Gibraltar vs Cortado – Espresso-Based Drinks Explained!

|
Want to learn more about coffee?
Explore more on our blog!
Learn more
An iced Gibraltar coffee on a wooden table with a view of the city.
Table of Contents
An iced Gibraltar coffee on a wooden table with a view of the city.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gibraltar and Cortado are both espresso-based coffee beverages that differ in their milk-to-espresso ratio.
  • A gibraltar has a higher concentration of espresso compared to a Cortado, resulting in a stronger flavor profile.
  • Cortados use equal parts espresso and milk, creating a smoother and less acidic taste.
  • The glassware used for serving also differs between the two drinks – gibraltars are traditionally served in 4.5-ounce glasses with tapered rims, while Cortados are served in smooth carajillo shot glasses.

Gibraltar vs Cortado – Espresso-Based Drinks Explained!

Gibraltars have a slightly higher ratio of espresso to milk and use a rock glass with a tapered rim, while Cortados are made with equal parts espresso and milk and served in a smooth carijillo shot glass.

Did you know Gibraltar and Cortado are two such intriguing espresso-based beverages enjoyed worldwide? In this article, we compare these closely related drinks – ‘Gibraltar’ vs ‘Cortado’, discussing their milk-to-espresso ratio, the glassware usedflavor profiles and more.

Get ready to enrich your coffee knowledge!

What is a Gibraltar Coffee?

Gibraltar coffee is a delicious espresso-based beverage with a specific ratio of espresso to milk and a unique serving style.

The ratio of espresso to milk

The ratio of espresso to milk in these two coffee drinks is an element that defines each one’s unique taste. In crafting the perfect Gibraltar, you’re looking at using one double shot of espresso mixed with approximately an ounce of warm milk.

This results in a slightly stronger flavor due to the higher ratio of espresso to milk. A Cortado uses equal parts espresso and milk, rendering it smoother and less acidic than its Gibraltar counterpart.

The warmed and lightly steamed milk softens the robust nature of the espresso shot, creating an inviting blend for those who appreciate balance within their cup. Each beverage offers its own distinct experience despite being built on similar foundations – a testament to how small tweaks in ratios can create entirely different taste profiles in coffee beverages.

Serving style

Gibraltar and Cortado have different serving styles despite their similarities. Traditionally, a gibraltar is served in a 4.5-ounce glass with a tapered rim, resembling a rock glass. This unique glassware accentuates the drink’s aesthetic appeal and allows for easy sipping.

Cortados are typically served in small carajillo shot glasses, which are smooth without any tapering.

These distinct vessels reflect the cultural origins of each beverage – gibraltars originated from American coffee culture while Cortados have Spanish roots. So when it comes to enjoying your favorite espresso-based brew, whether it be the higher ratio of espresso to milk in a gibraltar or the equal parts blend of Cortado, each serving style adds its own touch of sophistication to your coffee experience.

What is a Cortado Coffee?

Cortado coffee is made by combining one shot of espresso with one ounce of steamed milk, resulting in a balanced and smooth beverage.

The ratio of espresso to milk

Gibraltar and Cortado, two popular espresso-based coffee drinks, differ in their ratio of espresso to milk. The gibraltar is known for its higher concentration of espresso compared to the Cortado.

While the Cortado is made with equal parts espresso and milk, gibraltars have a slightly larger portion of espresso. Typically, a Cortado contains one shot of espresso and one ounce of milk, while a gibraltar features a double shot of espresso combined with at least one ounce of milk.

Gibraltars can even have up to two parts espresso and three parts milk, creating a bolder flavor profile. In contrast, the Cortado aims for balance by reducing the acidity of the pure espresso with warm steamed milk.

Serving style

Gibraltar and Cortado have distinct differences in their serving styles. Both drinks are traditionally served in 4.5-ounce glass vessels, but the way they are presented differs slightly. A Gibraltar is typically served in a smooth carijillo shot glass, which has a tapered rim that allows the aroma of the coffee to be fully experienced when sipping.

A Cortado is usually served in a rock glass with straight sides and no tapering. This difference in presentation highlights the unique characteristics of each drink and adds to the overall experience for coffee lovers.

Differences Between Gibraltar and Cortado

Milk-to-espresso ratio

Gibraltars and Cortados differ in their milk-to-espresso ratio. Gibraltars have a slightly higher ratio of espresso to milk compared to Cortados. While Cortados are made with equal parts espresso and milk, gibraltars feature one double shot of espresso and at least one ounce of milk, sometimes even up to two parts espresso and three parts milk.

This difference in ratios creates distinct flavor profiles for each drink, allowing coffee lovers to choose the strength of their beverage according to their preferences.

Conclusion

The comparison between gibraltar and Cortado showcases the subtle nuances of espresso-based coffee beverages. While both drinks share similarities in ingredients and preparation, they differ in terms of milk-to-espresso ratio and glassware used.

Whether you prefer the smooth carijillo shot glass experience of a Cortado or the robust flavor profile of a gibraltar served in a rock glass with a tapered rim, these two options offer unique experiences for coffee enthusiasts to savor.

FAQ

How are the two drinks made?

Both the Gibraltar and the Cortado are espresso-based drinks. The Gibraltar is made by combining two shots of espresso with an equal amount of milk, while the Cortado is made by combining one shot of espresso with an equal amount of milk.

What is the ratio of coffee to milk in a Cortado?

The ratio of coffee to milk in a Cortado is 1:1. It is made with one shot of espresso and an equal amount of milk.

How much milk is used in a Gibraltar?

The amount of milk used in a Gibraltar is equal to the amount of espresso. It is made with two shots of espresso and an equal amount of milk.

How do the two drinks differ in taste?

The Gibraltar and the Cortado have a subtle difference in taste. The Gibraltar is known for its rich and bold flavor, while the Cortado has a milder and smoother taste.

Can I make a Gibraltar or Cortado at home?

Yes, you can make both the Gibraltar and the Cortado at home if you have an espresso machine. Simply follow the ratios mentioned earlier and use a glass tumbler for the Gibraltar and a smaller glass cup for the Cortado.

What is the origin of the Cortado?

The Cortado is a Spanish coffee drink that originated in Spain. It is made by “cutting” the acidity of the espresso with an equal amount of milk.

How can I order a Cortado at a coffee shop?

To order a Cortado at a coffee shop, simply ask for a Cortado by name. Some coffee shops may also refer to it as a “Spanish Cortado.”

What is the difference between a Cortado and a Latte?

The main difference between a Cortado and a Latte is the ratio of milk to coffee. A Latte has more milk and tends to be larger in volume, while a Cortado has equal parts coffee and milk and is typically served in a smaller cup.

Where can I find gibraltar rock glasses for making a Gibraltar coffee at home?

Gibraltar rock glasses, such as the Libbey Gibraltar rock glass, can often be found at local coffee shops or online retailers specializing in coffee accessories.

Sources
About the Author:
Oliver Bennett, a seasoned barista, focuses on the technical aspects of coffee-making. His journey from local cafes to specialty coffee shops has equipped him with skills in the science of coffee, from grind size to latte art. Oliver's articles and how-to videos delve into brewing techniques and coffee science, fostering a community of home baristas and elevating the home coffee experience.