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What Is


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The cortado coffee is a newcomer to the world of coffee, with it only popping up on coffee shop boards in the last few years or so. Due to its smaller size, many often get it confused with a flat white but it’s actually quite different. If you’re thinking about branching out and trying a new coffee type, you’ll probably be wondering what is a cortado and what the key differences are. Keep reading to find out all you need to know…

Cortado coffee

What is a cortado coffee?

Unlike other coffee types the milk isn’t texturised and instead, Cortado coffee is made with lightly steamed milk, no froth or foam. The steamed milk on top reduces the acidity of the coffee and creates a micro-foam which doesn’t separate from the espresso, giving it a strong and rich flavour.

cortado coffee

Cortado origins

There’s not much known about the origins of the cortado, aside from the fact that it came from Spain’s Basque Country. It’s also popular in Portugal and Latin America, where it’s commonly enjoyed as an afternoon treat.
cortado coffee

A cortado is not dissimilar to a macchiato. Both contain the same amount of espresso, except the macchiato has a little less milk and is a bit smaller, which results in a slightly more bitter taste.

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Differences between a cortado and a flat white

A cortado is generally smaller than a flat white and possesses a much stronger taste due to the lightly steamed milk. Additionally, the flat white can be likened to a small latte as it has textured milk, making it hotter with a much thicker taste.

cortado coffee

Cortado vs macchiato

A cortado is not too dissimilar to a macchiato. They both contain the same amount of espresso, except the macchiato has a little less milk and is slightly smaller in volume. This results in a slightly more bitter taste. That’s our guide to what is a cortado. Want to explore more irresistible coffee types and find your new favourite? Discover what is a café au lait, next.

cortado coffee

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