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How To Make Cuban Coffee The Highlight Of Your Day…

February 15, 2011 · 13 comments

in Life

This is a guest post written by Deidre Lin.  Deidre is an author, artist, advocate of Healthy Living and owner of TransFormX – a blog & website focusing on Healthy Living for Body, Mind and Spirit..

The other day I read about coffee on Everyday Tips & Thoughts and I started reminiscing about how I was introduced to Cafe Cubano aka Cuban Coffee.  After replying to Kris’s blog post about trading one vice for another, I started craving the sweet, hot beverage that I had grown to love during my years of living in Miami Florida.  Yes, even though I am striving to Live Healthy I still crave the coffee…

Cuban Coffee is a household ritual every morning in every household.  Each guest is offered this wonderful fragrant treat.  I loved it so much that I bought my own espresso maker and learned how to make it.  Once I share this procedure, you can try it yourself.  Soon, you too will be seduced by the nectar called Cafe Cubano 🙂

First one has to find the optimal espresso blend.  The ones that are most used in Miami are Pilon (very very strong) and Cafe La Llave.  Unfortunately I have never seen these two in stores outside of Miami.  Cafe Bustelo is also common and can be found in some Latin stores.  Here in TX it is in every Walmart.  The good news is that all 3 can be found online and can be shipped anywhere in the world.

Next, make your espresso and pour a little in the bottom of the metal mixing cup just enough to moisten the sugar.  One teaspoon of sugar per guest cup is traditional.  Stir this around until it turns to paste while you wait for the rest of the espresso to brew.  Set up the remaining guest cups.  The proper and traditional cup is called Cubano tacitas (cup).  They look like tiny tea cups.

Once the espresso is done you can pour it into the metal mixing cup stirring gently, foam will appear on the top if you are stirring correctly.  This is what is called ‘espumita’ and this is an indicator that the cafe Cubano is exceptionally made 🙂  It is now ready to pour into the tacitas and enjoyed.

Typically the café Cubano is sipped and enjoyed with no accompaniment.  Here in the US we typically like some sort of baked goods with our morning coffee.  With this beverage I would recommend pairing it up with a nice almond biscotti or something along those lines.  Biscotti tend to be less sweet which will complement the sweet coffee even further.

Traditional café Cubano is never flavored nor contains milk or whipped cream.  In Cuban restaurants if you order café you will get café cubano.  If you prefer regular coffee you must ask for it as ‘café Americano’.

If you are ever in Miami and want to experience a traditional Cuban restaurant that is exceptional in every way with lots of history and flavor – you must go to Versailles in Little Havana.  Every time I go back to Miami, this is the first place I go.  Right off the plane – I head for Little Havana and a sip of heaven called café Cubano.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos February 15, 2011 at 6:21 am

Deirdre, Bustelo and Pilon have been regular pantry items in our household for years. The local Walmart stopped carrying Bustelo, and it was a dark day indeed. We also used to be able to order through Amazon/Prime, but that’s not been possible either recently (out of stock). Maybe Cuban Coffee it has become more popular, or maybe it’s a function of rising coffee prices, or both, but prices have jumped from $0.33/oz to about $0.45/oz for Pilon and $0.60/oz for Bustelo.

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Deidre February 15, 2011 at 8:27 am

101 – Ahhh another Pilon & Bustelo fan. Yes, those were the good ole days in Miami. I was very productive at work during that time 🙂

Thankfully we have the internet now and I have found Pilon again – must be true ‘coffee’ love 🙂

Cheers!

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Squirrelers February 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Sounds tasty. Only thing is, I have gone with decaf now, as I’m trying to minimize caffeine. Any chance this tasty treat is avaiable decaffeinated.

Have you ever tried Ethiopian coffee? There’s an Ethiopian place I really like which has some pretty good coffee. It’s often fun trying different global versions of an item that’s common here. It can be uncommon as a result.

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Deidre February 15, 2011 at 3:01 pm

Squirrelers – You know, I’m not sure if its available in decaf or not. Certainly worth a try. 🙂
I will check out the Ethiopian!

Cheers!

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First Gen American February 16, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I stayed at a couple of coffee plantations in Africa while on honeymoon. There was a type of Kenyan Teaberry that was to die for. I was a total coffee snob too. I never liked starbucks as it always tasted burnt, but there’s no way I could drink diner coffee, gross.

I’m so sad I had to give up coffee (my stomach is feeble…damn you stomach, I hate you!) as it was one of my favorite vices.

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Deidre February 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm

Sandy..ahhh too bad about your stomach! The coffee plantation sounds awesome and mysterious 🙂

Cheers!

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Evan February 17, 2011 at 12:44 am

Sounds a lot like Greek Coffee! I LOVE Greek Coffee it is really rich ever try it?

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Deidre February 17, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Evan,
Sounds wonderful! No, I have never tried Greek Coffee but now its on my list!!! 🙂

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Joshua April 25, 2011 at 2:47 am

I’m half Cuban and have grown up drinking this since I was a child. Lots of Cubans will drink their cafe cubano with milk typically in the morning with Cuban bread or a pastelito. Either cafe con leche which is one shot of cafe added to a small cup of hot milk or cafe cortadito which is where you add a tablespoon or two of hot milk to your cafe. Anyway you choose to take it though it sure beats the brown water Americans call coffee any day IMO. 🙂

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Kris April 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm

I am amazed that Cuban Coffee existed and I have been clueless about it all these years. There seems to be a lot of fans!

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