Café Canario or Café Bombón

Ground coffee and beans

Guido Mieth/Getty Images

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
433 Calories
29g Fat
39g Carbs
7g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 18g 91%
Cholesterol 94mg 31%
Sodium 112mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Protein 7g
Calcium 226mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Strong espresso coffee, or café, is a popular drink in Spain, where cafeterias are on every street corner. This recipe is a typical espresso drink and is often enjoyed as a dessert. Strong espresso is first poured into a glass, then sweetened condensed milk is added. Whipped cream tops off the glass. There are many variations: Some pour in the condensed milk first, then the coffee, and then whole milk to create distinctive layers, with whipped cream on top.

Sweet coffees like this one, which comes from the Canary Islands, aren't as popular on the mainland as one would think, considering the deliciousness of this beverage. Regardless, this is a very Spanish tradition and one that you won't regret trying. You just need a few ingredients to cap off a wonderful paella with a bold, sweet treat.


  • 9 ounces/252 grams heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces/250 milliliters espresso coffee
  • 8 ounces/224 grams sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 tablespoon cocoa powder

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Add the vanilla extract to the cream and whip with a hand mixer until it forms soft peaks. If making it ahead of time, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and keep chilled until ready to serve.

  3. Brew 8 ounces of espresso coffee using a simple stovetop espresso maker, a machine, or French press. Remember that a good, strong coffee requires 1 and a half ounces of finely ground espresso blend per cup, the lighter the roast the more coffee you might need.

  4. Pour the coffee into four small glass cups. Pour the condensed milk into the cups, 2 liquid ounces per glass. Because the condensed milk is heavier, it will sink to the bottom. Top with whipped cream.

  5. Sprinkle one tablespoon per cup of cocoa powder and serve with a spoon. Remind your guests to stir the drink well, to mix the sweet condensed milk and rich whipped cream into the strong coffee.

Barraquito Especial or Completo

Coffees with brandy, rum, or liqueur in Spain are called carajillos. A barraquito is one such variation on café canario, containing Licor 43, a lemon peel, and some ground cinnamon or a whole stick. The Licor 43 has 43 different ingredients and is a very sweet and aromatic liquor widely appreciated in Spain. Barraquito can also be offered as part of the dessert course.

History of Café Canario

For years, the cafeterias on the Canary Islands have been selling café canario or cafe bombón. It is often referred to as café canario because it is a popular drink in the Canary Islands. However, it is also called café bombón because it is sweet and rich-tasting like a dessert. Some give the credit for the concoction to a local coffee drinker nicknamed barraquito (which is also the name of a version of this coffee with liquor) and some attribute it to a local barista.