Azuquita – The Foaming Miracle of Cuban Coffee
Cuban coffee—the drink that has inspired so many men throughout history. Without a doubt, it is a brand in itself.
Known for its strong and sweet taste, it has its own category of different drinks. There is something for everyone—a unique set of ingredients, an unmatched taste, unparalleled coffee beans, and the lively ventanitas.
Everything related to Cuban coffee is somewhat special or unique in some sense. And why not? Making Cuban coffee is more of an art than an exact science.
Now we will discuss azuquita. Confused?
Let’s start off with:
What is Azuquita?
Azuquita is the thick, frothy caramel-colored liquid that forms when making Cuban coffee. Coffee gurus also refer to it as “sugar foam.”
Only a properly-made mixture of coffee and sugar will allow for the formation of this beloved creamy foam (or espuma) that floats on top of the Cuban espresso when it’s served. Yes! A well-made azuquita is absolutely crucial to achieving that lovely foamy texture.
Photo: Courtesy of A Sassy Spoon.
The word ‘azuquita’ comes from Spanish, meaning “little sugar.” At La Carreta, we decided to use the word azuquita as an homage to Celia Cruz. She was a Cuban singer who was one of the most popular personalities of the 20th century and used to say “Azúcar” in all of her songs.
Achieving the Foamy Texture of Cuban Coffee with Azuquita
Making a good azuquita is a source of pride for every coffee maker. It is the hallmark of a perfectly-made café cubano, a reflection on the person making it.
But how do you achieve this azuquita for the perfect cup of Cuban coffee? Let’s take a look:
First and foremost, you will need some of the essentials of making Cuban coffee:
- Finely-ground Cuban coffee beans
- Moka pot (or an espresso machine)
- Sugar (Granulated white or brown sugar, we will discuss this later on)
When brewing Cuban espresso, add a few teaspoons of sugar to your cup or mug.
The amount of sugar you add depends on your personal preference, but we recommend one and a half to two teaspoons of sugar.
Now, keep an eye out for the very first droplets of coffee that form and rise to the pot’s upper chamber. This is a critical step in the process of making Cuban coffee and will determine whether or not you get your café right.
When the first few droplets form, carefully pour them into the cup with sugar in it.
This is crucial: Beat this mixture vigorously with a spoon! If done properly, you will get a thick, frothy liquid that is your caramel-colored “azuquita.”
Allow the espresso to finish brewing, and then gently stir it into your azuquita.
Now you can enjoy your cup of foamy café cubano!
Granulated or Brown Sugar. Which Do I Choose?
White sugar is in a more processed form than brown sugar and is obtained through a process in which molasses is removed from it. It is commonly used as a sweetener for coffee as well as tea.
On the other hand, brown sugar is softer, moister, and has a higher mineral content as it contains molasses. The molasses will add more sweetness and give your coffee a more flavorful taste.
All in all, if you are a true coffee lover, you might want to try them both out. It will taste delicious either way.
Now gather up all of your tools and start making your best azuquita. This is an art form that comes with practice. Put in all of the passion you have for this beautiful drink, Cuban coffee.