What Is A Cortado? And How To Make One - PageOneCoffee (2022)

Coffee is a worldwide drink that many people enjoy every day. But, do you know what a cortado is? In this text, you will get to know what a coffee cortado is and prepare one.

A cortado is a type of espresso but mixed with a lot of milk. You can make a cortado by using steamed milk, but not too foamy or full of bubbles. This blend and combination decrease the acid taste of coffee.

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How to make a cortado

There are some steps involved in the making of an excellent cortado. If you follow them, you will do great (even if it is your first time making a cortado). Here, you can see how to prepare one from scratch.

  1. Start grinding and calculating your ground espresso.
  2. After that, place your coffee inside your coffee machine.
  3. Then, take two shots of coffee (espresso).
  4. Proceed to steam your milk of preference (whole milk, reduced-fat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, skim milk, and more).
  5. Serve the foamed milk in your coffee.
  6. Try to measure the milk correctly compared to the coffee; you might want 1:1 (or half-half) of espresso and milk to make an excellent cortado.

How many shots are in a cortado

As you already know, a cortado is a combination of espresso and milk. But, how many shots do they have then? Well, a cortado is prepared with two shots of well-made espresso.

What Is A Cortado? And How To Make One - PageOneCoffee (1)

A double shot (often called doppio) has around fourteen to eighteen grams of coffee. These double shots create two liquid ounces in a drink.

How to serve and drink cortado coffee

You need to steam your preferred milk. Preparing your dairy drink like this will reduce that bitter, acid, and strong taste. It will also bring sweetness and can make your beverage softer.

But, remember, do not make it too frothy or bubbly. This feeling can ruin a little bit the taste of a cortado.

A cortado cannot be too hot because baristas serve this type of drink on a glass cup with no handles. They are meant to be drunk immediately compared to other beverages like cappuccinos or americanos.

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

Can I make cortado without an expensive or fancy machine?

Totally. There are different methods that coffee drinkers can apply if they do not own a fancy or expensive machine. For instance, you could use an AeroPress, a French press, or a Moka Pot.

Here you can see how to make an espresso for a cortado with each of these coffee makers.


These are practical, fast, and inexpensive. It would help if you used some hot or room temperature water, put together your AeroPress, add some ground coffee, and finally set a timer. After that, you will be good to go.

French Press

The first thing you have to do with a French press is measure and grind your coffee beans. Then, add boiling water and move the brew. Steep for some minutes, preferably four minutes. Last but not least, push the press, and your coffee will be ready.

Moka Pot

First, you will need to pour water into your kettle. You can get a pour-over coffee kettle at Barista Warrior. Then, insert your filter or basket and serve some ground coffee in there. Close your Moka pot and place it on your stove. After some minutes, you will hear some bubbly noise, telling you that your coffee is made.

Can express coffee machines make cortado?

The answer is yes. You can make a cortado on an express coffee machine. Most of these coffee makers can even add the steamed milk directly, so this might not be a problem. Yet, if your device does not make this type of milk, you could buy a milk steamer or do it yourself with a handheld frother.

Is a cortado the same as a flat white?

No, they are not the same. Yet, they are incredibly similar. It has been mentioned here how cortados are made and what they have. The main difference is that flat whites are thicker, and the milk is super foamy compared to a cortado.

Although many people might not even notice a difference, it is all based on how the milk is prepared and its texture. Cortados are soft, subtle, and smooth. Flat whites have a heavier consistency and a smooth and creamy taste.

Is a cortado the same as Gibraltar?

Yes, a cortado and a Gibraltar are the same beverage. Gibraltar started in San Francisco, California, because people began serving cortados on Libbey Glasses, which had the same name.

(Video) ESPRESSO ANATOMY - The Modern Cortado

The majority of people say there is no difference between these two drinks (aside from serving Gibraltar on a specific glass). Yet, some establishments serve them as different beverages, and they claim that Gibraltar has a cooler temperature.

Also, people tend to call it cortado on the East Coast, yet people call it Gibraltar on the West Coast.

What is the difference between a cortado coffee and a latte?

There are some differences that you can spot between a latte and a cortado. The main difference is the size and the measurements. For instance, a latte has ⅔ of milk and ⅓ of coffee.

What Is A Cortado? And How To Make One - PageOneCoffee (2)

At the same time, lattes also have some foam at the top. On the other side of the coin, cortados have three to four ounces (two of milk and two of coffee) and, and lattes have nine ounces (two of espresso and seven of milk).

What is the difference between a cortado and a macchiato?

These drinks are very similar, but they still have some differences. Both of these beverages are small drinks that mix espresso and milk. Yet, macchiatos have only one shot of espresso with frothy or foamy milk, and cortados have two shots with half the amount of milk.

What is the difference between a cortado and a cappuccino?

There are many differences between these two hot drinks. For example, they have different textures, foam, and tastes.

  1. Taste:Cappuccinos are sweeter and can even have some whipped cream on top. Also, you can prepare a vanilla or chocolate cappuccino.
  2. Texture:Cortados have a thicker milk texture compared to cappuccinos.
  3. Foam:Cappuccinos have more foam, and cortados have a little bit of foam.

Origin of cortado coffee

Cortado coffee is originally from Spain. Its name comes from the Spanish word in past participlecortar,which means to cut. Many people claim that this name originated because the milk “cuts” that bitter or intense taste of the coffee alone.

How can I order a cortado in a coffee shop if they do not have it on the menu?

This is an easy-to-answer question. If you cannot see cortado on the menu, you can ask for two espresso shots with two ounces of steamed milk on top of the coffee.

(Video) Let's Make A Cortado

You can also ask for a small glass tumbler with no handle because this is how cortados are usually served.


In the final analysis, cortados are full of information that many people might not even know. This type of coffee has a lot of similarities and differences compared to other beverages.

As you might already know, a cortado is in the middle; they are not that bitter but not that sweet compared to different variants of coffee.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you can make a cortado with no issue and differentiate a cortado from cappuccinos, flat whites, lattes, and macchiatos.

In addition, this can help you with other things, especially how to prepare an espresso without an extravagant and automatic machine.


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