How to make Cuban coffee

How to Make Cuban Coffee

How to make Cuban coffee is a question for a true coffee fan. Enjoyment is in the blood of the Cubans. No wonder that coffee is one of the most popular luxury foods alongside tobacco.

Whoever thinks of Cuba will probably be the first to think of Fidel Castro and Caribbean beaches and a tropical feeling and not so much a sweet and tasty Cuban coffee.

Due to the limited production, coffee is not a mass product in Cuba. Nevertheless, the Cubans drink a lot of coffee throughout the day. Regardless of the time of year or day, Cubans like to take time for a cup of coffee and a nice chat. Visitors are also given a cup of coffee as a matter of course. Cuban coffee tends to be very strong and very sweet. That is why it is usually served in small cups.


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The Cubans and the coffee

The delicious brew was once brought to the island by French coffee farmers. At that time, they had to flee Haiti and grew the delicious bean in the mountains of Cuba from then on. The soil here is rich in nutrients, so the coffee bean can grow slowly. Cuban coffee is characterized by its mild, low-acid but spicy aroma.

The coffee plantations produce up to 6,000 tons of coffee a year – but this is not enough to meet Cuba’s own need for the green bean. As a result, Cuban coffee is not a mass product and is therefore particularly popular with coffee connoisseurs worldwide.

Regardless of the time of year or day, a Cuban likes to take time for a cup of coffee and a nice chat.

With Cuban coffee, tropical flair spreads immediately. After all, the spicy aroma has a particularly intense fragrance. A Cuban coffee on the palm beach is certainly a very special treat. With the fully automatic coffee machine from Kaffee Partner, the special aroma can also be achieved at home. Different varieties cater to different tastes. Whether Café con Leche, Cafecitio or Cortadito, you should take your time for Cuban coffee and enjoy it in peace.

Typical Cuban coffee

Overall, Cubans prefer three different coffees. They like their coffee strong and sweet. The best known is the Café Cubano or Cafecito. By the way, cafecito means “small coffee” and alludes to the typical small cup in which it is served. The cafecito is a Cuban specialty and is also very popular outside of Cuba. It consists of dark roasted beans and sugar. The barista adds sugar as soon as it is brewed. No wonder the cafecito is very sweet.

The slightly milder alternative to the cafecito is the cortadito. This is an espresso with frothed milk in a ratio of 3: 1. The cortadito is usually served in a small glass.

Of course, there is also a classic white coffee in Cuba. This is called Café con Leche and consists of coffee and milk.

How to make Cuban coffee

How to make Cuban coffee

Cuban coffee is usually drunk after dinner and before drinks such as Cuba Libre or Mojito.

A delicious Cuban espresso is coated with a thick layer of frothy crema, which, however, is not made from the coffee beans, as is usual with espresso, but from sugar. There is no need to have an expensive espresso machine in the kitchen to make this tropical caffeine-rich coffee drink.

An espresso pot for 6-9 cups and finely ground Cuban coffee is best for easy preparation. If you don’t have one, you can also use freshly ground coffee beans.

To create the perfect crema you need some practice and muscle strength. Use the first coffee that is made during cooking. A tablespoon of the thick coffee sludge is highly concentrated and ideal for mixing with sugar to create a thick paste that is later called Espuma or Espumita. So that the crema has the desired consistency, it must be whipped together with the sugar for a few minutes. With a little patience and strength, you can make a coffee that is worth the effort.

Cuban coffee recipe

1 cup of coffee (finely ground; or the amount required for the pot)
1 ½ cups of water (or the amount for coffee pot)
¼ cup white granulated sugar or cane sugar

How to make:

  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Brew the finely ground coffee in a standard espresso machine that can be used on the stove.
  3. Use a container with a capacity of at least twice the amount of sugar to whip. As soon as the first coffee is brewed, add about 1 tablespoon of it to the sugar. Reserve some of the coffee concentrate in a separate bowl to use when needed. Put the espresso machine back on the stove and stop brewing.
  4. It is best to use a whisk to create the espuma (foam). If there is none, just use a spoon or fork. Beat the mixture of espresso and sugar vigorously for about 2-3 minutes until a light brown, foamy paste is formed. It doesn’t matter if you whip the paste for a long time.
  5. When the coffee has finished brewing, pour and stir it over the crema to process it. Let the frothy crema rise to the top.
  6. Pour the finished coffee into individual cups by shaking the container a little. It is best to use a spoon so that every cup of crema gets into it.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

How to make Cuban coffee

Useful tips to make Cuban coffee

  • The crema is a little different than usual. It is not obtained from coffee beans, but also from pure raw sugar. And this alone makes it a unique coffee of a special kind. The preparation of this coffee is quite simple and easy to do. A special espresso or coffee machine is not necessary for this.
  • You use an espresso coffee pot for around six to nine cups of finely ground coffee. This should then also be classic Cuban coffee and consist of Cuban beans.
  • In order for the crema to be the icing on the espresso, you need a little practice. But without it, the coffee is only half as delicious.
  • The crema is created when the coffee is cooked. Skim off a tablespoon of it and ideally, this can best be mixed with the sugar and modeled into a rather thick paste. This mass is called “Espuma”, or “Espumita”. To make the perfect mixture, it has to be mixed with the sugar and whipped for a few minutes.
  • A cup of coffee that is finely ground is equal to 1½ cup of water. The best way to do this is to use a ¼ cup of white granulated sugar or cane sugar.
  • An espresso machine is used on the stovetop, such as the Italian cafeteria, for example, then heat the coffee and allow it to brew.
  • The espuma is mixed with the amount of sugar and the tablespoon of the crema of the coffee in a bowl. The espresso machine can then be put back on the stove and the brewing process can be ended. Beat the espuma with the whisk and then add the sugar and beat until frothy. The longer the better.
  • Whip the crema until shortly before serving, this will give it the exact consistency for Cuban coffee.
  • Portion the coffee with the crema into the cups and ideally enjoy immediately. This Cuban drink is hot and delicious and certainly very high in calories due to the sugar mass. But the taste is sensational and unique and you usually get addicted to it more quickly. If guests are invited, this drink can be offered after dinner and they are sure to be delighted.
Julie Gabriel
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