Cubans like their coffee strong, hot, and sweet, and have very definite ideas about how to brew it. The coffee itself is dark roasted and more finely ground than Italian espresso. You may grind it yourself using dark-roasted beans, preferably arabica beans, or buy one of the brands of Cuban-style ground coffees, such as Bustello, Pilón, El Pico, or La Llave, sold in the international coffee section of grocery stores in the United States.
Here are three ways to brew the perfect cup of Cuban coffee: the traditional method and the now more common methods using a stovetop espresso pot or electric espresso machine.
Small demitasse cups of sweet black coffee are consumed throughout the day and particularly at the end of a meal. Those who don’t like it as strong ask for a cortadito, a small cup with a little hot milk added. For breakfast, Cuban adults and children often drink café con leche, in a large cup. The general proportions are
The traditional brewing method: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring
The espresso pot method: Fill the bottom half of a two-part Moka coffeepot to the “MAX” line with cold water. Fill the top half loosely with coffee. Place the pot over medium heat. Put the sugar in a separate coffee serving pot, or a large heatproof glass measuring cup. When the coffee begins to bubble up into the top of the pot, add the first
The espresso machine method: Follow the instructions for your machine, but add sugar to the pitcher the coffee drips into and stir it together with the first
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