What is Galao, Pros & Cons – Ultimate Guide for Galao Lovers


Coffee has played an important part in the progress of society since the 18th century. People used to gather in cafes and discuss new ideas leading to a proliferation of cafes particularly in Europe. The drink under discussion here is also from Europe, specifically Portugal. It is another variation of the espresso and milk coffee drinks called galao. The word galao means gallon in English but it is also used to refer to a badge on a uniform cap or sleeve. Some say the quantity of coffee used is related to the width of the galao.

What is Galao?

A galao is a regular sized drink which has foamed milk added to espresso. It is a sweet, rich and creamy drink that is perfect for coffee cravings at any time especially considering that now you can also get decaffeinated galao. Galao gets love for the flavor, texture, and aroma. Traditionally served in a tall glass so you can see the delicious caramel color of coffee and foamy milk.

Texture and Taste of Galao

A galao is essentially a 1:3 ratio of espresso and foamed milk. The froth ensures that the milk is not scalded in the process but that velvety texture of foam is what it’s all really about. A galao is thicker than an espresso and less strong. The main ingredients are water, ground coffee and foamed milk. Depending on the roast and the coffee bean that has been used to make the espresso you can get a wide variety of flavor profiles from chocolatey to spiced to floral. The flavor and consistency also depends on the brewing ratio and temperature used by the barista. Similar to most Italian coffee drinks the milk in a galao is textured.

How Much Caffeine is in a Cup of Galao?

A galao is typically made of a solo shot of espresso which is around 1 fluid ounce and has an approximate caffeine of 64 mg. But this number can vary greatly depending on the place, type of coffee beans used, and the brew.

How to Make Galao

This drink is simple to make once you know how to pull a shot of espresso. For a galao you pour a quarter of espresso and three quarters of foamed milk into a tall glass and sweeten immediately according to your taste.

Types of Galao Makers

A good espresso machine can range from a 100 bucks and go upto 7 grand whereas a milk frother starts from around $10. It all depends on your requirements and whether you need it for domestic or commercial use. There are even tricks to foam milk at home using just a jar and microwave.

Pros and Cons of Galao

Here’s what’s good and what’s bad about a Galao:


  • Coffee is a great antioxidant
  • It may help in losing weight
  • It keeps you focused and alert
  • Coffee can boost your immunity
  • Espresso has a lot of nutritional benefits like niacin and riboflavin
  • Less strong in taste compared to plain espresso


  • It may exacerbate or cause insomnia
  • It can make you restless and overstimulate your nerves
  • Espresso machines can be expensive
  • In large quantities it can lead to digestive issues

Galao vs Cortado

While galao originated in Portugal and cortado is of Spanish origin they are quite similar. The difference is in the ratio of espresso to milk in both these drinks as well as the kind of milk. A cortado uses steamed milk and galao has foamed milk. In a cortado the ratio of milk and espresso is 1:1 whereas in a galao the ratio is closer to 1:3.

Benefits of Having Galao

Apart from the numerous health benefits of coffee and the comfort of hot milk based drinks, galao has a sweet taste and a velvety texture thanks to the foamy milk. This is one drink that most people will like so it is a safe bet to order if you ever find yourself in front of a menu in Lisbon.