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How To Make Cortadito Coffee at Home

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cortadito at home

If you’d like to change up your espresso fix, a Cortadito is an easy way to try something new and sweet. This is a popular Cuban coffee drink traditionally served as a dessert coffee or as a morning cup of sweet heaven. As part of daily Cuban life, it also has become a mainstay in the restaurants and cafes of South Florida. Cortadito means “short cut” in Spanish, as the milk essentially “cuts” the strong espresso. Basically, this is a coffee drink of steamed milk with a shot of espresso made from a dark-roasted coffee. There’s also a little sugar in there. For an extra treat, use evaporated milk instead of regular.

We’re going to show you how to make a Cortadito so you can enjoy this sweet and strong delight whenever you wish. This recipe makes two servings because a treat is always better when it’s shared. You’ll need a way to make espresso; for this recipe, we’ll be using a Moka pot.

How to make Cortadito Coffee:

Items needed for 2 servings:

  • Finely ground coffee or beans to grind
  • Grinder for beans, if using
  • Espresso-making device
  • 2 coffee mugs
  • Small saucepan or microwavable bowl
  • Bowl or cup to combine mixture
  • Spoon

cortadito at home


  • Filtered water
  • 3 tablespoons Cuban coffee (we’re using Mayorga Café Cubano Dark Roast beans)
  • 4 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 can (12-ounce) of evaporated milk, warmed

Guided steps

Preparing the espresso:

If you’re grinding the beans, grind them finely to extract the best flavor.

cortadito at home

(If scratch-and-sniff were available online, it would be inserted right here!)

Brew your espresso with the method you have available. We’re using a Moka pot.

Using a Moka pot:

Fill the bottom section with filtered water up to the safety release valve. (Using filtered water allows for the best flavor, minus any impurities possibly found in tap water.) Place finely ground coffee, whether pre-ground or after grinding your own beans, into the filter. (We used Mayorga Café Cubano Dark Roast beans and ground them finely.) Place filter into the bottom section and then attach the top section.

cortadito at home

Place on stove and turn on to medium heat. You don’t want to rush the process or overcook the coffee.

It will take about 5 minutes to completely brew.

Warm the evaporated milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. Be careful not to scorch it.

cortadito at home

Place 4 teaspoons of sugar in a bowl large enough to mix with all the espresso.

Once about an ounce of espresso begins brewing and appears in the top of the pot, pour it over the sugar and then return the pot to stove to finish brewing.

cortadito at home

Mix the sugar and the small amount of espresso until it forms a light-colored paste.

cortadito at home

Once the rest of the espresso is brewed and ready, remove from heat. Pour the brewed espresso into the bowl with the sugar paste mixture. Stir until a little froth appears.

Pour the espresso evenly between two coffee mugs.

If a skin forms across the top of the evaporated milk, remove it before pouring into espresso. Add the warm evaporated milk to each mug so there is a 1:1 ratio of espresso to milk.

Grab a friend and enjoy a sweet coffee moment together!

While using evaporated milk is optional in a Cortadito, it makes this coffee concoction creamy and decadent.