National Cortado Day Date in the current year: December 20, 2024

National Cortado Day National Cortado Day is celebrated annually on December 20. It was created to recognize and promote a coffee beverage that originated in Spain.

A cortado is a coffee beverage that consists of espresso (usually two shots) diluted with a roughly equal amount of warm milk. Its name is derived from the Spanish verb cortar, which means “to cut”; in this context, it is used in the sense of “dilute”. The milk “cuts” the acidity and intensity of the espresso, resulting in a balanced beverage where the smoothness and sweetness of the milk complements the robust taste of the espresso. Cortado is usually served in a small glass, holding around 4-5 ounces.

In Spain and Portugal, the term café cortado can refer to various coffee beverages where coffee is diluted with milk, in contrast to cafe café solo corto, which refers to a single shot of espresso or simply a small amount of black coffee. Outside of the Iberian Peninsula, however, cortado is typically a specialty coffee beverage that should be distinguished from other drinks that incorporate espresso and milk such as caffè macchiato, cappuccino, or flat white.

As we’ve already mentioned above, a cortado consists of roughly equal amount of espresso and milk; the milk is steamed but not textured. A caffè macchiato contains only a small amount of steamed milk and milk foam; its name means “stained/marked coffee”. The milk gives the coffee just a touch of sweetness and a slightly creamier texture but doesn’t overpower the intense flavor of the espresso.

A cappuccino consists of a single shot of espresso (25 ml) and 125 to 155 ml microfoam (steamed and textured milk). A flat white consists of espresso and microfoam like cappuccino, but it is usually made with a double shot of espresso and has a thinner layer of microfoam than cappuccino which results in a velvety smooth and creamy beverage with a bold coffee flavor.

The traditional version of cortado is unsweetened but there is a bit of sweetness in its taste thanks to the natural sugars in milk. A cortado made with non-dairy milk may lack this sweetness. If you like your coffee sweet, you can try cortadito. A cortadito is a Cuban coffee beverage that consists of a single espresso shot topped with heated sweetened condensed milk.

National Cortado Day is promoted by Verbena Coffee, a community-based craft coffee shop in Houston, Texas. You can celebrate this amazing holiday by ordering a cortado at your favorite coffee shop or making it at home (if you have an espresso machine). And don’t forget to snap a photo of your coffee before drinking and post it on social media with the hashtag #NationalCortadoDay to spread the word about the holiday.

How do you make a cortado at home? If you have an espresso machine, it’s easy. Pull a double shot of espresso (2 ounces) and steam 2 ounces of whole milk or froth it with a held-hand frother. Pour the espresso into a small glass and top it with the steamed milk. If you’re allergic to dairy or vegan, oat milk is your best choice for a cortado because it is widely considered the best dairy-free milk for steaming.

Remind me with Google Calendar


Unofficial Holidays



National Cortado Day, unofficial observances, food days, observances in the US, coffee days