As of late, I was feeling as though I was at a crossroads. My beloved cappuccino was just a little too much milk for my afternoon pick-me-up, but I still wanted something warmer and more comforting than a simple shot of espresso. A macchiato (a shot of espresso marked with equal amounts milk — not the Starbucks mock-iato) wasn’t creamy enough for my afternoons, either. I had, of course, heard of a cortado — it’s nothing new or trendy. They’ve been drinking them in Spain for years.
In essence, the cortado is the Spanish lovechild of a macchiato and a cappuccino. It’s really all about ratio. The milk is used to cut the acidity of the espresso, but not too much. The espresso comes through to balance the milk, which is steamed more like a latte, with little-to-no foam. The milk is steamed at a lesser temperature as well, and it is served in a 5 to 7 oz. glass rather than ceramic. In this way, you simply cannot take a cortado to go, so relax and stay a while.
It’s small but perfectly satisfying; I often order two, it is just so good.
On your next trip to the cafe, order a cortado (La Colombe makes an amazing one). I promise, once you taste it, you’ll be hooked, and you might just order another!