For espresso and coffee lovers looking to try something new, cortado at Starbucks may be just the drink.
Many coffee aficionados swear by cortado – a strong, espresso-based coffee beverage that originated in Spain.
But what is a cortado? Does Starbucks have it on the menu? And how can you order one?
This article sheds light on a cortado and provides all the information you need to make this drink part of your coffee routine at Starbucks.
Let’s dive in.
What Is a Cortado at Starbucks?
Cortado is an espresso-based coffee, traditionally made with a double espresso shot and two ounces of steamed milk.
The milk is added in a way that creates an even layer on top, making it look like espresso with a “cap” of milk.
The result is a smooth espresso drink that has just the right amount of espresso and milk to give it a full coffee flavor with a creamy texture.
This espresso-based beverage is usually served in a small glass cup, known as a Gibraltar.
Cortado is one of the only espresso drinks that has a bit of history behind it. It hails from Spain, and local coffee shops have been serving it for centuries.
The name “cortado” is derived from the Spanish verb “cortar,” which means to cut.
The name itself refers to how the steamed milk “cuts” through the espresso and creates a smooth, creamy texture.
Today, this beverage is one of the most popular espresso drinks in the world and a favorite of coffee connoisseurs everywhere.
You can find cortado at a local coffee shop near you, but does Starbucks have it?
Does Starbucks Have a Cortado?
In the US, Starbucks does not offer cortado on its menu. In other countries, like the UK, you can find cortado on the menu. However, it’s not a true cortado as the recipe is slightly different.
The UK version is made with two ristretto espresso shots topped with warm, silky steamed milk.
This espresso-based drink is served in a six-ounce cup and has a strong espresso flavor with a creamy texture.
A traditional cortado, as I mentioned before, is made with equal parts espresso and steamed or lightly textured milk.
This beverage is served in a smaller cup, usually a four-ounce Gibraltar glass.
The UK version, while still delicious, does not provide the same espresso-to-milk ratio that you get in a traditional cortado.
So, although the UK Starbucks menu does list Cortado, it’s not the same as a true Spanish cortado.
In the US menu, unfortunately, you will not find cortado. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still order something similar at Starbucks.
If you’re looking for a closer-to-cortado experience, there are a few options you can choose from.
How to Order a Cortado at Starbucks
If you’re looking to get something close to a cortado, here are the steps on how to order it at Starbucks.
- Start with a double shot of espresso.
- Ask for 2 ounces of steamed milk.
- Request for a splash of cream for added texture and taste.
- Ask your barista to layer the steamed milk on top of the espresso and add a splash of cream.
- Ask for it to be served in a small, four-ounce cup.
Note that Starbucks may not be familiar with the drink, so make sure you explain it clearly and accurately.
The barista may also suggest an espresso macchiato instead, which is a similar espresso drink.
Espresso macchiato is made with one part espresso and two parts foam instead of steamed milk.
While this is an interesting option, it doesn’t have the same texture and flavor as a cortado.
Other Coffee Drinks You Can Try
In addition to espresso macchiato, there are a few more delicious coffee drinks that are close to cortado.
You can also order a flat white, which is a favorite of coffee connoisseurs everywhere.
This drink is essentially the same as cortado but with more milk.
A flat white is made with two shots of espresso and four ounces of steamed milk, making it a bit creamier than a cortado.
This translates to a ratio of 1:2 espresso to milk, rather than the 1:1 ratio that you get with a cortado.
To make it more like a cortado, ask the barista to reduce the milk by half, making it two ounces of steamed milk and one shot of espresso.
This will give you equal parts milk and espresso, giving you the true cortado experience.
You can also order a piccolo latte, a smaller version of a traditional latte.
This espresso drink is made with one shot of espresso and 2 to 3 ounces of steamed milk. It’s served in a small cup, usually around 4 ounces.
This drink is similar to a cappuccino but with less foam and more milk.
To make it a bit closer to the original cortado recipe, ask the barista to reduce the milk slightly, making it 2 ounces of steamed milk and 1 shot of espresso.
This will give you a ratio close to the traditional 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk.
Final Thoughts: How Do I Order a Cortado at Starbucks?
While you won’t find a cortado on the US Starbucks menu, you can certainly still order a close alternative.
To get an experience as close to traditional cortado as possible, ask the barista for a double shot of espresso with 2 ounces of steamed milk on the side.
Ask for a splash of cream to add some texture and additional flavor.
You can also ask for latte art on the top, which will really make your drink stand out. Finally, ask for your drink to be served in a small 4-ounce cup.
Once the barista is finished with your order, you’ll have a cortado-like espresso drink that will truly be unique and enjoyable.
So, next time you’re at Starbucks, don’t be afraid to try something new and order a cortado-like drink that you can truly enjoy.
Is a Cortado the Same as a Flat White?
The difference between a flat white and a cortado is that the flat white has more milk, which makes it slightly creamier. But both drinks have a strong coffee flavor and a creamy texture.
Are Cortado and Macchiato the Same?
No, a cortado is not the same as an espresso macchiato. A cortado is made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, whereas a macchiato is made with one part espresso and two parts foam.
What Is Another Name for a Cortado?
The second name for a cortado is “Gibraltar.” This is because the drink is usually served in a small glass called the Gibraltar Glass, which is 4.5 ounces. The name was coined in San Francisco around 2005.
Is Cortado a Single Shot?
A traditional cortado contains two shots of espresso, though you can customize the order to make it a single shot. To make it a single shot, you’ll need to use one shot of espresso and an ounce of steamed milk, resulting in a 1:1 ratio.
What Is a Cortado Coffee vs Latte?
A cortado is a coffee drink that is made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk, while a latte contains two shots of espresso and 3 ounces of steamed milk with a small layer of foam on top. The latte also has more sweetness than a cortado, whereas the cortado will have a stronger taste of coffee.
What Are the Ingredients in a Cortado?
The two main ingredients in a cortado are espresso and steamed milk, with the ratio being 1:1.
Can You Make Cortado With Moka Pot?
If you don’t have an espresso machine, you can make a cortado with a Moka pot. A Moka pot is an excellent alternative for making espresso-based drinks at home. You’ll need to use two servings of espresso and two ounces of steamed milk to get the traditional 1:1 ratio.