Cuban Espresso- More Than Just Your Regular Espresso
This is the third installment in our ‘Brewing Cuban Coffee at Home’ series. To read our previous installments, click here.
Also known as cafecito, Cuban espresso is the quintessential Cuban coffee. Its strength, heavenly aroma, and sweet, rich taste earn it its hallowed spot in the coffee hall of fame. If you like your coffee strong and black, you’ll hardly find a type of coffee better than Cuban espresso.
How to Enjoy Cuban Espresso
Cuban espresso is a drink you relish slowly. As you may already know, a single serving contains enough coffee and sugar to give you energy you need to get you through most of the day.
It doesn’t matter if you drink it in the morning or for dessert after a healthy lunch. What we do know is that café cubano is akin to the original Red Bull- hot and strong, and it’ll keep you alert for as long as you want.
Cafecito is twice as strong as regular American coffee. Just like with any other kind of espresso, you would expect cafecito to be bitter. However, Cuban espresso is prepared with a generous serving of sugar. Perhaps you’ve been to a ventanita and you’ve been wondering what the foam on top of your coffee is. Well, here’s your answer.
When preparing Cuban espresso, the first few drops of coffee are beaten vigorously with sugar. This gives your coffee that rich espuma and keeps you wide awake with every sip.
How to Prepare Cuban Espresso at Home
Making Cuban espresso at home is quite similar to preparing other types of Cuban coffee. So, if you’ve been following the series, this shouldn’t be too hard to pull off. Below are the steps you need to follow when making Cuban espresso:
What You Need
- Finely ground Cuban coffee (we suggest a high-quality brand like La Carreta)
- A Moka pot or an espresso machine
- A cup and a spoon for mixing
Step 1: Brew the Espresso
Fill your Moka pot or espresso machine with water and pour in your favorite brand of ground coffee. As always, we recommend using La Carreta’s high-quality ground coffee.
N.B: Brewing on medium heat gives the best results.
Step 2: Make the Sugar Foam: “Azuquita”
As the coffee brews, pour the first few drops into a cup and beat vigorously with the sugar.
If you’re using a high-quality brand of Cuban coffee, you should get a pale, thick foam known as azuquita. Why do we call it this? Just to differentiate it from the actual foam or espumita that floats to the top when your Cuban espresso is fully prepared.
Step 3: Mix the Azuquita and Brewed Espresso
The rest of your coffee should be finished brewing by the time you’ve made the azuquita. Pour the brewed coffee into the cup with the azuquita and stir gently. The espuma, espumita, or foam will float to the top, and your rich cup of Cuban espresso will be ready to drink.
Remember, Cuban espresso is best enjoyed in small servings. The maxim “quality over quantity” is key here. As long as you’ve made sure to use high-quality ground Cuban coffee, a tiny cup of Cuban espresso is all you need.