Un cortadito por favor.

Cortadito (pronounced cor-ta-dee-toe) coffee drink denotes quite a few emotional and social reactions. First, what is a cortadito?

If Cuban coffee straight is just too much for you, a cortadito provides an alternative; a single serving of Cuban coffee “cut” with steamed, whole milk. The word cortadito literal translated means “little cut” and the beverage itself is just that; Cuban coffee – or espresso – “cut” with frothed milk, to a generally 50/50 coffee, milk ratio. Many like their cortadito a little thicker and use evaporada (evaporated milk) instead for an after dinner delight or in lieu of dessert. If you prefer a milder shot of caffeine, you can do a higher ratio of milk to café.

For those concerned with caffeine content, no need to worry. According to the website www.kickinghorsecoffee.com, a single shot of espresso has an estimated 40 mg per ounce whereas a brewed cup only has around 10 mg in each ounce. By concentration, espresso has more caffeine. The difference is in the serving size. The typical 2 oz. double espresso serving, or your typical Cuban coffee shot, has about 80 milligrams of caffeine whereas a 12 oz. brewed coffee has about 120 milligrams. So we actually consume more caffeine in an average cup of drip coffee than en un cafecito.

While the usual cortadito served in Key Biscayne and Miami has its root in Cuban coffee culture, many Latin American countries have their own version of cortado or cortadito. The present day cortadito is one of those South Florida phenomena which has become mainstream folklore, much like pastelitos, churros and baklava.

A cortadito, coupled with the scenic beauty of Key Biscayne, makes for a perfect way to start your day, perhaps reading the latest issue of Islander News, or for a mid-morning picker upper, to a late afternoon get together with a special friend or business associate.

Island paradise offers an incredible array of cortadito options to fit any taste or social setting. There is the elegant presentation served at Costa Med: the carefully decorated version served at La Boulangerie in the Galleria Shopping Center, the scenic version at Boaters Grill inside Bill Baggs, to the simple and the to-go version in a Café Bustelo cup served at the 7-11 on Harbor Plaza.

Enjoying a cortadito at Patagonia Nahuen in the Square mid-morning shows us a very active post-morning workout scene. Sipping an afternoon cortadito outside Clasica Victoria in the Winn Dixie Plaza offers a nice intro to the evening to come. A cortadito at Golden Hog is a nice compliment to their delicious bakery servings. At Oasis, the popular companion to a cortadito is often a croqueta.

After tasting many of the cortadito offerings on the key, we definitely have our favorite places to savor one, depending on the time of day. What is yours? Let us know by emailing us at cortadito@islandernews.com or tag us on Instagram while posting your own favorite with the hashtag #kbcortadito.

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