Cuban Cortadito

Posted by Cesar Murillo on

(makes 4 cups of coffee)

Traditionally, cortado is a Spanish espresso drink where the ratio of coffee to milk is approximately 1:1. The word cortado comes from the Spanish verb cortar (to cut), in the sense of “dilute”. Today, cortado is a popular drink in Spain, Portugal, and Latin America, and many variations of the original recipe exist. The cortadito is especially popular in Cuba, where steamed milk is added after the espresso is poured. Cortadito is served in many Cuban restaurants during the afternoon, often in a signature glass with a metal ring base and wire handle. Energize your afternoon with Mandela Coffee’s personalized cortadito recipe!  

What You Will Need:

Espresso maker

6 tablespoons of ground Mandela Coffee (for this recipe, we recommend using a dark roast – this will yield less acidity and result in a finer espresso)

8 teaspoons white sugar

3 – 4 cups evaporated milk

Small mixing bowl



  1. Prepare your espresso maker by filling it with water, using the instructions included for your model.
  2. Fill the coffee filter with ground coffee. Gently tap the filter with your spoon to even the coffee, but do not tamp down.
  3. Set the top of the espresso maker on the base, and secure the filter. Begin brewing by placing the espresso maker over high heat on the stove.
  4. Let the first few drops of espresso drip into a small mixing bowl. Remove the espresso maker from the stove.
  5. Spoon the sugar into the small mixing bowl containing the espresso. Stir thoroughly, adding more espresso drops if needed to obtain an even mixture. Continue to stir quickly until a light paste forms (this may take several minutes!)
  6. Return the espresso maker to high heat, and complete the brewing process.
  7. Remove the espresso maker from the stove. Stir together the espresso batch and sugar paste.
  8. Pour the coffee into 4 mugs.
  9. Add evaporated milk to a desired amount, but do not exceed a 1:1 ratio of espresso and milk.
  10. Enjoy!  


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