In essence, the cortado is the Spanish lovechild of a macchiato and a cappuccino. It’s really all about the ratio; the milk is used to cut the acidity of the espresso, but not overpower. 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.
On your next trip to the cafe, order a cortado (La Colombe makes an amazing one).