Love espresso, but need just a bit of milk to cut through the bitterness and acidity? Then a cortado is your coffee drink of choice. These little drinks are made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, perfectly blended together for a bold, yet balanced cup.
Due to their small size, cortados cool quickly. If you want a little more time to sip and savor, we recommend enjoying your cortado at 135°F in a temperature-controlled Ember Mug!
A cortado is a small espresso-based drink that gets its name from the Spanish cortar or “to cut.” As the name suggests, the small amount of milk is meant to “cut” through the espresso, blending throughout the drink and balancing the bitterness. Not to be confused with its close cousins, the macchiato and the flat white, a cortado truly is its own thing. Flat whites are similar, but contain a few more ounces of milk. And whereas a macchiato simply tops espresso with milk foam, a cortado incorporates steamed milk throughout the espresso and doesn’t feature foam.
While drinks like lattes and cappuccinos can vary in size, cortados are almost always the same size at any coffee shop. By its nature, a cortado is one part espresso to one part steamed milk, so there’s not much room for variance here. Because most cafés make cortados with a double shot of espresso (about 2 oz), a cortado is almost always 4 oz.
For a deeper dive into the different drinks on your favorite cafés menu, see our full guide to The 7 Most Popular Espresso Drinks.