What Is a Cortadito Coffee? And How to Make One At Home

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No matter how much you adore coffee, there’s always a new brew to discover. Take Cortaditos, for example. They’re a delightful Cuban secret, combining rich espresso with sweet milk for an unforgettable taste. Dive in and give them a try! 

Explore the world of cortadito coffee with us! Discover how it stands out from other Cuban coffees and learn to brew your very own delicious cortadito at home.

What Is a Cortadito Coffee?

Cortadito coffee is a sweet Cuban twist on espresso. It blends a sugary espresso shot with creamy steamed milk. Back in the day, if there was no regular or evaporated milk around, sweetened condensed milk was used, turning this espresso into a delicious treat, more dessert than your average coffee.

A cortadito coffee, as served in many Cuban coffee shops

When making a Cortadito, the mix of milk and espresso can vary. Some prefer a balanced 50/50 blend, while others go bold with 75% espresso and just a touch of milk at 25%. And guess what? Some even sprinkle sugar right into the Moka pot, sweetening the espresso as it brews.

Cortaditos come in tiny cups, just like other strong espresso drinks.

Cortado vs cortadito

Cortaditos and Cortados look alike and sound similar, but they’re not the same.

A Cortado, hailing from Spain or Portugal, is a smooth blend of a double espresso shot with just the right amount of steamed milk on top. Unlike its sweet cousin, the Cortadito, the Cortado keeps things unsweetened, setting the two apart.

It’s easy to mix up these drinks because they sound alike and are almost made the same way, but the key difference is the sugar.

Colada vs cortadito

A Colada is a Cuban coffee often mixed up with a Cortadito.

Cortaditos are for one, but Coladas are for sharing! Order a Colada, and you’ll get 4-6 servings of sweet, stove-top espresso topped with a creamy sugar foam called espumita. It comes in a big Styrofoam cup, along with tiny plastic cups for everyone. It’s the perfect way to enjoy coffee with friends!

Where Can You Get a Cortadito Coffee?

You might not see Cortaditos in many cafes, but they’re a staple in Cuban coffee spots. Loved in Miami and places with lots of Cuban folks (and of course, in Cuba!), they’re a must-try.

If you’re craving a delicious Cuban Cortadito but can’t get to Cuba or a Cuban coffee shop, don’t worry. With an espresso machine or a Moka pot at home, you can whip up a Cortadito so good, it’ll taste like it’s straight from Cuba.

Café Cortadito Recipe

To whip up a delicious cortadito, you don’t necessarily need a Moka pot, though it’s the classic choice. If you’re without one, no worries! Your go-to espresso machine works just fine. Or, explore other options like Ninja, AeroPress, Keurig, or French press espresso.

Choose your top espresso and use these simple steps to make a delicious café cortadito.


Filtered water

Discover the best Cuban and espresso coffee beans here.

Add 3 teaspoons of white sugar, or adjust to your sweet preference.

1-2 ounces of warm evaporated or regular milk


An espresso maker (or a Moka pot)

A small saucepan

A small bowl or cup

A spoon and whisk

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Prepare your espresso as you normally would

Step 2: Warm your milk gently. Avoid boiling to prevent burning it.

Step 3: Create your creamy espuma! Start by mixing your chosen amount of sugar with a bit of espresso in a bowl. Then, gently pour it into a saucepan.

Step 4: Lower the heat and gently whisk the sugar and milk until they turn golden and caramel-like. Be careful not to overheat, or you might end up burning the delicious espuma.

Step 5: Mix equal parts milk and espresso in your mug. Top with espuma and savor!

What’s Next?

Dive into the world of Cuban coffee with a simple Cortadito! All it takes is a Moka pot, one of the most affordable coffee makers around. Or, consider getting a budget-friendly espresso machine. This way, you can also enjoy delicious macchiatos, lattes, and cappuccinos every day. Get ready to explore a whole new world of coffee flavors!

For those who love their coffee quick and easy, Nespresso machines are a dream come true. They make whipping up an espresso for your favorite Cuban drinks like cortaditos and cafe con Leche a breeze. You can use any Nespresso pod for lattes to create these delicious beverages. And if you need an extra energy boost, simply choose a high-caffeine Nespresso pod.

what is a cortadito coffee

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