Iced Cortado - The Details, What It Is And How To Make It!

Iced Cortado – The Details, What It Is And How To Make It!

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 21:07

If you want to know all about an Iced Cortado and how to make an amazing one at home, this is the article for you.

  • How to make a great espresso at home?
  • What type of milk is best?
  • How to make that perfect Iced Cortado.

Keep reading to find out all you need to know about an iced cortado and how to make it at home.

What Is An Iced Cortado?

An iced cortado is a classic Spanish coffee drink enjoyed during the hot summer days. It has its origins in the Basque Country in Northern Spain and consists of a double espresso, an equal amount of textured milk and ice. It’s like an iced latte with a more dominant coffee flavor due to the reduced amount of milk used.

In simpler terms, it’s a traditional cortado with ice. To give you fair warning, it is an espresso drink with a lot of caffeine, significantly more than a regular coffee with 150 milligrams of caffeine.

What Is An Iced Cortado
An Iced Cortado

Read: Cortado Vs Cappuccino

Ingredients Needed

To make a perfect iced cortado all you need are 3 simple ingredients, which are:

  • 2 Shots of espresso coffee.
  • Whole fat milk.
  • Ice Cubes.

Note: In Spain it is very common for a coffee shop to use UHT milk and not fresh milk.

Let’s get talking about making a great espresso at home as you can’t make this coffee drink with brewed coffee.

How To Make A Perfect Espresso Shot At Home

There are a few ways of making the espresso shot that you need for your iced cortado. By far the best method is using a home espresso machine.

Since we are on the topic, let’s list some brewing equipment that you can use to make a quality espresso:

  • A home espresso machine.
  • A moka pot.
  • An AeroPress.

A home espresso machine by far is head and shoulders above the other brewing methods. A moka pot and an AeroPress make at best espresso like coffee but not quite espresso. If you make a lot of espresso drinks at home, it is worth the investment to get better quality coffee.

How To Make A Perfect Espresso Shot At Home
Making A Perfect Espresso Shot Is Easy

Read: Difference between cortado and latte

Using a Home Espresso Machine

Start by weighing your whole coffee beans and weighing 40 grams and then grind them to a very fine powder like grind using a ceramic conical burr grinder.

Pull your shot. Brew time should take 25 seconds with a variation of plus or minus 5 seconds.

If your shot takes long to brew, it is likely that your grind size is too small and your shot will be too bitter. If your shot is too quick, your grind size is too large, and you shot a little too sour. Adjust as necessary if you need to.

Using A Moka Pot

To get a great quality moka pot coffee at home for espresso based drinks I advised that you alter your coffee to water ratio and use a 1:8 ratio instead of 1:10.

The coffee brewed will cut through the milk better and be better prepared for the melting ice.

Pro Tip: For notably better quality moka pot coffee, preheat your water to 70C (158F), then add it to the water chamber and brew your coffee.

Using An AeroPress To Make An Espresso

Like the moka pot above, use a slightly more focused coffee to water ratio of 1:12 instead of the usual 1:16 to get that stronger coffee that you need.

If you have a pod coffee machine like a Keurig or Nespresso use a strong coffee pod of a dark roast. French roasts will work very well for this iced coffee.

Additionally, you can use your Nespresso or Keurig machine to make the espresso base for this recipe. These coffee machines can make great iced coffee.

Using An AeroPress
Using An AeroPress To Make Strong Coffee

Read: Cortado Vs Latte

What Type Of Milk Is Best For Making An Iced Cortado

The best milk to get the most authentic taste when you make your iced cortado coffee is whole fat milk. It is up to you if you want to use fresh milk or UHT like what is used in a Spanish coffee shop.

If you are vegan or lactose intolerant, you can use any nondairy milk. As a matter of fact, the Barista brand of milk makes the best alternative milks for use in coffee. Alternative milks curdle easily when used to make specialty coffee due to a lack of fat content to protect the milk protein. Barista use an oat milk base for some of their alternative milks and gellan gum, an emulsifier for others.

Even though it is an iced coffee, you still need to steam the milk to make textured milk for a perfect iced cortado coffee drink.

Making The Textured Milk

Making the textured milk for your iced cortado is easy. Textured milk is simply steamed milk that has not been frothed. The texture is different from regular steamed milk and scalded milk.

Use your milk steaming wand and dip it just below the surface of your milk and start to steam it until you hear a ripping sound and then submerge your wand deeper until you see a vortex, a whirlpool forming.

If you have a color changing temperature tag, stop when your milk gets to 55C (130F). If you don’t have one, your milk jug should be too hot to touch. At this point your milk is ready.

Textured milk is difficult but not impossible to make without the use of a steam wand. Heat your milk in a saucepan at a low to medium heat and heat slowly and stop as it starts to produce steam. This should give you a similar texture.

Making Textured Milk
Making Textured Milk

Putting It All Together

Pour your double shot of espresso into a mason jar or a cocktail shaker. Add an equal amount of textured milk. Add a few ice cubes, close your mason jar or cocktail shaker and shake with vigor and strength for a minute.

This additional step is to instantly cool your coffee beverage and reduce the melting of ice into your drink. Pour your drink into a tall glass with fresh ice and viola, you have a tasty iced cortado to drink and enjoy.

Iced Cortado Vs Iced Latte

The difference between these two drinks is vast; the only similarity they have is how their appearance.

A cortado is made with a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of textured milk and ice. A latte is made with a single espresso shot and twice as much steamed milk with a coffee to milk ratio of 1:2 compared to the 1:1 ratio of an iced cortado.

The result is two very different tasting coffee beverages with an iced Cortado coffee having a stronger coffee taste and a greater amount of caffeine.

An iced latte is sweeter and milkier.

Iced Cortado Calories

An iced cortado has 15 to 30 calories per serving. The variance is due to the different type of milk used.

Frequently Asked Questions About Iced Cortado

How Do You Order An Iced Cortado From Starbucks?

Starbucks doesn’t have a cortado or an iced cortado on their menu. To order it you can request a doppio, a double espresso, with 2 ounces (60 ml) of steamed milk that has not been frothed (textured milk) and ice. Viola you have the popular Spanish iced espresso drink.

What Is The Difference Between An Iced Cortado And An Iced Cappuccino?

An iced cortado coffee drink is made with a double shot of espresso and an equal amount of textured milk and ice. An Iced cappuccino is made with a single shot of espresso, steamed milk, ice and an equal amount of milk foam in ratios of 1:1:1.

Is Cortado Stronger Than Espresso?

A cortado coffee is an espresso based drink with milk. The taste and prominence of the espresso is subdued by the equal amount of milk in the beverage. It has more caffeine than a single espresso as it is made with a double shot of espresso.

Can You Order A Cortado Iced?

Yes, an iced cortado, a cortado con hielo, is a popular coffee drink in Spain during the hot summer days. It is very similar to an iced latte in terms of taste. Often cold milk is used instead of steamed textured milk.

How Many Shots Of Coffee Are In A Cortado?

A traditional cortado is made with two shots of espresso.

Which Has More Milk Cortado Or Flat White?

A flat white has slightly more milk. Both are made with a double shot, with a cortado being made with a double espresso and a flat white made with a double ristretto. Both drinks are 4 ounces (120 ml) due to a ristretto being smaller (20 ml, 1.34 Oz) it has slightly more milk.

Final Thoughts – Iced Cortado

Now you know all you need to about Iced Cortado, and how to make the perfect one at home using an espresso machine, moka pot and AeroPress you have no excuse for not making this tasty and delightful cultural classic coffee from Spain.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or, mentioning your name and location

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