Why is a Cortado served in a Glass?

The Cortado coffee is original a Spanish beverage and has traditionally always been served in a glass. As it’s a small beverage, you only require a 4.5 oz glass.

The glass is filled with 2 oz of espresso (2 shots of espresso). Then it’s topped off with 2 oz of steamed milk. That leaves 0.5 oz of the glass to either add a small amount of milk foam or to leave it as is.

In the US the trend began in San Francisco. It was introduced by the Blue Bottle Coffee Company. They came up with the name Gibraltar in 2005 as it’s based on the ‘Gibraltar’ glass. This glass tumbler has a 4.5 oz capacity. Not all Gibraltar coffees are the same as Cortados, but they can be. If they are served as a double shot of espresso with 2 oz of steamed milk then you end up with a Gibraltar that is the same as the typical Cortado!

What Size are Cortado Glasses? – Is there only one size?

If you have ever wondered, What Size is a Cortado Glass?

Fortunately, there is a simple answer to this question: they come in one size – small.

Well, it’s not quite that easy. Yes, the typical Cortado glass is small. You need at least a 4 oz glass for Cortado. Most coffee shops serve it in a 4.5 oz glass though. That leaves a little room on top to prevent it from spilling! Compare this small Cortado to the size of mug you need for a Cappuccino! Even the mug you use for a piccolo latte is much larger than a Cortado glass.

What Glass is a Cortado served in?

The Cortado is typically served in a Gibraltar glass, which is a glass that is wider at the top than the bottom. This type of glass allows for the perfect ratio of espresso to milk when drinking a cortado.

Traditionally, it’s served in a traditional rocks glass, a cortado is slightly larger in volume than a macchiato and smaller than a cappuccino. You need a glass that holds at least 4 oz to fit the double-shot of espresso and the 2 oz of steamed milk.

The best advice we can give is to use a stylish glass tumbler. You want the glass to be on the thicker side so it holds the heat a little longer. Thin glass allows the Cortado to lose its heat pretty quickly. While it’s not a large drink, you might want to enjoy it hot for a while and not feel lukewarm after a couple of minutes.

Is there a Best Cortado Glass?

There are quite a few discussions when it comes to the perfect Cortado coffee glass or ceramic cup. Some coffee aficionados believe that a Gibraltar glass is the best option for enjoying this espresso-based drink. Others prefer a traditional wine glass or even a small mason jar. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference.

Some coffee drinkers prefer a Gibraltar glass because it has a large surface area and allows for ample room to swirl the milk and espresso together. The narrowness of the glass also helps to concentrate the coffee’s aroma. Additionally, the tapered top of a Gibraltar glass helps to trap heat and keep your drink warm.

Other coffee drinkers prefer traditional wine glasses or small mason jars because they are easier to hold and do not require as much swirling motion. These glasses also allow for more control over how much milk is added to the drink.

Is there such a thing as a Ceramic Cortado Cup?

When it comes to glassware or ceramic cups, there are always plenty of thoughts and opinions on the topic. Some think that the thought of serving a Cortado in anything else than glass is a sacrilege!

Well, let’s not go quite that far. There’s no technical reason why you couldn’t enjoy a Cortado in a ceramic cup. You’re using ceramic cups for all kinds of other coffee beverages so you certainly won’t run into any issues with the coffee police by using a ceramic mug.

The nice side-effect of using a glass tumbler for your Cortado is that you get a mouth-watering view of the beverage. It’s hard to not enjoy the sight of a Flat White or Cortado served in a glass. The ceramic cup might insulate the hot beverage a little better and your coffee can stay hot a little while longer.

Final Thoughts

It doesn’t really matter whether you enjoy your Cortado in a Gibraltar glass, any other kind of traditional rocks glass, or a ceramic cup – as long as you enjoy it!

Traditionalists might be offended but there’s no perfect Cortado glass or cup. More often than not you find it served in a paper cup for people on the run. Definitely not the best way to enjoy your Cortado but it’s all good as long as you enjoy the drink itself!

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