How To Make Your Own Delicious Cortadito Coffee
Recipes Cortadito Coffee

Start Every Morning Right Making Your Own Delicious Cortadito Coffee

April 5, 2024 at 5:25 PM PST
Recipes Cortadito Coffee

Start Every Morning Right Making Your Own Delicious Cortadito Coffee

April 5, 2024 at 5:25 PM PST

Cortadito coffee is a popular Cuban espresso-based beverage. It’s essentially a type of coffee that’s made by combining espresso with steamed milk, similar to a café con leche but in smaller proportions. The word “cortadito” means “cut” in Spanish, referring to the way the espresso is “cut” or diluted with a small amount of milk. Typically, it’s served in a small cup, similar to an espresso cup. The ratio of espresso to milk can vary depending on personal preference, but it’s generally heavier on the espresso side compared to a traditional café con leche. Cortadito is known for its strong, rich flavor with a hint of sweetness from the steamed milk.

Cortadito Coffee vs Cortado Coffee

Some of the health benefits of mushroom coffee include a boosted immune system and fewer heart issues. Pictured: A latte

You may also know of cortado coffee, which is different from cortadito coffee. Cortadito coffee and cortado coffee are similar in many ways, but there are some subtle differences in technique and main differences in origin.

Origin and Geographic Influence

Cortadito coffee is a traditional Cuban beverage, while cortado coffee is a Spanish beverage. Cortado coffee is more commonly found in Spanish-speaking regions like Spain and Latin America, while cortadito is predominantly associated with Cuban culture.

Ratio of Espresso to Milk

Both beverages contain espresso and steamed milk, but the ratio of espresso to milk differs slightly. In a cortadito, the espresso is typically cut with a larger proportion of milk compared to a cortado. Cortado usually has a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio of espresso to milk, while cortadito tends to have a higher proportion of milk, resulting in a slightly sweeter and creamier taste.

Serving Size

Cortado coffee is typically served in a small glass, while cortadito coffee is often served in a smaller cup similar to an espresso cup. So essentially, while both cortadito coffee and cortado coffee share similarities in their preparation with espresso and steamed milk, their differences lie in the specific ratios, serving sizes, and cultural associations.

How To Make Cortadito Coffee With an Espresso Machine and Milk Steamer

To make cortadito coffee, you’ll need espresso and steamed milk. Here’s a basic recipe:


  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1-2 ounces of steamed milk
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons or desired amount of sugar (optional)


  1. Start by brewing a shot of espresso using an espresso machine. Make sure the espresso is strong and flavorful.
  2. While the espresso is brewing, steam the milk using a milk steamer or frother until it reaches a creamy consistency. The milk should be hot but not boiling.
  3. Pour the shot of espresso into a small cup or glass.
  4. Carefully pour the steamed milk into the espresso, using a spoon to hold back the foam if desired. The ratio of milk to espresso can vary depending on your preference, but for a cortadito, you may want to use a bit more milk than you would for a traditional cortado. The ratio is usually around 1 part milk to 1 part espresso.
  5. Optionally, add sugar to taste as cortadito is often served with a touch of sweetness.
  6. Stir the espresso and milk together gently to combine.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade cortadito coffee!

Again, cortadito is traditionally served in smaller cups, similar to espresso cups. Adjust the proportions of espresso and milk to suit your taste preferences, and feel free to experiment with different types of milk and sweeteners to customize your cortadito to perfection.

How To Make Cortadito Coffee Without an Espresso Machine or Milk Steamer

If you don’t have an espresso machine or a milk steamer, you can still make a version of cortadito coffee using alternative methods. Here’s a simplified recipe:


  • Strong brewed coffee (about 2 ounces)
  • 2 ounces of milk (whole milk or any milk of your choice)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons or desired amount of sugar (optional)


  1. Brew a strong cup of coffee using your preferred method. You can use a French press, AeroPress, Moka pot or any other method that produces a strong coffee concentrate.
  2. Heat the milk in a small saucepan on the stove over medium-low heat. Heat the milk until it is hot but not boiling, and small bubbles start to form around the edges of the saucepan. Alternatively, you can heat the milk in a microwave-safe container in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds.
  3. Froth the milk: If you have a handheld milk frother, you can use it to froth the hot milk. Simply insert the frother into the milk and froth until it becomes foamy. If you don’t have a frother, you can vigorously whisk the hot milk with a whisk or shake it in a tightly sealed jar until frothy.
  4. Pour the strong brewed coffee into a small cup or glass.
  5. Carefully pour the frothed milk over the coffee, using a spoon to hold back the foam if desired. You can adjust the ratio of coffee to milk based on your preference.
  6. Add sugar to taste and stir to dissolve.
  7. Serve immediately and enjoy your homemade cortadito-style coffee!

While this method may not produce the exact same flavor and texture as a traditional cortadito coffee made with espresso and steamed milk, it’s a simple way to create a similar beverage without specialized equipment. Adjust the ingredients and proportions to suit your taste preferences.



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