Everybody, even coffee-haters, know what is latte, americano or cappuccino. But even among coffee-lovers, only a few people know what a cortado really is. Although it is nothing less than one of the most common coffee drinks of our time, especially in its motherland – Spain.
Cortado is a coffee brewed on the basis of two main ingredients: milk and espresso. But, despite the apparent simplicity, this drink will pleasantly surprise you with its originality, taste and aroma. This joe will force you to take another fresh look at traditional coffee. If you tried cortado at least once, you will never forget its amazing taste and delicate aroma. It will become your favorite dessert which not only gives a lot of pleasure, but also conveys vigor and strong energy.
Want to know more about cortado coffee? OK, that was a silly question. Of course, you do. Keep reading.
Cortado Coffee Drink: origin, features
As mentioned, cortado originated from Spain and, actually, the name of the drink comes from the Spanish word “cortar”, which stands for “cut”. In terms of coffee, it means that a serving of espresso has been “cut” (diluted) by an equal or slightly larger portion of steamed milk. In our case milk helps to “cut” the acidity of the espresso.
Interestingly that in each country cortado drink has different names with small modifications of the recipe, for example: in Cuba it is a cortadito (with added sugar while coffee is brewed), in France – a cafe noisette (it has hazelnut color), in Portugal – garoto (espresso with milk).
In the USA our today’s hero is known as a cortado. But on the West coast cortado is widespread as “Gibraltar” due to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. Coffee beverage is served in a small Libbey Gibraltar rock glass, hence the name.
So, a cortado is made of a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of steamed milk. It is usually served in small cups, almost with no or with a very small amount of foam. Here is the hallmark of cortado – no frothy milk consistency – it gives a drink so soft creamy taste… Mmm…
The equality of espresso and milk allows to better feel a strong coffee taste, without interrupting it, which is not inherent to latte, for example. This drink will appeal to those people who cannot imagine coffee without milk.
How To Make A Cortado
Despite a simple set of ingredients, the cortado recipe has certain subtleties and secrets in the method of its preparation:
- To get its classic version, milk should be heated at a temperature higher than 100 degrees Celsius. It is very essential because only at this temperature the milk acquires the consistency of liquid foam with a silky texture. Otherwise, the aroma will be different and you won’t get an original taste. We recommend using fresh full-fat milk to get the perfect milk consistency.
- You should also strictly adhere to the proportions of the main ingredients: as explained earlier espresso and milk ratio shall be 1:1.
- Also it is important to pour milk into coffee, but in no case vice versa. Coffee and milk do not mix, but arrange layers, which results in a soft transition from dark coffee color to light milk.
- After the drink is settled down, you may notice the silky texture of milk and espresso, combined with 0.5cm micro-foam on top.
Such coffee is served in a prewarmed high glass cup. Sugar is optional. Sometimes baristas add some foam on top and make latte art, but it’s not typical for this drink.
Cortado is not as strong as macchiato and espresso, and is not so overwhelmed by milk, like cappuccino and latte. Thus it’s gonna be a perfect drink for relaxed mornings. It is designed to be slowly sipped and enjoyed.
Tell us about your experience of trying a cortado! Did you enjoy it? Or maybe you’re a fan of highly-popular big frappuccinos and flavored lattes?