How to Make Cuban Coffee (Café Cubano) – The Perfect Blend
If there’s one thing we Cubans know how to do well (besides dancing and cooking and arguing, but that’s not important right now), it’s how to make the Best Coffee on This Earth. AKA Café Cubano.
“Un espresso, por favor.” Or better yet, “Un cafecito, plis.” <–That’s the Cuban (or Buen Cubano) way to say “please.” Oh, the Cubanity!
Seriously, every Cuban home I was lucky enough to have been a guest in, served the most delicious, practically perfect, just-sweet-enough-with-the-perfect-amount-of-“espuma” cup of Cuban Coffee. But more than that, what I absolutely loved was that every single individual who made the cafecito, prided themselves in their creation. And in every home there’s always the One Designated Cafecito Maker who gets asked to make the coffee because they just “know” how to make it right.
That one perfect shot of Cuban Coffee is priceless.
So today, because I love you and I know what’s good for you, I am going to explain to you what is, in my opinion, the Perfect Blend of art and science, which will produce that just-sweet-enough-is-there-anything-better-than-this? -God-I-love-being-Cuban cup of Café Cubano.
And as much as I hate to admit it, in my house, I’m not The Designated Cafecito Maker in my house. My daughter, Amy Kikita is. Which makes us The Perfect Blend: I cook the meal. She makes the Cuban coffee.
See what I mean? Perfect. Get ready to enjoy that glorious espresso shot that’s coming your way.
How to Make Cuban Coffee or Café Cubano is Life
You will need:
- Stovetop espresso maker – this is also called a moka pot. Believe it.
- Cuban-style coffee – my favorite is Cafe La Llave, but Bustelo or Pilon will do in a pinch) – you can also get fresh coffee beans and grind them fresh. You do you.
- Glass or metal pitcher (a pyrex measuring cup is fine)
- Demitasse cups (or even a styrofoam cup will do. Ya tu sabes.)
1) Fill the bottom of the espresso maker (excuse me, moka pot) with water – just to the valve with ground coffee. Cuban, of course. Also, it’s obviously going to be an espresso grind.
2) Fill the strainer with Cuban-style coffee – of course, I’m talking about espresso – until it’s packed in well.
3) Screw the top of the moka pot on tightly.
4) Place the moka pot (I’m getting sooo good at this!) on the stove, over medium flame, slightly to one side, so you don’t accidentally burn the plastic handle.
5) Place a tablespoon of sugar in the glass measuring cup (or metal pitcher) – the ratio is one Tablespoon of sugar per TWO demitasse cups. Remember we like our cafecito SWEET.
6) When that fabulous Café Cubano just begins to brew, remove from heat and pour a little bit into the pitcher (or measuring cup) with the sugar.
7) Place the moka pot back on the heat to finish brewing.
8) Meanwhile, stir the sugar/coffee mixture quickly until the bit of coffee melts down the sugar and you get it nice and frothy. (this is your espuma!)
9) Pour the rest of the coffee into the sugar mixture and stir. Very gingerly, scoop some of the froth and drop it in each cup. That’s going to create the most perfect shot of coffee you’ve ever tasted.
10) Then very carefully pour the finished coffee into the cups making sure you don’t damage the espuma.
11) Sit back and enjoy your Cuban coffee (Café Cubano). Not just the coffee, but if you’re The One, receive the compliments graciously. Smile, Look down. Blush if you can manage it.
And say, “it was my pleasure.” And mean it.
Now you’re all set to make a perfect Café con Leche and feed the coffee grounds to make your houseplants lush. But that’s a story for another day.
mybigfatcubanfamily® All rights reserved.