Cuban Coffee (Café Cubano)

Cuban coffee is an espresso made with finely ground dark roasted Arabica bean. It is usually served in a demitasse cup with sugar added for sweetness and is often enjoyed after a meal, though many Cubans will drink it at just about any time of day.

Yields 4-6 servings

4-6 tablespoons Cuban espresso dark roast coffee
1 cup water
4-6 teaspoons sugar


Typically Cuban coffee is made with a small espresso maker or espresso machine. Below are some popular espresso makers. For Cuban coffee, there are mainly three top brands: Cafe Bustelo, Pilon and Cafe la Llave. Cuban coffee typically uses a finely ground dark roast Arabica bean.

Unscrew the espresso maker and remove the metal filter cup from the bottom half. Pour water into the bottom of the espresso maker up to the bolt located on the inside. Should be about 1 cup of water or so. Place the metal filter cup back into the bottom half and place 4 to 6 tbsp of Cuban coffee grounds into the metal filter cup, packing the Cuban coffee grounds until the metal filter cup is leveled at the top. Screw the espresso maker together and place on the stove with high heat.

While the coffee is brewing, place 1 teaspoon of sugar per serving (demitasse cup or “tacita”) in a espresso metal serving cup.

As the coffee begins to percolate, pour a small amount to moisten the sugar in the metal cup. Continue to brew the coffee and mix the sugar and coffee until it becomes a light paste. Once the top portion of the espresso maker is 3/4 of the way full remove the espresso maker from the stove. The coffee will continue to brew until it is almost full. Pour it slowly into the metal cup while stirring and mixing with a teaspoon. If done properly, the sugar paste should create a cream-colored foam at the top of the coffee (see the top photo). Pour into the small tacitas (about 2 to 3 ounces per cup) and enjoy.

More like this

View Comments

RecommendedView All