The Spanish word for "cut", the Cortado is one of the most exclusive espresso drinks you can order. Why a majority of coffee shops don't have it on the menu is a mystery. Simply put, a Cortado is an espresso that has been “cut” by an equal amount of steamed milk. It is true, that a cortado can be 1 oz of milk with a single shot of espresso, yet life is too short for a single shot of espresso. Two ounces of espresso topped with two ounces of warm milk served in a glass or metal cup with no sugar or flavors.
Coming to the United States from Spain, via Portugal, it arrived in San Francisco and quickly spread throughout the country. You may have heard of its cousin, the Gibraltar, which got its name because it is served in a Gibraltar glass mug, which is 1/2 of an ounce more milk.
The Cortado's is for those who enjoy an espresso forward taste and like to enjoy sipping on their coffee. It's a perfect balance between espresso and milk that has a silky texture and flavorful finish. If it's not on the menu, you should be able to order one and don't expect latte art. Next time you visit your local coffee house, ask for one and enjoy the morning differently.
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