Cafe Cubano

Cubans Have Added Their Own Flair To Coffee

The Italians might hold the credit for espresso and cappuccino, but the Cubans get the honor for modifying a similar mix. By adding some subtle variations to the traditional Italian recipes, the Cubans have created their own brand of coffee that’s like nothing else in the world.

Cuban coffee, or Café Cubano, is not meant to be savored like a fine glass of wine. This creation is a quick pick-me up that’s taken in shots. It’s become a ritual for Cubans around the world and a favorite in cities around America with rich Cuban traditions, such as Miami and Tampa.

Similar to the Italy’s espresso, Café Cubano starts out somewhat the same, but the added touches make this drink distinctly different. Old-time Cubans make the drink on the stove, but more modernized chefs create it using an espresso maker.

The base for Cuban coffee is finely ground Jamaican coffee beans. They must be ground almost to the powder stage, but not quite. It’s traditional to serve the end product with lots and lots of sugar.

To create a Cuban coffee using an espresso maker, start out by removing the metal filter cup. Ice water needs to be used, not lukewarm and not hot boiling. With the water in place, the filter needs to go back in and be filled with the fresh Jamaican grounds.

As the coffee brews, add a single teaspoon of sugar to the metal serving cup for each tacita, or small cup, the maker will produce. Cover the sugar with a little bit of the first part of the brew and create a sugar paste by mixing this together.

Once the coffee is done, remove it from the heat and pour it into the metal cup with sugar and slowly mix it. With a little practice, the sugar paste will help form a foam on the top once the rest of the coffee is mixed in.

Another version of the famous Café Cubano is the Café con Leche. This is simply a regular Cubano mixed with milk. It’s milder and creamier than its relation and is a breakfast treat that’s often served with Cuban toast for breakfast.

For the café con leche, make Cuban coffee. Fill a coffee mug mostly with whole milk and add a tacita of Cuban coffee. The end result is a sweet, creamy coffee drink that’s ideal for breakfast and serving with desserts.

Italians might take the credit for the machine, but Cuban coffee is distinctly Cuban. Rich and powerful, this drink is meant to be taken in shots. Its sweet and steamy cousin, the Café con Leche, is ideal for anytime drinking and savoring.