Your Cart is Empty

Free UK shipping on all orders over £30

by Joseph McCarthy June 07, 2019

Espresso with milk - that’s pretty much how most people would describe a Macchiato or Cortado, and they wouldn’t be far wrong. They’re both short, they’re both rich, and they’re both classic European recipes - but the little differences between the two make a big difference when it comes to sipping your morningespresso.



Single espresso served with 1-2 tsp of warm (foamed) milk

  • Like pasta, organised crime and, well, coffee in general, the Macchiato is a staple of Italian culture. A simple measure of espresso served with a spot of milk (usually foamed), it’s got the highest ratio of espresso to milk of any drink made with these two ingredients - so can be thought of as a sort of halfway house between a simple black espresso and and more milky cappuccino.
  • The word macchiato roughly translates to ‘marked’, coming from the fact that the espresso is essentially just dashed with a small amount of milk (we’re talking 1-2 teaspoons here). The milk is not meant to overwhelm the espresso in any way, but is rather there just to add a tiny bit of flavour, or - for those who struggle with a straight black coffee - take the edge off the dark, rich, and quite often acidic, beans.
  • Normally, milk after meals - or really any time in the afternoon - is frowned upon in Italy, but the Macchiato gives people the chance to sneak in a tiny bit of dairy.




    Single espresso served with equal parts warm (steamed) milk

    • We’re now hopping across a couple of borders on our way to Spain, the home of the Cortado. Whilst Spanish coffee culture might not get the same recognition as its European cousin’s, it’s national coffee, the Cortado, has in fact hit the high streets of London as an extremely popular way of enjoying a quick espresso.
    • Coming from the Spanish verb to ‘cut(cortar), the Cortado is a simple espresso cut, or diluted, with an equal amount of warm milk. In fact, the term café cortado is used in Spain to refer to a range of coffees mixed with milk, but in it’s exported form - and to differentiate itself from the macchiato on the menus of London’s coffee shops - this espresso version is the one that you’d expect to receive.
    • The difference isn’t just in the ratio of milk to coffee (50/50), but also the type of milk that is used. Unlike Italian coffees that use foamy, frothy milk (what we’d called ‘texturised’) the Cortado uses steamed milk instead, giving a much smoother taste and appearance.
    • If you fancy something sweeter, then maybe a cortaditowould be something more up your street. Originating in Cuba, it’s actually made with sweetened condensed milk, as fresh milk was historically always much harder to come by.


      Joseph McCarthy
      Joseph McCarthy

      Black filter first thing. Head of digital and waterer of office plants.

      Also in News

      Washed vs. Natural vs. Honey - Coffee Processing
      Washed vs. Natural vs. Honey - Coffee Processing

      by Adele Bilotta July 23, 2021

      If you’re a bit of a coffee connoisseur, then you’ve probably come across the terms ‘washed’ and ‘unwashed’ when sourcing your brew. Understandably, you might not have a clue what the difference actually is - or what it means for your coffee. Read more to find out about the three main techniques of coffee processing.
      Read More
      Mycotoxins: The truth about mould in coffee
      Mycotoxins: The truth about mould in coffee

      by Adele Bilotta July 06, 2021

      If you’re sourcing some of the world’s finest Fairtrade, ethically and sustainably sourced coffee, chances are you care about what’s going in your body. While it’s no secret what the benefits of coffee are; it’s packed with antioxidants, helps improve energy, focus and memory (not to mention it’s bloody delicious), did you know that there could be trace amounts of mould in your brew? They’re called mycotoxins, and they might be more co...

      Read More
      CRU in Conversation - Ben Greensmith of Tony's Chocolonely
      CRU in Conversation - Ben Greensmith of Tony's Chocolonely

      by Adele Bilotta June 24, 2021

      CRU Kafe CEO, Tom Greensmith, talks with Ben Greensmith of Tony's Chocolonely on eradicating slave and child labour in the cocoa market, Fairtrade certifications, and the future of fairer coffee and chocolate industries.