Menu Monday – How to Make Cuban Coffee

Still waiting on your contributions to the Menu Monday feature. Surely there must be something that you do well in the kitchen that will wow me.(And trust me, I am easily amazed. =D)

At my house, the fight begins over who makes the coffee. Actually the smooth-as-silk-hot-and-sweet Café Cubano.


The Perfect Blend

If there’s one thing Cubans know how to do well (besides dancing and cooking and arguing, but that’s not important right now =D), it’s how to make the Best Coffee on This Earth.

Seriously, every Cuban home I was lucky enough to have been a guest in, served the most delicious, practically perfect, just-sweet-enough-with-the-perfect-amount-of-“espumita” cup of Cuban coffee.  But more than that, what I absolutely loved was that every single person who made the coffee prided themselves in their creation.  And in every home there’s always the One Person who gets asked to make the coffee because they just “know” how to make it right.

So today, because I love you and I know what’s good for you, I am going to share with you the Perfect Blend of art and science, which will produce that just-sweet-enough-is-there-anything-better-than-this? -God-I-love-being-Cuban cup of Café Cubano.

And as much as I hate to admit it, in my house, I’m not The Coffee Maker. My daughter, Kikita is.  Which makes us The Perfect Blend: I cook the meal. She makes the coffee.

See what I mean? Perfect. ;-)
How to Make Cuban Coffee

You will need:

* Stovetop espresso maker

* Cuban-style coffee (Bustelo, Pilon, La Llave – get them here.)

* Glass or metal pitcher

* Demitasse cups

1) Fill the bottom of the espresso maker just to the valve.
2) Fill the strainer with Cuban-style coffee until it’s packed in well.
3) Screw the top on tightly.
4) Place on the stove, over medium flame, slightly to one side, so you don’t accidentally burn the plastic handle.
5) Place sugar by tablespoon in the glass (or metal) pitcher – the ratio is one Tablespoon of sugar per demitasse cup. Remember we like our cafecito SWEET.
6) When the coffee just begins to brew, remove from heat and pour a little bit into the pitcher with the sugar.


7) Place coffee pot back on the heat to finish brewing.
8) Meanwhile, stir the sugar/coffee mixture quickly until the bit of coffee melts down the sugar and you get it nice and frothy. (this is your espuma!)

9) Pour the rest of the coffee into the sugar mixture and stir. Very gingerly, scoop some of the froth and drop it in each cup.
10) Then very carefully pour the finished coffee into the cups making sure you don’t damage the espuma.
11) Sit back and enjoy. Not just the coffee, but if you’re The One, receive the compliments graciously. Smile, Look down. Blush if you can manage it. And say, “it was my pleasure.” And mean it. =D



I still want to know, is there something that only you can make? A family fixture at meals that must be made by only you. Please share. Contact us at [email protected] and put Menu Monday in the subject line.

I’m ready to be amazed. Until then, I’m having another cafecito. =D

(formerly cross-posted at MBFCF and Babalu.)

Share, por favor!

By Marta on August 3, 2009 · Posted in casa + cultura, food

3 Comments | Post Comment

Catherine says:

I cry for those forced to live without Bustelo. I don’t even drink coffee (I know, what a Cuban, huh?) But I love the smell of it with some tostada!

Posted on August 3rd, 2009

Laura F-F says:

Marta, I have a million recipes and would love to contribute if you like. I just made the most awesome arroz imperial, but I know that might be something that everyone’s familiar with. I also have a really good salmon recipe that my husband and 18 month old adore ( I think fish is asqueroso). But anyway, let me know… :@)

Posted on August 19th, 2009

#MixedVida Spotlight: Interview With Angélica of | Bicultural Mom™ says:

[...] They used to call her apartment the “Welcome home,” because the doors were always open, warm café Bustelo was always on the stove, and people loved hanging out there. I remember friends and extended family [...]

Posted on September 18th, 2011