What is a Cortado?

In the UK, the term Cortado found its way into coffee stores only in the last few years. This is interpreted differently in different stores. So, if you are therefore wondering “What is a Cortado?”, you’ve come to the right place for the answer.

A Cortado is a typically a double espresso that’s been cut with milk.
What is a cortado

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This coffee has its origin in Spain. The Spanish verb “cortar” means “to cut”. The Cortado refers to cutting or diluting the intensity of the espresso with milk.

Admire Latte Art

Cafes and coffee chains have a variety of interpretations of this drink. A standard for a Cortado, if there is such a thing, is to have a double espresso topped with textured milk and often awesome latte art.

What is a cortado

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This is a coffee where the acidity of the coffee has been diluted with the milk. However, it isn’t so dilute as to become milky like a cappuccino or latte.

If you’ve been realising that cappuccinos are too milky but also don’t like the bitterness of an espresso, you should try the Cortado. This is however not necessarily available either on the board or in all coffee shops.

Coffee stores may not have a "Cortado"

If you don’t find the Cortado or you walk into a store that asks you back “What is a Cortado”, then the closest is to ask for a double espresso with hot milk on the side. Add the hot milk into the espresso and mix to the strength that you like.

What is a cortado

Source:iStockphoto

You may also want to try a Macchiato which tastes different because of the use of milk foam.

Read our definitive guide on the different types of coffee if you have more questions on other types of coffee.  ​