|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 4 to 6|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 17g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||6%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*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.|
Cuban coffee is sweet, rich, and absolutely delicious. Traditionally, this strong drink—also called a cafecito or café Cubano—is served after dinner, and there's no need for dessert. But you can really drink it any time of day, with or without food.
Making the perfect Cuban coffee requires a special—but easy!—technique of whipping sugar and a tiny amount of espresso together to create the espuma—the foamy crema that tops the drink. Unlike most other espresso drinks, you don't need an expensive espresso machine to make Cuban coffee—just a stovetop moka pot (espresso pot) and a whisk for making the espuma.
How to Brew Espresso for a Great Cuban Coffee
A 6-cup or 9-cup stovetop espresso maker or moka pot work best for making Cuban coffee. Use a finely ground dark roast. Feel free to grind your own coffee beans fresh using a manual or electric coffee grinder. Or pick up a container of finely ground Cuban coffee, such as the legendary Café Bustelo.
The Trick to Making the Perfect Cubano Espuma
The hallmark of Cuban coffee is the creamy espuma (or espumita), which is made by whisking sugar and a small amount of espresso together until a thick, foamy paste forms. There are a couple of tricks to transforming sugar into the perfect espuma and it does take practice.
- First, watch the pot and use the first tablespoon or so of coffee that's brewed. It's concentrated and almost like coffee sludge—ideal for whisking with sugar to create a thick paste.
- Next, get your desired consistency by whisking the mixture for a couple of minutes.
It takes patience and muscle, but the resulting coffee is worth it.
How to Serve a Cubano
Once you've made the espresso and espuma and combined them, all that's left to do is pour the mixture into demitasse cups—called copa tacita or pocillo in Spanish—and enjoy!
"If you like bold, strong, and sweet coffee, this cafecito is the recipe for you. I will admit that my arm was a little sore from whisking to make the espuma, but it was 100 percent worth it. " — Megan O. Steintrager
1/4 cup finely ground coffee, or amount needed for pot
1 1/2 cups water, or amount needed for pot
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Steps to Make It
Gather the ingredients.
In a large stovetop espresso maker, brew coffee according to the manufacturer's instructions.
In a glass measuring cup with at least 2 cup capacity, add the sugar. Once a little bit of coffee has brewed, add about 1 tablespoon of the coffee to the sugar. Reserve a little extra coffee concentrate in a small dish to use if needed. Place the pot back on the stove to finish brewing.
Make the espuma by using a small whisk or spoon to vigorously beat the sugar and espresso until it is a pale brown, almost foamy paste, about 2 to 3 minutes. You cannot beat it too much.
When the coffee has finished brewing, pour it over the espuma while stirring to incorporate. Let the foamy crema rise to the top.
Pour the mixture into individual demitasse cups. Shake the measuring cup a little and use a spoon as you pour to get espuma into each cup.
Serve and enjoy.
How Strong Is Cuban Coffee?
Cuban coffee consists of strong coffee and sugar, so it has the same amount of caffeine as a strong cup of black coffee (50 or more milligrams per 1/2 cup serving, depending on the beans, roast, and coffee maker). Cuban coffee can also be made using decaf coffee.