Reasons You Need to Know How to Make a Cortado

Best Guide to Cortado Coffee in 2023

Attention, coffee lovers and aficionados! Ever wondered how to experience espresso’s bold embrace without the full-on intensity? Say hello to the cortado – your coffee compass to the perfect balance of rich espresso and velvety steamed milk. ☕ Ready to indulge in a symphony of flavors that dance on your taste buds? Whether you’re on a quest for a cozy coffee companion or seeking a moment of blissful relaxation, the cortado’s got you covered. Embrace the art of sipping serenity with every cup. Get ready to elevate your coffee game – one cortado at a time. Time to sip, savor, and smile!

What is Cortado Coffee?

Hey there, coffee curious! So, let’s talk about the magic that is a cortado. Imagine this: you’re in a coffee wonderland, and you’re looking for that perfect balance between a strong espresso kick and the smooth embrace of steamed milk. That’s where the cortado struts onto the scene. It’s like the espresso and steamed milk have decided to have a cool, intimate gathering in your cup.

What is Cortado Coffee?
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Here’s the scoop: a cortado is made by pouring equal parts espresso (double shot of espresso) and then adding an equal amount(two ounces) of warm, silky milk. But hey, it’s not drowning in milk – just enough to mellow out the espresso’s intensity. It’s like a harmonious duet of flavors – bold yet gentle. So, if you’re the kind of person who enjoys a coffee experience that’s like finding the ideal BBQ rub for your ribs, the cortado might just become your new best friend. Cheers to sipping smart and savoring every drop!

The Origin of Cortado Coffee

Alright, time to hop on the coffee history train! The coffee cortado also has its roots in Spain, where they know a thing or two about enjoying life’s pleasures. Picture this: you’re strolling through a charming Spanish café, and you want a coffee that’s not too intense but not too mild either. Enter the café cortado, one of Spains most popular coffee drinks.

The Origin of Cortado Coffee
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The word “cortado” translates to “cut” in Spanish, which gives you a hint about its preparation. It’s made by “cutting” a shot of espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk. This creates that beautiful balance between the robust espresso and the comforting milk, like a BBQ sauce that’s both tangy and sweet. So, just like many coffee shops in Spain’s vibrant culture, the cortado is a little slice of coffee perfection that’s both bold and smooth. Olé to that! 🇪🇸☕

Reasons You Need to Know How to Make a Cortado

Understanding the nuances of crafting the perfect coffee beverage is a valuable skill that can greatly enhance your coffee-drinking experience. In this case, we’re focusing on a coffee drink that offers a unique balance of flavors. Knowing how to prepare this beverage correctly is essential for several reasons:

  • 1. Flavor Harmony: This skill allows you to create a harmonious balance between the rich, bold essence of espresso and the creamy, velvety texture of steamed milk.
  • 2. Elevate Your Coffee Game: Learning this technique will elevate your coffee game and set you apart as someone who appreciates and savors the finer aspects of coffee preparation.
  • 3. Cost Savings: Making coffee beverages like this at home can save you money in the long run compared to frequenting coffee shops.
  • 4. Personalization: You can customize the strength of your coffee and the creaminess of the milk to suit your taste preferences.
  • 5. Impress Guests: Impress your friends and guests, making you the designated coffee expert at gatherings.
  • 6. Morning Ritual: It can become a delightful part of your daily morning ritual, setting a positive tone for your day.
Reasons You Need to Know How to Make a Cortado
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Mastering this coffee-making skill is a journey worth embarking on, and our step-by-step method is designed to make it accessible and enjoyable. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll have the confidence and expertise to create a delightful coffee beverage that will undoubtedly become a cherished part of your daily routine.

Brewing Method for Cortado Coffee

Start by pulling a shot of espresso – that’s the heart and soul of the cortado recipe. Then, steam an equal amount of two ounces of milk until it’s velvety and slightly frothy. Now, here comes the magic: pour the espresso into a cup, and gently add the steamed milk, aiming for a balanced ratio.

The goal of traditional cortado is to maintain that ideal harmony between espresso’s boldness and milk’s smoothness. The cortado isn’t about drowning your espresso; it’s about creating a delightful fusion. And there you have it – a cortado that’s ready to be sipped, savored, and enjoyed. Simple, elegant, and oh-so-satisfying!

Difference Between Cortado Coffee and Latte

A cortado is popular espresso drinks like the espresso’s suave sidekick. It’s made by pouring a shot of espresso and then “cutting” it with an equal amount of steamed milk. This results in a balanced flavor profile – bold espresso with a hint of milk’s creaminess.

On the other hand, a latte is like the espresso’s cozy blanket. It’s crafted by adding a shot of espresso to a larger amount of steamed milk, with a thin layer of condensed milk foam on top. This creates a creamier and milk-forward taste compared to the cortado.

Difference Between Cortado Coffee and Latte
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So, in summary, a cortado is a harmonious marriage of espresso and milk, while a latte is more milk-focused with a dash of espresso mixed in. Whether you’re in the mood for a coffee tango or a milk embrace, both have their unique charms!

Best Milk to Use in Making Cortado Coffee

Ah, the milk dilemma – I feel you! When it comes to crafting the perfect cortado, you’ll want a milk that complements the espresso without stealing the spotlight. So, here’s the scoop:

Whole Milk: This creamy champion is a classic choice. Its richness adds a luxurious texture to your cortado, enhancing both the espresso’s flavor and the overall mouthfeel.

Whole milk Best Milk to Use in Making Cortado Coffee
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2% Milk: Looking for a balance between creaminess and a slightly lighter touch? 2% milk might be your go-to. It’s still smooth, but with a touch less fat.

Best Milk to Use in Making Cortado Coffee
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Oat Milk: If you’re exploring non-dairy options, oat milk is a superstar. Its subtle sweetness and velvety consistency play well with espresso, creating a cortado that’s both indulgent and plant-based.

Best Milk to Use in Making Cortado Coffee
Credits to Food & Wine

Hemp Milk: Another non-dairy contender, hemp milk, has a nutty undertone that can add a unique twist to your typical cortado here. It’s also rich in texture and pairs well with coffee drinks and the espresso’s boldness.

Hemp Milk Best Milk to Use in Making Cortado Coffee
Credits to Alphafoodie

Remember, the milk you choose can influence the overall taste and texture of your cortado. So, whether you’re diving into the dairy aisle or venturing into the plant-based realm, pick a milk that makes your taste buds do a happy dance. Cheers to finding your perfect vegan cortado to match!

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Make Cortado Coffee

Discover the art of crafting the perfect cortado coffee, a harmonious balance of rich espresso and warm, velvety steamed milk. In this unique process, we’ll guide you through creating this delightful coffeehouse classic from the comfort of your own kitchen.


  1. High-quality espresso beans (freshly ground)
  2. Fresh, cold water
  3. Whole milk (preferably whole for creaminess)
  4. Granulated sugar (optional)
  5. Cocoa powder or cinnamon (optional, for garnish)


  1. Espresso Machine
  2. Coffee Grinder: To grind your espresso beans just before brewing.
  3. Tamper: To evenly pack your coffee grounds in the portafilter.
  4. Portafilter and Basket: The vessel that holds the coffee grounds in the espresso machine.
  5. Frothing Pitcher: To steam and froth the milk.
  6. Steam Wand: Part of the espresso machine used to steam milk.
  7. Thermometer
  8. Espresso Cup or Glass

Espresso Elegance

Begin by pulling a shot of espresso using your espresso machine or chosen brewing method. Let that rich, dark elixir be your base.

Making cortado coffee: a shot of espresso using your espresso machine
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Making cortado coffee: Heat up an equal amount of milk until it's warm and velvety
Credits to Clive Coffee

Warm Embrace

Heat up an equal amount of hot milk, until it’s warm and velvety. This is the comforting hug your espresso deserves.

Dance of the Mix

Pour the espresso shot into a cup, setting the stage. Then, introduce the warm milk with a gentle pour, creating the perfect partnership.

Making cortado coffee: Pour the espresso shot into a cup, setting the stage. Then, introduce the warm milk
Credits to Emily Laurae
Reasons You Need to Know How to Make a Cortado

Stirring Serenity

Give your cortado glass a gentle stir, blending the two espresso shots and milk like two old friends catching up.

Savor and Smile

Lift the cup of espresso drink to your lips, take a slow sip, and let the flavors dance on your taste buds. This is your moment to savor the harmony you’ve created.

Making cortado coffee

Embark on the Cortado Journey Now that you’re equipped with the insider’s guide to crafting a sublime cortado, there’s no turning back. You’re ready to dive into the world of balanced flavors and smooth sips. Get ready to impress your taste buds and perhaps even become the cortado maestro among your friends. Let’s roll up those sleeves and create coffee magic like never before!

Can You Make a Cortado Without a Coffee Machine?

Absolutely, you can still whip up a delightful cortado even without a coffee machine. Here’s a DIY approach:

  1. Brew Strong Coffee: Start by brewing a strong cup of coffee using your preferred method. It could be a French press, AeroPress, Moka pot, or even a pour-over. Aim for a coffee concentrate that mimics the intensity of an espresso shot.

  2. Heat the Milk: Heat an equal amount of milk to your coffee concentrate. You can use a microwave or stovetop. Just make sure the milk is warm and slightly frothy.

  3. Mix and Match: Pour the brewed coffee concentrate into a cup. Then, gently pour in the warmed milk, aiming for that perfect espresso-to-milk ratio.

  4. Enjoy the Fusion: Voilà! You’ve created your homemade cortado. Sip, savor, and relish the harmony of flavors.

While it might not be exactly like the one from a fancy coffee shop, your DIY cortado can still capture the essence of the espresso-milk balance.

Key Considerations For Successfully Fine-Tuning Your Cortado Mastery

As you venture into the realm of crafting the perfect cortado, there are a few extra nuggets of wisdom to keep in mind. While the steps lay the foundation, these key considerations will elevate your coffee game:

  • Espresso Excellence: Your espresso shot is the hero here. Aim for a well-extracted shot with a balanced flavor profile. Tweak your grind size, dose, and extraction time to find that sweet spot.

  • Milk Temperature Ballet: Steaming milk might sound like a simple task, but nailing the temperature is crucial. Warm the milk until it’s just below boiling – around 150°F (65°C). This ensures it’s smooth and not scalded.

  • Ratio Rhapsody: The beauty of a cortado is in its precise ratio. The espresso and milk should be in harmonious equilibrium. Experiment with ratios, but a common one is 1:1 – one shot of espresso to an equal amount of milk.

Mastering these finer points ensures that your cortado remains the delightful experience you envisioned. The devil, or rather, the delight, is in these details. So, let your inner coffee artist shine and turn your cortado into a masterpiece worth savoring.

Wrapping Up

Sip, Savor, and Celebrate Your Triumph
There you have it, fellow coffee explorer – the art of crafting a sensational cortado is now at your fingertips. From pulling that perfect espresso shot to achieving the ideal balance with steamed milk, you’ve learned the dance steps to create a coffee symphony that’ll make your taste buds applaud.

As a coffee aficionado who lives and breathes all things coffee, I can attest to the joy of a well-made cortado. It’s like a little moment of serenity in a cup, where the boldness of espresso and the silky touch of almond milk can come together in harmonious unity. So, whether you’re starting your day or seeking a midday pick-me-up, remember the cortado’s embrace.

Keep experimenting, keep exploring coffee recipes, and keep sipping the good stuff. Your coffee journey is just beginning, and I’m here to guide you through every step of the way. From coffee beans to bourbon barrels and BBQ grills, I’m your partner in the world of delightful indulgence. Until next time! – Jl.Surjan

Disclosure: Our blog contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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