Cortadito Coffee: What is it & How to Make it? (With recipe)

Cortadito Coffee What is it & How to Make it

Let me guess when you first heard about this coffee; you’ve probably thought about the Spanish cortado coffee. Well, you’re not alone.

Many people, including me, thought that at first, too. And it’s normal because not only are their names similar but the coffees themselves as well.

But what makes the Cuban Cortadito coffee different and special from the cortado coffee? And how to make it?

If you’re searching for the answer to those questions, then look no further! Because in this article, we’re going to learn all about Cortadito coffee.

What is a Cortadito coffee?

Cortadito coffee originated in Cuba.

A Cortadito coffee is made with espresso, sugar, and steamed milk.

This coffee is a little similar to the Spanish cortado coffee, but there’s one thing that sets it apart, which we will discuss later in this article.

Cortadito coffee was invented in Cuba. Cuban espresso is strong, which is why adding steamed milk to it became popular.

By doing so, you can also cut down the acidity of the espresso. And that’s how the story of Cortadito coffee begins.

A cortadito is a similar with the Spanish cortado coffee.

Cortadito espresso coffee recipe

The cortadito coffee recipe is relatively simple.

Before we get into the detailed process, let’s first talk about the recipe for this coffee.

Getting the right ingredients is essential to properly replicate it even at home.

Here is the recipe needed to make a Cortadito coffee:

  1. 2 shots of espresso – One of the main ingredients in a Cortadito is espresso. 

It’s not super difficult to make, especially if you have an espresso machine coffee at home. But espresso machines are pretty expensive, so we understand if you may not have one.

If this is the case, don’t give up! You can also use a Moka pot (on low to medium heat) or an Aeropress to make concentrated espresso-like coffee instead.

  1. 2 teaspoons of either white or brown sugar

What make Cuban espresso different from other espresso-based drinks in the world is that it’s also mixed with sugar. This will make the espresso coffee sweet.

  1. Steamed milk/Evaporated milk

The last ingredient you need to have is milk. Leaving the sugar and espresso shots alone will only give you a normal Cuban coffee. But adding milk to it will result in a tasty Cortadito coffee. Some use evaporated milk warmed on the stove top.

Once you have those ingredients, you can now start making a Cortadito coffee. Check out the detailed recipe here.

How to make a Cortadito with milk

It's very easy to create even at home.

To prepare a Cortadito coffee, you need to:

  1. Make double espresso shots
  2. Place 2 teaspoons of sugar in a small cup, then pour a small amount of espresso, enough to dissolve it.
  3. Using a whisk, start mixing until the sugar dissolves.
  4. When it’s already dissolved, pour the remaining coffee into the coffee cup.
  5. Add the condensed milk at the top, and enjoy your Cortadito!

Just like the cortado coffee, which has 50% espresso and 50% milk, the Cortadito coffee also uses a 1:1 ratio of espresso and milk. You need to follow this ratio to make a perfect cup.

You see, making a Cortadito coffee is as easy as that. You can now start making one!

Cortadito vs Cortado Coffee

We mentioned cortado coffee earlier in this article, which is somewhat similar to Cortadito coffee.

There were numerous similarities between the two coffees. First, consider the milk-to-coffee ratio.

Both the Cortado and Cortadito coffee are made with half ground coffee and half milk. And both use espresso Cuban style as their main ingredient.

The only difference we see here is that the Cortadito uses a pre-sweetened espresso shot and Cortado doesn’t.

They do this by mixing sugar into espresso before even topping it with evaporated milk, just like what we discussed in the sections above.

Other than that, both coffees are great pick-me-ups every morning.

Is it good for you?

Yes, Cortadito is good for you. Coffee, in general, has many health benefits.

While a Cortadito coffee is prepared differently and contains additional ingredients, it is still a coffee and thus has the same health benefits as regular coffee.

The only concern for some is the sugar coffee cup content, as some people are strict about how much sugar they consume, and this coffee, in particular, uses regular brown or white sugar.

However, the amount of sugar in this coffee does not cause concern as it only has 2-4 teaspoons or 10-20 grams of sugar.

Yes! Coffee in general is good for you.


To conclude, to prepare a Cortadito coffee is very easy. Just pull your espresso shots, sugar, and evaporated milk.

Mix the sugar in the espresso until it dissolves and then add the steamed or heated condensed milk or evaporated milk.

You can now make a Cortadito or even a Cuban coffee anytime in the comfort of your home with our tips!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you found this article very helpful. Stay caffeinated, everyone!

making a cortadito coffee is very easy. Just pull your espresso shots, sugar, and evaporated milk


How much caffeine is in a Cortadito?

A Cortadito coffee contains 2 shots of espresso with 212 mg of caffeine. A Cortadito coffee contains the same amount of caffeine as espresso because there is no other source of caffeine in the ingredients other than the espresso itself.

Is Cuban coffee stronger than espresso?

No. Cuban coffee is an espresso with sugar, so the caffeine content of espresso and Cuban coffee is equivalent. Cuban coffee is not stronger but sweeter due to the sugar content.

Why is it called a Coffee Cortadito?

Cortadito is Spanish for “small cut.” Cortadito refers to the use of evaporated milk to cut the acidity, improve the texture, and reduce the bitterness of the coffee.

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