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Uncovering the Iced Cortado: Your New Summer Obsession

Uncovering the Iced Cortado: Your New Summer Obsession

Move over, iced lattes, and cold brew coffee drinks! The iced cortado is the new drink of choice for coffee lovers who want something a little different.

This espresso drink originated in Spain and is made with espresso, milk, and ice. It has a rich flavor that is perfect for summer days!

And thanks to this post, you can easily re-create this Spanish drink at home!

Click here to jump straight to the recipe!

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What is an iced cortado?

An iced cortado traditionally contains a double espresso with an equal amount of milk.

Cortado means “cut” in Spanish, which refers to how the espresso is cut with milk. 

A hot cortado contains steamed milk that is not particularly frothy.

The preparation of the milk and the ratio of espresso to milk differentiates it from other coffee beverage variations.

What does an iced cortado taste like?

An iced cortado is a delightful blend of bold espresso and creamy milk.

The addition of the milk cuts the acidity of the espresso, and the ice adds a touch of chill to this espresso-forward beverage.

What kind of milk is used in a cortado?

There are variations of the cortado, which are made with different types of milk, but the most common type is made with whole milk. This gives the drink a rich and creamy flavor.

Other variations of the cortado contain condensed milk. You can find the cortadito, espresso, and heated sweetened condensed milk in Cuba. And the cortado condensada also contains condensed milk.

The leche y leche also has condensed milk but includes a bit of cream on the top.

Iced Cortado Recipe

Iced Cortado

Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 person


  • 2 shots espresso
  • ice
  • 2 ozs milk of your choice


  • Brew 2 shots of espresso. You can substitute strongly brewed coffee if you don't have espresso.
  • Fill a short glass with ice.
  • Pour your fresh espresso over the ice.
  • Fill the remainder of the glass with milk.
  • Enjoy!

What are the differences?

When it comes to coffee, the differences between drinks may seem subtle. But variations in how a drink is prepared can impact the taste in a big way!

Here are a few key differences between an iced cortado and different coffee drinks.

Between an iced cortado and an iced flat white?

The espresso is the main difference between an iced cortado and an iced flat white.

An iced cortado contains espresso shots, while an iced flat white contains ristretto shots.

Although both types of shots use espresso beans, a shot of espresso is a full-length shot, while a shot of ristretto is only the first part of the shot.

Ristretto means restricted in Italian, ultimately meaning that only a small portion of the shot is used for this type of drink. The final product is a bit more concentrated and has a sweeter flavor.

Between an iced cortado and an iced latte?

An iced cortado is equal parts milk and espresso, while an iced latte contains more milk than espresso.

The hot version of a latte also typically contains a thin layer of foam. In contrast, a hot cortado has steamed milk but no foam.

Between a cortado and a cappuccino?

A cappuccino’s milk to espresso ratio is similar to a latte.

The consistency of the milk sets a cappuccino apart from a cortado. A cappuccino contains a great deal of foam, while a cortado does not have foam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use other types of milk in an iced cortado?

Yes, you can use other types of milk in an iced cortado.

If you want a lighter drink, you can use skim or almond milk. These types of milk will not change the flavor of the drink too much, but they will make it lower in fat and calories.

Try coconut milk or even oat milk if you’re looking for other dairy-free options. 

Can you add flavor or sweetener to an iced cortado?

Yes, you can add flavor or sweetener to an iced cortado. However, it is unnecessary as the drink is already flavorful and has a slightly sweet taste.

For flavor, you can add vanilla extract or cinnamon. If you want to add sweetness, try this simple 2-ingredient liquid cane sugar recipe.

Do you need an espresso machine to make an iced cortado?

No, you do not need an espresso machine to make an iced cortado. All you need is some strong coffee and milk. 

You can also use a Moka pot to replicate the intense espresso flavors of an espresso shot.

How should you serve an iced cortado?

An iced cortado is best served in a small glass cup large enough to accommodate equal parts espresso and milk.

How many calories are in an iced cortado?

An iced cortado made with whole milk has approximately 110 calories.

This number will change depending on the type of milk used and if any flavor or sweetener is added.

Can you order an iced cortado at a coffee shop?

Yes! If the barista is unfamiliar with an iced cortado, simply instruct them to pull a double shot of espresso and combine it with equal parts milk.

Have them pour over ice, and voila! You have yourself an iced cortado.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for something new to try in your iced coffee repertoire, give the iced cortado a chance – you won’t be disappointed!

This flavorful Spanish-style espresso drink is made with espresso, milk, and ice and has a rich flavor that’s perfect for summer days.

Let me know your favorite iced coffee drink in the comments below! Thanks for reading, and happy sipping!

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