How to Make a Cortadito Even For the First Time?

Cortadito coffee has Cuban roots but it’s popular all over the world! Have you not tried it as yet? So it’s best you know how to make a Cortadito at home. Brewing your own coffee at home and making it the Cuban way is easier than you think.

There’s a way to make this creamy and caramel cup of coffee. Once you jot the recipe down. The flavor and aroma of Cortadito coffee will keep you wanting more. So what are you waiting for? Let’s learn how to make a Cortadito right away.

2 Ways to Make a Cortadito

#1 By grinding coffee beans at home


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Here’s something you should know before I get into this. Let me make something very clear. You can’t create great coffee without an aromatic shot of espresso. This means you need the proper coffee brewing equipment to back you up. (Health Benefits of Coffee)

The following is what you will need to improve your coffee game. No more stuffing instant coffee sachets in your kitchen cabinet! It’s time to get serious about your coffee habits.

What you will need (brewing tools):

  • Coffee beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • Coffee maker

What you will need (ingredients):

  • Sugar – plain, brown or white
  • Espresso – freshly brewed
  • Coffee cream
  • Water

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The Essential Steps:

Get the espresso maker ready

You need a high-quality espresso maker and water. Pour the proper amount of water into the espresso maker. Ideally, an espresso maker comes with its own water limit.

Grind the coffee beans

Buy 3-weeks old coffee beans from the supermarket. This gives you a nuttier and less acidic flavor which is essential. For those of you enjoy a subtler and lighter taste can opt for a light roast. A light roast is coffee beans that are only a few days old.

Using a coffee grinder, grind the desired coffee beans to a fine grind. A coarser grind won’t give you the espresso you need for Cortadito coffee.

How to Grind Coffee for Your Brew Method at Home


Brew the coffee

Add the ground coffee into the espresso maker. In standard machines, the top of the machine is secured to start the filtration process.

Preparing the sugar

Sugar is an essential ingredient for Cortadito coffee. While the coffee brews in the espresso maker. That’s your window to start preparing the sugar. Here’s how to do it.

The ideal amount of sugar for a good flavor is between 1/4 to 1/2 cups. A bit more would work if you want a sweeter taste.

Once the espresso is extracted, take a few drops to caramelize the sugar. Put the espresso into the sugar cup while continuously mixing. Make sure there are no lumps in the sugar. And that it is completely blended.

Caramelizing the sugar generally takes longer. So keep at it.

Blend espresso with caramel

Has the rest of the espresso brewed? Then quickly blend in the caramel sugar paste in. This you don’t need to continuously stir. As soon as the mixture is blended well, it should give you a glossy light brown color.

Optional: Add cream

There is a good way to know if the Cortadito is done. Does the dark espresso drink have a light brown cap on the top? Then this means the caramelized sugar and espresso have blended perfectly.

Now you can scoop a spoonful a cream and add it to your drink. Never stir the cream for more than 2-3 seconds with the espresso. Serve and enjoy.

#2 With store-bought ground coffee beans


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On the other hand, you can directly buy Cuban coffee or Café Cubano from a store. It’s an authentic coffee flavor to give you the perfect Cortadito.

What you will need (ingredients):

  • Filtered water – a cup
  • 3 tbsp of Cubano coffee
  • White sugar
  • 2 cups of warm milk

The Essential Steps:

Brewing the coffee

Fill the bottom half of the coffee maker with water. Add 3 tbsp of Cubano coffee in the filter. Gently press the coffee into the filter. Brew the coffee on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes.

Caramelizing the sugar

Combine 4 tbsp of sugar with just the first few drops of brewed espresso. Just like the previous method, make sure lumps are formed while mixing.

Blend espresso with caramel

As soon as the rest of the espresso is ready. Mix the sugar paste and espresso together. Keep stirring until you see a cup of froth appear on the top.

Optional: Add milk or cream

You can add milk or cream to the Cortadito. Or drink it authentic and black! The ideal milk to water ratio for coffee must be half and half. Serve and enjoy!



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Is this what you had in mind when thinking about how to make a Cortadito? You’re supposed to make a good Cuban delight the right way. Otherwise, you’d never know its real aromatic flavor.

What does Cortadito mean? Loosely translated, it means coffee with cream. And it’s best enjoyed in small quantities, unlike coffee’s more delightful cousins.

Making Cortadito for the first time is not easy. But when you keep at it, the process becomes second nature to you! So don’t give up just yet. And start pouring this delicious Cuban coffee recipe in your home!

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