Cortado Recipe (Creamy & Delicious)

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There are many espresso drinks with the two essential ingredients of espresso and milk. The different varieties can all look similar if you are not sure what details to look out for.

Amongst espresso drinks, the cortado is becoming increasingly popular. Nowadays, you can find it on the menu at almost every coffee shop. Luckily, a cortado is also one of the easiest espresso-based drinks to make, and you will not need expensive equipment to prepare it.

Ready to get started? In this cortado recipe, we will guide you step by step on making a creamy cortado at home that you will be able to enjoy whenever you wish.

What is a Cortado?

Cortar is a Spanish word for “cut” and cortado is an espresso drink “cut” by an equal amount of milk. The beverage is originally from Spain but is now popular worldwide and is an excellent choice for espresso lovers who prefer a strong coffee taste.

A typical drink contains espresso and warm milk in a one-to-one ratio. The milk in the cortado is steamed and helps to reduce the acidity of the espresso.

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Differences Between Drinks

There are many different espresso-based coffee drinks out there to choose from, but there’s no other drink that’s “cut” the same way as the cortado. In one of our previous cortado coffee comparisons, you can read out about the difference between macchiato and cortado.

Difference Between a Cortado and a Latte

These two drinks could be easily confused. Both the cortado and the latte contain the same amount of double espresso shot. Although for the latte, they sometimes use only a single shot of espresso. The main difference is that the cortado has an equal amount of steamed milk to the espresso. In comparison, the latte contains three or four times more milk compared to the cortado.

Difference Between a Cortado and a Cortadito

A Cortadito is a sweet Cuban espresso made by a pre-sweetened espresso shot topped off with steamed milk. They add the sugar into the top of the Moka pot, where the espresso will brew into crema.  Some recipes add frothed milk to the sweetened coffee, but some variations are made without frothed milk.

Simple Cortado Recipe

Cortado coffee served with animal crackers
Image Credit: Bex Walton, Flickr

Prep Time:  3 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Servings: 2 drinks


  • Coffee grinder
  • Milk steamer
  • Espresso machine or a Moka pot



Two double espressos for making cortados
  1. Grind the coffee in a fine setting.
  2. Brew a double shot of espresso.
  3. Steam 2 ounces of milk. You want the ratio of milk to coffee to be one to one. Make sure there is no foam.
  4. Slowly pour the milk over the espresso.
  5. Serve and enjoy your cortado with funny coffee day memes.


Serving Size: 1

Amount per serving: Calories: 50

How to Drink a Cortado

Two coffee cortados served on saucers with coffee spoons.

Your new favorite espresso drink will taste best if you sip it slowly. Expect a sophisticated coffee experience where you don’t want to rush. Just enjoy the perfect balance of coffee and milk, its taste, and its texture. Also, don’t forget to view our hilarious coffee memes with your cortado.

Benefits Of the Cortado

Cortados are notably easy to make at home. This gives a significant advantage to a cortado vs a flat white, and to a cortado vs cappuccino. These drinks require a careful frothing technique to get the desired smooth & creamy milk structure. In the absence of expert frothing techniques and tools, getting the right amount and density of microfoam is challenging. The cortado reigns supreme at home unless you are an experienced home barista.

Another benefit of the cortado is that you will enjoy a four-ounce drink with a double shot of espresso. This makes it one of the most caffeine-packed drinks except a straight espresso. If you need to study or work late, the cortado will give you the much sought-after boost.

At the same time, a straight espresso might be overly intense for some, and cortado is the happy balance for many coffee drinkers.


We hope you enjoyed our quick guide to cortados and that you will try our cortado recipe at home. The cortado is one of the best espresso drinks because it does not require special frothing techniques or lots of practice to master.

It’s also a superb option if you want a quick energy boost from a double espresso without drinking espresso straight. Because the cortado is half espresso and half milk, it combines a powerful caffeine boost with the balance of smooth steamed milk.

Simple to make and lot’s of fun to drink. Feel free to test and share this recipe with your family and fellow coffee lovers. Enjoy your cortado, and remember to sip it slowly!