We Brew Coffee

Unveiling the Distinctive Delights of Gibraltar and Cortado: Exploring their Origins Ingredients and Taste Experiences

Gibraltar and

Cortado: What’s the Difference? If you are a coffee enthusiast, you might have noticed two similar-looking drinks on the menu – Gibraltar and


At first glance, these coffee drinks might seem interchangeable, but they have distinct differences that are worth exploring. In this article, we will go over the origins of Gibraltar and

Cortado, their ingredients, and what sets them apart.

Difference between Gibraltar and


Gibraltar and

Cortado have a lot in common. Both are espresso-based beverages that use equal amounts of espresso and warm milk.

However, the key differentiator is the type of glassware they’re served in. Gibraltar is typically served in a six-ounce glass tumbler, while

Cortado is served in a four-ounce glass cup.

Additionally, Gibraltar is usually a bit stronger than

Cortado because of the larger volume of espresso served in the glass.

Ingredients List

The ingredients list for Gibraltar and

Cortado is quite simple. Both drinks use a double shot of espresso and warm milk.

The two ingredients are mixed in a particular way that creates the perfect balance between espresso and milk. The milk used in Gibraltar and

Cortado is typically steamed and texturized, resulting in a velvety, smooth texture that complements the robust flavor of the espresso.



Gibraltar is a relatively new espresso drink that was invented by Blue Bottle Coffee Company in San Francisco. The drink was inspired by the traditional Spanish drink,

Cortado, which is served in smaller portions.

Blue Bottle Coffee Company created a larger version of the drink and named it Gibraltar as a nod to the glass tumbler it’s served in. The coffee chain also wanted to create a unique name for the drink that wasn’t already in the coffee lexicon.


Cortado is a popular espresso drink that originated in Spain. The word “

Cortado” means “cut” in Spanish, which is a reference to how the drink is made.

When making a

Cortado, a shot of espresso is “cut” with a small amount of warm milk. The drink is typically served in a small, four-ounce glass cup and is often consumed as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

Wrap Up

So, there you have it – the key differences between Gibraltar and

Cortado. While they may seem similar in many ways, the glassware and serving size set them apart.

Whether you prefer the stronger and larger Gibraltar or the more traditional and smaller

Cortado, these espresso-based drinks are perfect for anyone looking for a flavorful and energizing pick-me-up. So, the next time you are at the coffee shop, don’t hesitate to give either of these beverages a try!

Taste Experience

Both Gibraltar and

Cortado are known for their strong coffee taste, with less milk compared to other espresso-based drinks. The robust flavor of the espresso is harmoniously balanced by the velvety texture of the warm milk.

When steamed and texturized, the milk creates a smooth and creamy consistency that enhances the coffee’s taste and aroma. The ratio of espresso to milk in Gibraltar and

Cortado is such that the coffee taste is not diluted, making these drinks perfect for those who prefer a robust and intense coffee experience.

One of the benefits of Gibraltar and

Cortado is that they can be enjoyed at a leisurely pace or as a fast espresso shot. The larger size of the Gibraltar makes it ideal for savoring and sipping, while the smaller size of the

Cortado is perfect for a quick pick-me-up.

Whether you have a busy day ahead or are looking for a relaxing moment to unwind, Gibraltar and

Cortado offer a taste experience that will satisfy even the most discerning coffee lovers.


Both Gibraltar and

Cortado are served in clear glass tumblers that showcase the contrasting, elegant colors of the layers. The espresso layer occupies the bottom of the glass, while the warm milk layer floats on top, creating a pleasing two-tone effect.

The steam milk that tops

Cortado is poured gently over the espresso shot, creating a homogenous blend of the two ingredients. In contrast, Gibraltars milk is not always fully integrated with the espresso, creating layers that can be visually appealing.

Additionally, Gibraltar and

Cortado often have a layer of light, frothy milk foam on top that enhances their appearance. This milk foam is created by the steaming and texturizing of the milk.

The foam can be spooned off and enjoyed alone, or mixed with the espresso and milk for a creamier texture.

Caffeine Levels

Caffeine levels in coffee drinks can vary depending on factors such as the size of the serving, the roast level of the beans, and brewing method. A standard espresso shot typically contains 50-70 mg of caffeine.

However, Gibraltar and

Cortado are known to have around 120 mg of caffeine, making them a potent drink for those looking for an extra boost of energy. Gibraltar and

Cortado have a higher caffeine content than a normal espresso shot because they both contain a double shot of espresso.

The larger volume of espresso served in Gibraltar and

Cortado results in higher caffeine levels, making them ideal for people who need an extra kick to start their day. Cup Size & Type

Gibraltar and

Cortado are often served in clear glass tumblers that are similar in size and type.

The downside of this similarity is that some coffee drinkers might confuse the two. One way to tell them apart is that Gibraltar is often served in a larger six-ounce glass tumbler, while

Cortado is served in a smaller four-ounce glass cup.

The resemblances in glassware have also prompted some coffee shops to use the terms interchangeably, leading to further confusion. To avoid confusion, customers should specify their order with the name of the drink, the size they want and how they want it served.

In conclusion, Gibraltar and

Cortado are two espresso-based drinks with similarities and differences that make them unique. They both offer a robust and intense coffee experience that is further enhanced by the velvety texture of steamed and texturized milk.

Both drinks are served in clear glass tumblers with a homogenous or layered appearance, topped with milk foam that adds to their aesthetic appeal. Finally, Gibraltar and

Cortado have higher caffeine levels than a standard espresso shot, making them perfect for those who need an extra boost of energy.

What is a Gibraltar? Gibraltar is an espresso-based drink that uses a double shot of espresso and warm milk.

The pressure of the steam used to texturize the milk creates a velvety, smooth consistency that complements the robust taste of the espresso. Gibraltar’s signature feature is the glass tumbler it is served in, usually at six-ounces, which allows for a slightly greater volume and milk content than a traditional


However, despite the differences in size and milk content, some people still debate whether Gibraltar is really distinct from

Cortado. Some believe that Gibraltar is simply a larger version of

Cortado, while others argue that Gibraltar has a stronger coffee flavor and a more significant milk presence.

Conflicting opinions on the difference between Gibraltar and

Cortado can often be attributed to the variation of coffee types, grind size and other factors that may differ among cafes and baristas. Many cafes fill Gibraltar glasses with slightly more milk than

Cortado, in accordance with the notion that a Gibraltar glass could hold more milk.

However, some cafes that strictly adhere to a specific recipe obscure such adjustments. What is a


Cortado is another espresso-based drink that originates from Spain. The drink is crafted by pouring a double shot of espresso that has been “cut” or combined with an equal volume of warm milk.

Cortado translates to “cut” in Spanish, a reference to how the drink is prepared, and the precise milk-to-espresso ratio.

Cortado has a unique bittersweet flavor profile that sets it apart from other espresso-based drinks.

The name is also often synonymous with the serving size a 4-ounce beverage in a small, glass cup.

Cortado was traditionally a beverage consumed by Spaniards during their midmorning or midafternoon break, known as a merienda.

While the drink is now popular worldwide, the small cup size remains the traditional vessel for serving

Cortado. Unlike Gibraltar,

Cortado has a lower milk volume and is often served at a slightly higher temperature.

The warmer temperature helps make the drink easy to drink in a single gulp, which is typical of the way Spaniards consume their coffee on the go. In conclusion, Gibraltar and

Cortado are two espresso-based coffee beverages that are popular worldwide, with a following of devoted fans.

While Gibraltar is a larger espresso drink that uses a double shot of espresso and slightly more milk,

Cortado is a small, 4-ounce beverage that has an equal volume of warm milk and a double shot of espresso. Despite small differences in ingredients and preferences, everyone can agree that both Gibraltar and

Cortado offer a robust and intense coffee experience unlike any other.

How to Order These Drinks

Although Gibraltar and

Cortado may not be on the menu in every caf, they are easily customizable drinks that can be ordered by asking for a double shot of espresso with warm milk. This will allow the barista to know exactly what you are ordering, and they can make the drink accordingly.

If you are ordering a Gibraltar, it is important to specify that you would like a six-ounce glass tumbler, as it is not always clear to the barista what size glass to use. Similarly, when ordering a

Cortado, you should specify that you prefer it served in a small, four-ounce glass cup.

When it comes to customization, some people prefer their Gibraltar and

Cortado with more or less milk. It is common, especially in the case of Gibraltar, for some coffee shops to use a little more or less milk depending on the customer’s preferences.

If you would like your drink to be prepared with a specific milk-to-espresso ratio, don’t hesitate to let the barista know. Can you make a Gibraltar or

Cortado at home?

Making a Gibraltar or

Cortado at home is definitely possible, even if you don’t have espresso machine or barista experience. Heres a simple recipe to make these coffee drinks at home.


– 2 shots of espresso

– 4-6 oz of whole or 2% milk


1. Grind your coffee beans finely and pull two shots of espresso.

2. In a separate metal pitcher, steam the milk using a steam wand of an Espresso machine, or by gently heating the milk on the stove and whisking until a gentle foam forms.

3. In a clear, six-ounce glass tumbler, pour the two espresso shots.

4. Pour the steamed milk over the espresso shots, being sure to spoon any remaining frothy milk foam on top.

5. Serve immediately and savor the bold, robust flavor of your homemade Gibraltar.

To make

Cortado, follow the same recipe and steps but use a smaller, 4-ounce glass cup and a 50-50 espresso-to-milk ratio. In conclusion, while Gibraltar and

Cortado might not always appear on every coffee house menu, these drinks are easily customizable and can be ordered with a little bit of guidance.

They are both perfect for sipping leisurely or downing quickly for an energy boost. For coffee lovers who want to prepare these drinks at home, a double shot of espresso, warm milk, and a clear glass tumbler are all that is needed.

With these simple steps, anyone can enjoy the rich and intense coffee experience that Gibraltar and

Cortado offer.

Cortado vs. Gibraltar

Cortado and Gibraltar may have the same ingredients – a double shot of espresso and warm milk – but their quantities and proportions differ slightly, leading to distinct taste experiences. While both drinks offer a harmonious combination of espresso and milk, the variation in proportions adds depth and individuality to each beverage.

One of the joys of exploring different coffee drinks is the appreciation of the subtle variations in proportions. In a

Cortado, the equal volume of warm milk creates a balanced and creamy taste that complements the intensity of the double shot of espresso.

The result is a bittersweet flavor profile that is smooth and easy to drink. On the other hand, Gibraltar offers a different approach by incorporating slightly more milk and espresso.

The additional volume of milk provides a creamier and smoother texture while allowing for a stronger coffee flavor. The bigger glass tumbler of the Gibraltar allows the flavors to marry and develop over time, making it an enjoyable drink for those who prefer a more pronounced coffee taste.

Common Questions

When it comes to comparing

Cortado and Gibraltar to other coffee drinks, it is important to understand their unique characteristics. While a cortado may be similar to a macchiato, which also features espresso and a small amount of milk, the macchiato often has a dollop of milk foam on top, distinguishing it from the cortado.

Similarly, a flat white and a piccolo latte may share similarities with the cortado and Gibraltar due to their use of espresso and milk, but they have their own distinctive proportions and presentation. Whereas a flat white has a higher milk-to-espresso ratio, a piccolo latte has a stronger focus on the espresso shot with a smaller amount of milk.

In terms of origin and variations, Gibraltar originated in San Francisco as an adaptation of the traditional Spanish cortado. The Blue Bottle Coffee Company created a larger version of the drink and named it Gibraltar, paying homage to the glass tumbler in which it is served.

While the basic concept of

Cortado remains consistent across regions, there can be variations in preparation and presentation. In some regions, a cortado may be served with a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg, adding a subtle hint of spice to the drink.

These variations add a touch of cultural influence and individual creativity to the beloved cortado. In conclusion,

Cortado and Gibraltar are coffee drinks that share similarities but also have their own unique qualities.

The slight differences in quantity and proportions contribute to their distinct tastes and experiences. While

Cortado offers a balanced blend of espresso and milk, Gibraltar provides a creamier texture and stronger coffee flavor.

Understanding the variations between these drinks and comparing them to other coffee beverages allows coffee enthusiasts to appreciate the artistry and creativity that goes into crafting these delightful concoctions. In conclusion, exploring the differences between Gibraltar and

Cortado reveals the nuances within the world of espresso-based drinks.

Although they share similar ingredients, their slight variations in quantity and proportions create unique taste experiences. The appreciation of these variations enhances our understanding and enjoyment of these beverages.

Whether you prefer the balanced and creamy taste of

Cortado or the stronger coffee flavor of Gibraltar, these drinks offer a delightful journey for coffee lovers. So, the next time you visit a coffee shop or make coffee at home, consider trying these distinctive espresso creations and savor the subtle differences that make them truly special.

Popular Posts