Despite the variations of fresh coffee making the rounds at Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and other popular coffee outlets, there are certain drinks that catch our attention. And most of the time, these drinks are among the not-so-popular ones. Cortado is one of them.
And because the hype is on espresso-based drinks nowadays, we can’t but mention Cortado in a casual debate on best-made traditional drinks. This is evident in the Cortado vs latte comparison. And if you’re enthusiastic, like me, about making your homemade coffee, I have written a well-detailed guide below on how to make a perfect Cortado.
But before then…
What is a Cortado Coffee?
A Cortado is a small-sized, espresso-made hot coffee, famously combined with warm milk. It is rooted in a Spanish word, “Corta”, which means “(to) cut” — meaning that the milk is on par with the espresso. Not many coffees are brewed with an equal amount of espresso and milk in a 1:1 ratio. This makes an interesting pick especially if you consider a straight espresso shot too strong and acidic. In addition to that, a cortado doesn’t make as much foam as most other traditional beverages.
On this note, here are some important things you should know about making Cortado Coffee:
Know These Things Before Making Cortado
- To make the perfect Cortado, begin with the right espresso. Although popular flavors like Arabica can be tempting, for this purpose, not-so-scented flavors like Robusta beans will work best for you. And this is because you’re combining them equally with milk.
- Cortado coffees are known to have nutty and well-roasted flavors. If you prefer to roast your espresso, a French roast is recommended because it blends beautifully with the milk.
- Most baristas use an all-around choice like whole milk, particularly because it steams the best. However, for a vegan, oat milk is the best-recommended option.
- A traditional Cortado does not require sugar. But if you’d like to add some, a little is fine.
Having perfected that, you’ll need the equipment and ingredients below to get started on a sweet-tasting Cortado drink.
What you’ll need:
- Espresso Machine
- (Robusta) Coffee Beans
- Coffee Grinder
- Whole Milk (or non-dairy, such as oat)
- Milk Steamer/Thermometer
- Hot Water
- Fresh Coffee Beans (between 7 and 14 days is preferable)
Now that your ingredients are in place, let’s get to work:
Making a Cortado; Easy Steps
- Grind the Coffee Beans: To make a perfect espresso, well-ground Robusta beans are the perfect pick. And for this process, a burr coffee grinder is preferable, to ensure smooth particles on the portafilter.
- Tamp the Beans: To tamp, use a tamper. A tamper is a small round weight that looks like a stamp — but with a handle. The tamper will help press the grounded coffee into an even disc — ready to be brewed.
- Make a Single (or Double) Espresso Shot: Place the portafilter containing the grounds into the espresso machine. Then put on your espresso machine with a switch or a button (depending on the design) and pull one or two shots of espresso.
- Steam the Milk: You can go ahead with steaming your whole milk after the extraction process. This may be a little tricky because you’ll need to steam an equal amount of milk with the espresso.
Now, for an espresso shot, steam 85ml of milk; that’s about 150°F for steaming. Of course, your milk measurement will be doubled for two shots.
- Pour the steamed milk into the espresso: You may likely have leftovers since you’re keen on a 1:1 ratio.
- Serve warm.
And there, you have it!
Your Cortado is not complete without a clean Gibraltar glass: This is a small glass traditionally used to drink the Cortado in cafès. Depending on your choice, you can combine this sweet-tasting drink with vegan bacon, donut, scrambled eggs or tofu, crepes, bagels, or waffles, while gracefully sipping through Gibraltar. And while you have a splendid time, you can check our website for another wholesome coffee experience.