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Published February 22, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
This sweet, creamy Cuban cortadito coffee recipe is the perfect blend of pre-sweetened espresso and hot milk for the ultimate morning pick-me-up drink. If you need a quick jolt of energy, this is for you.
There’s just something comforting about sipping on hot drinks, especially during the cooler months. If you’re similar, then try out my Champurrado Recipe.
Cortadito is a Cuban espresso consisting of 1 to 1 dark espresso to hot milk. A small amount of the espresso is sweetened heavily with sugar to make a paste before the rest of it is poured in. The cortadito is essentially the sweeter, smaller version of the Spanish cortado. In fact, it is very similar to a smaller, stronger café con leche.
If you love big, bold, sweet coffee flavors, then I highly recommend this drink. You will need the ability to make espresso or at least robust coffee.
This espresso drink is strong in flavor and caffeine and will absolutely give you a burst of energy.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Sugar – Plain granulated sugar is what you’ll need. You can also use turbinado or castor sugar.
- Espresso – Any espresso grounds will work. However, I prefer dark grounds as they will be bolder in flavor.
- Milk – Whole milk works best.
How to Make a Cortadito
Grind the dark espresso beans until finely ground.
Make 4 ounces or a half cup of dark espresso. You can do this if you have a machine or a manual espresso on the stovetop.
Heat or steam 4 ounces or a half cup of whole milk in a pot.
Add about 3 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons of sugar from the hot espresso to a glass with a spout.
Mix until a paste-like mixture is formed.
Pour in the remaining espresso and stir to combine.
Transfer the sweet espresso and evenly pour it between two serving glasses.
Top off each cup with hot milk. It should be 1 to 1 sweet espresso to hot frothy milk.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This is meant to be served immediately.
How to Store: If you decide to store this, be sure to cover it and keep it in the refrigerator for 1 day.
How to Reheat: Add the desired amount of cortadito to a small pot and heat over low to medium heat until hot.
Chef Notes + Tips
- You can find Cuban espresso coffee on Amazon.
- In place of whole milk, you can use skim, 2%, 1%, half and half, or even heavy whipped cream.
More Latin-Inspired Recipes
Cortadito Coffee Recipe
- 4 ounces hot espresso
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 ounces whole milk
- Make 4 ounces or a half cup of dark espresso. You can do this if you have a machine or a manual espresso on the stovetop.
- Heat or steam 4 ounces or a half cup of whole milk in a pot.
- Add about 3 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons of sugar of the hot espresso to a glass with a spout.
- Mix until a paste-like mixture is formed.
- Pour in the remaining espresso and stir to combine.
- Transfer the sweet espresso and evenly pour it between two serving glasses.
- Top off each cup with the hot milk.