Cuban Coffee; a dark, sweet, viscous pick-me-up originating from…Cuba. Many variations have evolved from the original prep method, but the first version was simply espresso and sugar. Coffee became an official “thing” in Cuba after espresso machines made their way from Italy.
These days, it’s not uncommon to see a Cafe Cubano (basic Cuban Coffee) on most coffee shop menu boards, but there is certainly more of a presence in South Florida. I’ve mentioned Cuban Coffee Queen in Key West before , and it’s ranked as one of the best places for the traditional drink.
So Let’s Make It
To get that strong, almost creamy, foamy, thick coffee, an espresso machine is best. I have a cute nook set up with a Capresso Espresso and Cappuccino Machine. They look complicated, but aren’t at all. Use Cafe Bustelo espresso coffee grounds; they are Cuban of course, strong, and finely ground for a thick end result.
Place a packet (or a couple of teaspoons) of sugar into the bottom of a small espresso cup. This is actually important, because the sugar completely liquifies into the steaming hot coffee, which is want you want. Brew the coffee directly into the cups.
Because you are using an espresso machine, you’ll have that nice, frothy consistency. Add steamed milk for a Cafe Con Leche; I like to leave out the sugar for this drink. Steaming milk is simple, and can be done by using the silver tube on the side of the machine. A little milk goes a long way, so add a half inch of ice cold milk into your mini metal pitcher, and submerge the tube tip ever so slightly and swish the milk around until it’s nice and foamy. It’s definitely something you have to get a feel for, but the steamed milk makes Cuban Coffee more incredible than it already is. Enjoy!