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Cortado

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Cortado (from the Spanish cortar, known as "Tallat" in Catalan, "Pingo" or "Garoto" in Portugal and "noisette" in France) is an espresso "cut" with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The ratio of coffee to milk is between 1:1 - 1:2, and the milk is added after the espresso. The steamed milk hasn't much foam, but many baristas make some micro foam to make latte art. It is popular in Spain and Portugal, as well as throughout Latin America, where it is drunk in the afternoon. In Cuba, it is known as a cortadito. It's usually served in a special glass, often with a metal ring base and a metal wire handle. There are several variations, including cortado condensada or bombon (espresso with condensed milk) and leche y leche (with condensed milk and cream on top).

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Cortado

Differences

It is sometimes important to distinguish the cortado from the Italian caffe macchiato, which is traditionally an espresso with a small amount of foam/steamed milk added (less than 1:1), though in modern American usage a macchiato often uses 1:1 proportions and differs from a cortado primarily in having more foam, being a small latte. The cortado should always be served in a 150–200 ml (5–7 fl oz) glass and the milk should only be steamed; maybe a little foam settles to the top but the essence of the drink must be steamed milk. Cortado is more similar to a less-foamy cappuccino than an espresso macchiato. Distinguished from American variation of cafe au lait, which is a regular coffee base and warm milk, cortado is made with espresso and steamed milk.

A similar drink in Australia is known as a Piccolo Cafe Latte, or simply a Piccolo for short. This is a single espresso shot in a machiatto glass, which is then filled with steamed milk in the same fashion as a cafe latte. This results in a 90mL drink, with a 1:2 ratio of coffee to steamed milk, and about 5mm of foam on the top. A longer drink, popular in Portugal, is the galão, which uses 1:3 proportions but is otherwise similar to a cortado.

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