How to Make Cuban Coffee

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A thimble-size shot of Cuban coffee or café Cubano is an essential part of the morning for many Cubans and Cuban emigrants. However, it is also taken all through the day and night and at various social and cultural events. This espresso-like Cuban beverage is molasses-sweet with a concentrated flavor. Read on to learn how to make the perfect cup of Cuban coffee.

Things You'll Need

  • Stovetop espresso maker
  • Fresh, cold water
  • Dark roast coffee, very finely ground
  • Glass or metal cup
  • 5 teaspoons of sugar
  • Unscrew the bottom of the espresso maker and pour in the fresh, cold water until it is level with the overpressure plug (the little bolt located in the bottom section).

  • Insert the funnel-shaped metal filter and fill it with your coffee grounds, tamping it down till it is level. Screw together the espresso maker and place it on your stove burner at a high heat setting.

  • Put the sugar into the glass or metal cup. A key to brewing truly authentic Cuban coffee is to make it very sweet--typically, you will measure one teaspoon of sugar for each demitasse cup of Cuban coffee you are brewing.

  • As the coffee begins to brew, pour enough of it into the metal cup to moisten the sugar, and then place the coffee back on the burner to finish brewing. Whisk the sugar with the coffee into a thick paste.

  • When the coffee is done brewing, pour it into the metal cup, gently stirring it into the sugar-and-coffee paste. With practice, this paste will "foam-up" as you stir in the rest of the coffee, forming a chocolate-brown layer of form that the Cubans call " espumita."

  • Pour your Cuban coffee into demitasse cups or the traditional Cuban tacitas (tiny china cups). Serve hot.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you use an Italian espresso machine, put the sugar into the carafe before you begin to brew the coffee. Once it is done, stir it well to dissolve any remaining sugar.
  • Cuban coffee is roughly double the strength of regular American coffee.
  • Traditionally, Cuban coffee brewed in a pan on the stove. Today, the most common method of brewing it is in a stovetop espresso maker. An Italian espresso maker may also be used.
  • You will get the best results with fresh-roasted coffee. A very dark roast such as Colombian coffee would be idea. If you buy whole beans, be sure to grind them at the espresso grind setting.

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  • Photo Credit Wikicommons; Author: Imm808
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