold little drink has emerged so popular around the world.


The Cortado Origin Story

Comprehensive Guide On How To Make Cortado Coffee At Home (1)

The word “Cortado” arises from the word “cortar”. It is a Spanish verb that means “to cut.” The cortado is appropriately named as the milk is supposed to cut through the espresso.

Cortado, furthermore, is the past participle form of “cortar”. It refers to both the espresso drinks and the dilution of coffee. After its origination in the Basque country of Spain, the drink began to fan out in popularity throughout the Galicia region (a northern part of Portugal), and even to Cuba.

The cortado has little to no foam. This is the key feature of most Spanish drinks. If you’re a fan of foam on top, do not fret. The fact that the cortado does not need a lot of foam is what lets the milk actually cut through the espresso. Also, able to mix together as steadily as possible. The result is a delicious mixture of robust, powerful, espresso with light, creamy milk.

(Video) CORTADO COFFEE |BARISTA TRAINING | HOW TO MAKE CORTADO COFFEE


What Is A Cortado?

To make a cortado drink you require equivalent parts of espresso and milk. Cortados are presented with a double shot of espresso and after that 2 ounces of steamed milk. The word “cortado” in Spanish means “cut.” This stands for the milk “cutting through” the espresso. The milk used in the cortado is a lighter and thinner texture. Very similar to that of a latte rather than like a cappuccino.

This drink is also renowned as a Gibraltar. It refers to a small glass made cup that many employ to serve cortados. Most espresso-based drinks originated from classical Italian drinks but cortados are one of the only staple espresso drinks that has a Spanish root.

How Many Shots Are In A Glass Of Cortado

The cortado should always be served traditionally in a 150 to 200 ml or, 5 to 7 fl ounces glass. The milk should be steamed only. Maybe a little foam can settle to the top of the glass. But the quintessence must be steamed milk of the drink. Rather than an espresso macchiato, Cortado is more alike a less foamy cappuccino.

With two ristretto shots, topped with milk, the Starbucks cortado is made. While the world’s second-largest coffee chain Costa Coffee has claimed their cortado as “luxurious and small”.


How to make Cortado Coffee at home

Comprehensive Guide On How To Make Cortado Coffee At Home (2)

If you want to make a Café Cortado, also known as “un Cortadito” (in Cuba), you will need 1 to 2 oz. of milk, 2 oz. espresso, a stainless steel pitcher, steam wand, espresso machine.

  • Step – 1: Into the stainless steel pitcher pour the milk. Place the pitcher under the steam wand of the espresso machine. Ensure the wand touches the bottom of your pitcher. Turn on the steam wand. Move it so that it is just under the surface of the milk inside. Heat it up until steamed. But not in foamy form. Our tip is to try and use 2% milk for your Cortado. It is much easier to steam this type than whole milk. It will give you a pretty rich flavor than skim milk.
  • Step – 2: After the steaming of the milk, pour prepared, warm espresso into the Gibraltar glass.
  • Step – 3: Now, to your espresso, add 1 to 2 ounces of steamed milk. You can use more milk for a less bitter, creamier flavor. Top your Cortado with a little amount of milk foam, if you desire.
  • Step – 4: Now you can serve your cortado drink immediately.

Voila!! Relax, and start sipping your drink slowly. Enjoy the rich, delicious flavor of the Cortado.


How To Make Cortado At Home Without A Coffee Maker

What if you want to make a cortado at your home? You need two things. The first one is espresso and the second is steamed milk. The latter part can be taken care of easily at home. But making espresso at home without the machine is challenging indeed. Lucky for you, we have some ideas.

In truth, your coffee making skills probably will not invent the professional espresso without actual equipment or the proper coffee. But such will give good enough results.

(Video) Easy Cortado Recipe - How To Make A Cortado Coffee At Home

But there is an astonishing number of ways you can make a sort of an espresso shot without even touching the lever of an espresso machine.

We recommend getting a medium to dark roast coffee for a surprising coffee to use for espresso.

  • Method #1 – The AeroPress,
  • Method #2 – The Moka Pot,
  • Method#3 – The French Press.

Before you begin brewing, we advise having a few fundamental tools in your kitchen to help your trials go smoothly, an electric kettle with the temperature control system, a conical burr grinder for a consistent and even grind, a scale with a timer to eliminate all your guesswork. Use high-quality coffee beans and we prefer to use Atlas Coffee.

Method – 1: The Aeropress

We have picked this one as a perfect shot of espresso is all about controlling pressure to unlike a normal cup of coffee.

With the term “press” in its name, AeroPress is an ideal candidate for the closest approximation of an espresso. Though the texture may slightly differ from what you will get with a professional machine. But the caffeine content and flavor of an AeroPress espresso have splendidly matched the machine made espresso.

Method – 2: The Moka Pot

We recommend this one because of the usage of a trusty Moka pot. Also known as the utility knife of coffee brewing. This teeny-tiny, handy-dandy kettle makes an espresso-like pour that will soothe your soul and also will put a little pep in your step. You will get a taste that is guaranteed neither coffee nor espresso but rewarding all the same.

Method – 3: The French Press

One of the most commonly owned coffee equipment, a French press will certainly give you a coffee brew that’s concentrated, if prepared correctly. Though we only advise this move as the last-resort option.

The French press will get going you where you want to go. But it will lack the concentrated punch of the other two processes before. Your coffee shot will also end up a smidge oilier. This approach also puts a few more steps between your caffeine and you.


Difference Between Cortado And Macchiato

Espresso: Both macchiatos and cortados have 2 shots of espresso.

Milk: Both cortados and macchiatos are small sized drinks and with a small amount of milk in them. Cortados have only 2 ounces of lightly textured milk. Whereas, macchiatos have frothy milk of 1 to 2 ounces.

Drink size: Macchiatos and cortados are often served in the same sized cup. Cortados are about 4 ounces and macchiato cups are weighed 3 ounces.

(Video) how to make a cortado at home


Difference Between Cortado And Cappuccino

Espresso: Cortados have only 2 shots of espresso. Cappuccinos have 1 to 2 shots.

Milk: Cortados use 2 ounces of lightly textured milk. Cappuccinos require 5 ounces of frothier, lighter milk. The milk in a cappuccino is way more textured than a cortado. The coating of microform on a cortado is very thin but the exact opposite on a cappuccino.

Drink size: Cortados are offered in 4 ounce cups or Gibraltar glasses. Cappuccinos are served in 6 ounce cups.


Difference Between Cortado And Latte

Espresso: Lattes are made with 1 or 2 shots of espresso whereas, cortados are made with 2 shots of espresso.

Milk: Cortados have about 2 ounces of lightly textured milk. Lattes can take milk anywhere from 8 ounces or more. Both lattes and cortados have a thin micro foam layer on top.

Drink size: We have already mentioned that cortados are served in 4 ounce cups. Often in clear rocks glasses called a Gibraltar. Lattes, on the other hand, are served in cups that are 8 ounces or bigger.


How To Drink A Cortado

Cortados are meant to be a slowly sipped drink. They are normally served in 5 to 7 fluid ounce cups. They are required to be sipped because the caffeine content is high in cortados. In certain regions, it is even offered with a complimentary glass of water for the drinker to wash your palate with after each sip.


FAQ

What is the difference between a latte and a cortado?

Lattes are made with 1 or 2 shots of espresso whereas, cortados are made with 2 shots of espresso. Cortados have about 2 ounces of lightly textured milk. Lattes can take milk anywhere from 8 ounces or more. We have already mentioned that cortados are served in 4 ounce cups. Lattes, on the other hand, are served in cups that are 8 ounces or bigger.

What does cortado mean in Italian?

Cortado is actually a Spanish word. It derived from the Spanish word “cortar”. Which means “to cut”. In Italian “to cut” would be called “tritato”.

What is a cortado vs macchiato?

Cortados have only 2 ounces of lightly textured milk. But, macchiatos have frothy milk of 1 to 2 ounces. Cortados are served in about 4 ounces glasses and macchiato cups are served cups weighed about 3 ounces.

Is a Cortado the same as a Piccolo?

A cortado is a type of espresso, mixed with an equal amount of warm milk in it. It’s also similar to a latte. But it is less milky and foamy. It’s a smaller pour that traditionally comes in a smaller glass. It’s like a piccolo in that sense but comes without the froth.

(Video) How To Make A Cortado


Conclusion

If you are not a stranger to brewing with espresso, or even maybe if you own an espresso machine at home, the cortado is a very savory and simplistic drink to master. You can serve it in the traditional 5 ounce cup or similar shot glass or even just in a coffee mug from your kitchen.

Since the cortado’s primary foundation is its ratio between milk and espresso, you can also have somewhat of room for your creativity with your cortado by trying various flavoring. Just be sure to keep the amount of milk and espresso ratio accurate, then you are good to go.

(Video) Afternoon Coffee | How to make a Cortado Coffee

Some even choose to substitute milk with another option. That is condensed milk and espresso combination, turning a traditional cortado into a cortado bombon or condensada or bombon. Or a leche y leche which is a version of condensed milk and cream on top.

Happy Brewing!

FAQs

Comprehensive Guide On How To Make Cortado Coffee At Home? ›

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Fix the Compatible Nespresso pod into your machine and brew coffee into your cup (40ml).
  2. Pour your milk into any barista frothing device and foam it properly.
  3. Add the frothed milk into your coffee.
  4. Then scoop 2 or 3 spoons of milk foam on the coffee.
  5. That's it, enjoy your cortado!

How is a cortado coffee made? ›

The Cortado is an espresso drink of equal parts espresso and steamed milk. It's Spanish in origin: “cortado” means “cut” in Spanish, indicating that the espresso is cut with the milk. In contrast to other coffee drinks, a Cortado is always the same volume: one doubleshot of espresso and 2 ounces milk.

What kind of milk is used in a cortado? ›

Like a macchiato, it's hard to steam the small amount of milk required for a cortado. When steaming milk, try pairing it with another milk drink to reduce waste. Cortados can be served with any type of milk, although whole milk is what's usually used.

How do you pour milk for cortado? ›

Easy Cortado Recipe - How To Make A Cortado Coffee At Home - YouTube

How many shots of coffee are in a cortado? ›

The Starbucks cortado is made with two ristretto shots topped with milk, while Costa Coffee (the world's second-largest coffee chain) describes their cortado as “small and luxurious”.

What is a traditional cortado? ›

A cortado is a beverage consisting of espresso mixed with a roughly equal amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The milk in a cortado is steamed, but not frothy and "texturized" as in many Italian coffee drinks.

How hot should cortado milk be? ›

The steamed milk for lattes and cappuccinos can range from 150 degrees Fahrenheit to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the steamed milk for a cortado should be steamed to only 130 degrees Fahrenheit to 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

Why is it called a cortado? ›

Cortado comes from the word cortar in Spanish, which means “to cut.” The milk used in this drink reduces the acidity of the espresso – hence the name.

What is the difference between cortado and flat white? ›

They're generally served in 5-7 fl oz cups. Although the difference is very subtle, it's all about the consistency of the milk that is used. They have the same amount of espresso, but the milk in a cortado is not textured. Essentially, a cortado is smooth while a flat white is more velvety and thicker.

Is cortado single or double shot? ›

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.

How much foam should a cortado have? ›

This is a single espresso shot in a machiatto glass, which is then filled with steamed milk in the same fashion as a cafe latte. This results in a 90mL drink, with a 1:2 ratio of coffee to steamed milk, and about 5mm of foam on the top.

Do you stir a cortado? ›

Since the whole Cortado drink is based on a 1:1 ratio with the coffee, then you should be using the same amount of milk as you have used espresso. You do not need to measure this out accurately, just try and get as close as you possibly can. There is no need to stir anything. Your Cortado has now been fully prepared!

How big is a cortado cup? ›

This is the same glass used in the top US coffee shops. At 4.5 oz, the glass is the perfect size for the classic Cortado.

What kind of coffee is cortado? ›

What's a Cortado? "Cortado means cut (it comes from the Spanish word cortar). It's an espresso 'cut' with approximately the same amount of steamed milk." If you find an espresso or macchiato a little too strong, you'll love this option.

What's the difference between a latte and a cortado? ›

Cortado vs Latte: Highlighting the Differences

Cortados are made with equal parts steamed milk and espresso, and they may contain no foam or a small amount of microfoam. Lattes have quite a bit more steamed milk and are almost always topped with a solid layer of microfoam.

Is a cortado the same as a flat white? ›

They're generally served in 5-7 fl oz cups. Although the difference is very subtle, it's all about the consistency of the milk that is used. They have the same amount of espresso, but the milk in a cortado is not textured. Essentially, a cortado is smooth while a flat white is more velvety and thicker.

What's the difference between a latte and a cortado? ›

Cortado vs Latte: Highlighting the Differences

Cortados are made with equal parts steamed milk and espresso, and they may contain no foam or a small amount of microfoam. Lattes have quite a bit more steamed milk and are almost always topped with a solid layer of microfoam.

Is cortado same as macchiato? ›

The Big Difference? Foamed or Steamed Milk. As we are sure you have noticed, the difference between a cortado and a macchiato is the milk. If you have foamed milk, you are enjoying a macchiato while steamed milk is present in a cortado.

What is the difference between a cortado and a Cortadito? ›

A Cortado is a Spanish or Portuguese Espresso made from a double shot of Espresso and steamed milk. Generally it is made at ratio of 50/50. A Cortadito is a Cuban Espresso that consists of a pre-sweetened espresso shot topped off with steamed milk. The ratio can be between 50/50 and 75/25 espresso and milk.

Videos

1. All Espresso Drinks Explained: Cappuccino vs Latte vs Flat White and more!
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2. Cortado Coffee | Barista Skills Training | How to Make a Cortado Coffee
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3. BASIC BARISTA - SPECIALTY ESPRESSO DRINKS: HOW TO MAKE CORTADO
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4. Making a Cortado Coffee
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5. Espresso Drinks Explained: Histories, Recipes and More…
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6. Making a cortado at home using a Breville Barista Express
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