What Coffee To Milk Ratio Makes An Amazing Cortado

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Are you struggling to make the perfect Cortado and want to know how to do it? Maybe you are unsure of the coffee to milk ratio that you need for an amazing Cortado?

What Coffee To Milk Ratio Makes An Amazing Cortado?

Or are you curious and want to know more? Whatever the reason might be that brought you here today, we have the answer for you! 

Making an amazing Cortado can be tricky, especially if you aren’t sure what the right ratio is.

The last thing you want to do is add too much milk or coffee and be left with a bitter or milky-tasting coffee that doesn’t satisfy your cravings.

And let’s face it after you have spent the time making your coffee, you want it to taste amazing, don’t you? 

And that is where we come in to save your coffee! Keep reading to find out what the coffee to milk ratio is that allows you to make an amazing Cortado!  

What Is A Cortado?

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those that need it!

A Cortado is a coffee that features an espresso mixed with warm milk.

The milk is steamed, giving it a different texture from other Italian coffee drinks like cappuccinos or lattes. 

Cortados originate from Spain, and you can expect them to be served in most coffee shops there, from rural villages to large cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

A cortado is typically served in a short transparent glass and tends to only come in one size.

It is a relatively small coffee beverage, but still full of flavor and a fantastic coffee taste. 

These days, you can purchase a Cortado in most chains and independent coffee shops across the globe.

And while some stores will offer larger Cortados, you can still expect to be served a small glass of coffee. 

Now that we have established what a Cortado is, let’s move on to see what the coffee to milk ratio should be for an amazing Cortado! 

What Coffee To Milk Ratio Makes An Amazing Cortado?

The best-tasting Cortados use equal parts coffee and milk, with a ratio of 1:1 or 1:2.

Typically, Cortado is made with a double shot of espresso and two ounces of milk. The milk is steamed and added after the espresso so that it sits on top of the espresso.

You will notice that the milk doesn’t have much foam, which is traditionally how the drink is made.

However, some baristas will add some micro foam, allowing them to create latte art (think of the heart shape that often sits on top of your coffee). 

Sometimes a ratio of 1:2 is used, where it is one part espresso and two parts steamed milk.

This ratio is often used when the drinker doesn’t want a strong coffee.

By doubling the quantity of milk, the coffee taste will be reduced and the Cortado will have a creamier taste that often suits those who prefer a weaker-tasting coffee. 

Not every barista makes a Cortado this way, though, so be sure to ask for more milk if you prefer a creamier Cortado.

If you still find the Cortado tastes too strong for you, you might want to use a weaker roast of bean for your espresso, or opt for a different type of coffee.

Typically, a latte has more milk and is better suited for those that prefer a weaker coffee. 

Typically when people adjust the ratio of a Cortado, the coffee ratio will stay the same.

Adding more coffee can overwhelm the milk and cause the Cortado to taste bitter, which no one wants!

To keep the Cortado tasting as it should, opt for the 1:1 ratio. This way you can enjoy a great tasting coffee without worrying that you are ruining the taste or flavor. 

Can I Add Sweetener To A Cortado?

What Coffee To Milk Ratio Makes An Amazing Cortado?

If you want to, you can add sweetener to a Cortado! Whether you choose to use a sweetener, sugar, or syrup to sweeten the coffee to your taste, that is fine to do so.

Just remember that a Cortado is quite a small coffee, so you won’t need to add much to sweeten the coffee. 

Often, you won’t need to add sweetener or sugar to a Cortado, as they tend to be quite sweet anyway, thanks to the milk.

But if it still isn’t sweet enough for you, by all means, add sugar to your Cortado!

We find that brown sugar or a little cinnamon works well in a Cortado and adds to the sweetness already in the coffee. 

Another option is to add some sugar to your ground coffee before you push it through your espresso machine.

This helps the sugar to heat with the coffee and will already be present in your coffee.

This trend is becoming increasingly popular on TikTok, with creators finding their coffee is sweet without the flavor being overwhelmed by sugar.

Brown sugar tends to work best here. If you have an espresso machine at home, why not give it a go today? 

If you are ordering your Cortado at a coffee shop, you can ask your barista to add syrup of your choice or you can add sugar yourself.

If you are asking for syrup, make sure that it is a small amount, otherwise, you will be left with a sugary, sickly sweet cup of coffee, and no one wants that! 

Can I Use Plant-Based Milk For A Cortado?

Yes, you can use any milk you want for a Cortado, including a plant-based option!

Plant-based milk doesn’t tend to go frothy and has the same texture as dairy milk, which makes them a good choice for a Cortado.

Cortados don’t tend to have textured milk in them, so you don’t need to worry about replicating a frothy, textured top like you need to with a latte or cappuccino. 

You can steam your plant-based milk as you would any other milk, but you might notice the texture isn’t as thick as dairy milk.

This is fine, it will still taste as you want, it might just look a little different from other Cortados you have created! 

If you want the added texture in your coffee, then opt for a ‘barista blend’ plant-based milk.

Most well-known brands like Alpro and Oatly have barista blends for you to choose from that will work with steamers to replicate the textured milk we associate with coffee shops or traditional Italian coffees. 

Make sure you check the ingredient list of these milk though, as they tend to have oils and other ingredients added to them to help them achieve this frothy texture.

Read the ingredient list carefully before purchasing them to ensure there isn’t anything on the list you are allergic to. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it, you should use a coffee to milk ratio of 1:1 to make an amazing Cortado!

This is the ratio that is traditionally used and will allow you to enjoy a great Cortado wherever you are in the world!