Friday, June 1, 2012

What is a Cortado?

One of my favorite espresso drinks is one that you cannot find everywhere.
It is perfect for fall and spring
(those in between weather seasons)
because it is a warm drink served cooler than most.

It is a cortado.

Cortado means "cut" in Spanish.
So in essence, the drink is espresso "cut" with milk.

The drink is hard to come by,
but my favorite local shop, The Coffee Ethic, let me invade their space so I could write about one of my favorite drinks right now.

The drink is comes in a 4 oz. shot glass with two shots of espresso and steamed milk.
This makes it in between the size and strength of a macchiato and a cappuccino

The milk is steamed a little cooler than a macchiato
but with the consistency of milk in a latte.

This basically means that it is thinner or has less foam
but served at a low temp.

I LOVE cortados!

They are beautiful, Spanish and yummy,
and they are perfect for those days when you cannot decide between hot and iced coffee.

I highly recommend them.
(especially from The Coffee Ethic)


All photos were taken by me, and the drink was made by Mallory McWilliams, Barista at The Coffee Ethic.

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  1. Lovely:)

    And I definitely agree, cortados are delicious.

  2. Mmm. Sounds tasty. The closest I might ever get to one of those is a macchiato. It's sad though, that there is barely any different between a latte and a macchiato at Starbucks. I asked someone who baristas on campus, and he said the only difference is that they don't mix the milk in. Dumb.

    I'm starting to find all the good coffee shops in Tucson (there aren't too many).

  3. How does this differ from a piccolo latte?

  4. Sorry for the belated response! A cortado and a piccolo latte are essentially the same drink. Piccolo latte means "baby milk" or "baby latte" in this instance. The cortado originated in Spanish speaking countries and means "cut" with espresso. Piccolo latte is used most frequently to refer to this drink in Australia. Hope this helps!

  5. Well you sold me, I am going to go and get a Cortado right now. I just had a lovely macchiato but I do believe a cortado sounds right lovely. This lovely little place in Dayton Ohio serves traditional style coffee beverages, Press. Very wonderful atmosphere and the prices are reasonable for the quality.

  6. The difference is that the milk in a cortado is warmed whereas in a latte or macchiato it is steamed.

  7. Interesting, Roger! At the cafe that I worked at, we steamed the milk for cortados as well. I guess it depends on the coffee shop or region.

  8. I was addicted to a shop in Pensacola that made cortadito. Sugar caramelized with fresh espresso then blended with steamed milk. I'm pretty sure I could levitate after drinking one of those.

  9. Hello Coffee Girl!
    So happy to wander into your Blogspace!
    The Cortado is my most favorite drink, and I really enjoyed your photos and insight. For example, I didn't yet know that "cortado" in Spanish, translates to "cut" in English. Very cool, and good to know. I have been sampling all of the independent coffee shops here in Boston, and finding that there are many great offerings. I only wish the shops up my way, about 45 minutes north of the city, would start buying these glasses and pouring these drinks!
    ...Because it should be noted, that the glass is 40-60% of the experience!