What is a cortado coffee? Answered by Experts

Are you curious about cortado coffees and what makes them special? You've probably seen its name on your favorite coffeehouse or cafe's menu, but what exactly is a cortado coffee and why make it different from all the other types of coffee drinks?

A cortado combines espresso and steamed milk in just right portions to deliver a complex blend of flavors that are both bold and silky smooth.

In this blog post, we’ll be exploring what goes into making a delicious cup of cortado, as well as some tips for how to order one like an expert. So grab yourself a mug—it’s time pour over the details!

Understanding the Origin of the Cortado Coffee

The cortado coffee [check more at wikipedia] is a traditional Spanish-style espresso-based drink that’s been around for centuries. Its name comes from the Spanish verb “cortar,” which translates to “cut.”

This refers to how the espresso and steamed milk are cut with each other in order to produce the ideal flavor balance. The ratio of espresso to milk typically ranges from 1:1 to 2:1, but the exact ratio can vary depending on personal preference. [learn more here]

What Does a Cortado Taste Like?

Cortados are often described as being similarly smooth to a cappuccino, but with bolder flavors than a latte. This is because the cortado has less milk than a latte, which makes the espresso flavor more prominent. The result is a well-rounded coffee with notes of caramel, cocoa, and nuttiness that really come alive when sipped.

The Different Types of Cortado Coffees

There are several different types of cortado coffees that you can find at coffee shops. These include:

  • Traditional Cortado – This is the classic version, with a 1:1 ratio of espresso to steamed milk.
  • Long Cortado – Also known as a “Gibraltar” in some regions, this cortado has a higher ratio of espresso to milk.
  • Cortado con Leche – This cortado has less espresso and more steamed milk, making it creamier and sweeter.

How a Cortado is Made

Making a delicious cortado requires an experienced barista and the right equipment. The coffee beans used should be freshly ground, and the espresso shot should be pulled to perfection. The steamed milk should also be carefully frothed in order to achieve the ideal consistency. Each step of the process must be done with precision in order for your cup of cortado to turn out just right.

Tips for Ordering a Cortado Like an Expert

Now that you know the origin and flavor profile of a cortado, let’s go over some tips on how to order one like an expert:

  • When ordering a cortado, be sure to specify what type you want. Do you prefer more or less espresso?
  • Ask your barista questions about the type of coffee beans used and how long the espresso has been pulled. This will help you understand what flavors to expect.
  • If you want a sweeter cortado, ask for it with more steamed milk. If you want a stronger flavor, opt for one with less milk.

Comparison Between the Macchiato and Cortado Coffees

Although they’re both espresso-based drinks, there are some key differences between the macchiato and cortado coffees.

The most obvious difference is in their ingredients—the macchiato contains just espresso and a small amount of milk foam, whereas the cortado combines espresso with steamed milk in equal parts. This makes the cortado creamier and less intense in flavor compared to the macchiato.

Reference: https://www.nescafe.com/gb/coffee-types/what-is-a-cortado-coffee/

Benefits of Enjoying a Cortado Coffee

There are many benefits to enjoying a cortado coffee.

  1. It’s a great way to start your day with a delicious, energizing beverage that offers the perfect balance of flavor and caffeine.
  2. Cortados are lower in calories than some other espresso drinks like lattes or cappuccinos, so they can be an ideal choice for those looking to limit their sugar intake.
  3. And finally, the sophisticated flavor profile of a cortado makes it a great choice for enjoying with friends or family.

Tips For Brewing a Perfect Cup of Cortado Coffee at Home

If you’re looking to make a cortado at home, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Invest in good quality espresso beans and grind them fresh for every cup.
  • Buy an espresso machine if you don’t already have one – it will help ensure that your shots are pulled perfectly every time.
  • Use filtered water to make sure your coffee doesn’t taste “off.”
  • Once you have all the ingredients, carefully measure out the espresso and steamed milk in order to achieve the desired flavor balance.
  • Finally, enjoy your cortado with a small snack or dessert to complete the experience!

You may consider: What is a caffe misto?


Cortados are the perfect balance of bold espresso and silky steamed milk, making them a great choice for those looking to enjoy something special.

Now that you know all about what goes into making a delicious cup of cortado, why not give it a try? With just the right ingredients and expert techniques, you can brew up your own perfect cup in no time.

Happy sipping!

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