Cortado vs Gibraltar: The Only Difference That Matters

Cortado vs Gibraltar The Only Difference That Matters

Espresso is one of the most popular coffee drinks in the world. A lot of variations of coffee could never be made if it wasn’t for espresso.

It’s the top ingredient of most coffees like Cortado and Gibraltar.

But what is the difference between these two espresso-based drinks? If you’re wondering and searching for the answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’re going to talk about Cortado vs Gibraltar.

This article will help you realize the differences between these two coffee drinks flavors and help you decide which to get next time you enter a coffee shop.

What is a Cortado coffee?

A Cortado coffee is a Spanish coffee drink made with equal parts espresso drink and milk. (Typically, double shot of espresso and 2 ounces of milk).

This coffee is usually served in a small cup (4.5 ounce/133 ml) and originated in Spain.

If you like coffee with milk like a latte, but you ideally like something more robust than it, then Cortado coffee will work for you.

With its balanced combination of coffee and steamed milk, you can be confident that the milk will not overpower the coffee’s strength and will be just enough to make it creamy and cut the acidity and bitterness from the coffee.

A cortado coffee is made with 1:1 coffee and milk. 

That is also why it is called a cortado, which is a Spanish word meaning “cut.”

What is a Gibraltar coffee?

In the simplest terms, a Gibraltar coffee is a Cortado coffee served in a Gibraltar glass.

This means that Gibraltar coffee and Cortado coffee are identical in terms of ingredients and preparation but differ only in the glass used to serve it.

Gibraltar cup emptied of a cortado

A Gibraltar glass is a glass tumbler with a narrow or diminished bottom. It holds 4.5 ounces of beverage which makes it ideal for holding a 1:1 ratio of coffee and steamed milk.

Gibraltar coffee originated in San Francisco and was first introduced by Blue Bottle Coffee Company; and also became popular in other coffee shops in San Francisco.

Cortado vs Gibraltar: The only difference

As we already mentioned, both cortado coffee and Gibraltar coffee use the same ingredients.

Some argue that the cortado coffee contains only one shot of espresso and one ounce of milk, whereas Gibraltar contains two shots of espresso and two ounces of milk.

Although this may be true, it is dependent on the preferences of the person who makes it or the menu of the coffee shop where it is made.

Nonetheless, as long as the ratio is the same, both coffees will taste the same.

So, the only difference we see here is that the glass is used to serve it.

A Cortado coffee is served in a traditional rock glass, whereas Gibraltar is served in a Gibraltar glass tumbler.

The Gibraltar is served in a Gibraltar glass tumbler.

It’s also where the name of this coffee came from.

What does a Gibraltar taste like?

A Gibraltar coffee tastes very similar to a Cortado coffee.

In fact, if you already had a Cortado coffee, then you had a Gibraltar too.

It’s a robust coffee that’s also very creamy due to the steamed milk on it.

Gibraltar and Cortado coffee is also served with a little (0.5 cm) milk foam on top.

A Gibraltar coffee has the same taste as Cortado 

It adds a soft and foamy mouthfeel to the coffee, which makes it very enjoyable to sip.

How to make a Cortado with espresso and milk?

Making a Cortado and Gibraltar coffee is very easy. 

To make a Cortado coffee, you should:

  1. Make a double shot of espresso coffee. You can easily do this with the help of an espresso café machine, which is the simplest way to make one, but it is a little pricey to own, so if you don’t have one, you can still make a Cortado coffee using a Moka pot or Aeropress.
  2. Prepare 2 ounces of steamed or condensed milk in a mug. Again, an espresso machine with a steamed wand will come in handy. If you don’t have any, a whisk will suffice.
  3. Put it in a Gibraltar tumbler – step if you want to make Gibraltar coffee.

There you have it, the fluid 2-in-1 Cortado and Gibraltar coffee recipe. Making these espresso drinks are relatively easy, and you can easily replicate them at home.


To sum up, Gibraltar and Cortado coffee are just the same when it comes to the content of these drinks.

The only difference is the glass where it serves.

But why does it matter? Well, using the Gibraltar tumbler for your coffee can give you a different feel of excitement, elegance, and vibes.

But whatever espresso drink you choose, you can have the same taste.

Gibraltar Rocks

I hope this article was able to help you differentiate the two and decide which coffee drink to get the next time you enter a coffee bar.


Is Gibraltar a cortado?

Yes. Gibraltar coffee is a Cortado coffee served in a Gibraltar tumbler, which also inspired the name. However, both coffees have the same flavor, caffeine and ingredients.

Is a cortado the same as a macchiato?

No. Cortado and macchiato are not the same things – different methods coffee drinks. A macchiato is a shot of espresso topped with a thick layer of milk foam. A Cortado coffee, on the other hand, is made with equal parts espresso and steamed milk.

Is flat white the same as cortado?

No. Flat white and cortado are not the same coffee drink. The flat white is made with one part espresso and two parts milk, while the cortado is made with the same amount of milk and espresso.

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