While so many espresso-infused drinks have been accustomed to their fifteen minute turn on the trend merry go round, the Cortado seems to have somehow avoided the spotlight.
Despite the fact that this drink sounds like a mid-century convertible, its relative lack of panache likely has more to do with the fact of its relatively simple makeup. The Cortado, which essentially translates in both Spanish and Portuguese to "cut," is just that: an espresso pour that's cut with equal (or slightly more than equal) parts very hot milk. And while the cafes of those countries (and other Latin American locales) have made this drink a staple, here in North America it's been slower to catch on. But that may be about to change.
Why? Anything to stand out in a crowded marketplace: some American cafes have turned to this bellwether of the Spanish, Portuguese and Chilean national scenes to translate their authentic US approach to espresso concoctions, and what's not to like, really? Milk at such a high temperature tends to create a micro foamy aesthetic, but the Cortado retains more of a coffee-first flavor compared to, say, a latte, where the milk flavor shares top billing.
Ultimately, the Cortado delivers a certain old school refinement to your palette. Perfect for sipping while telling tales of the old country.
How To Make A Cortado
Serve in a 150–200 ml (5–7 fl oz) glass
Note: In Spain or Latin America Cortados are typically drunk in the afternoon, but you do you.
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