How to Master the Art of Making Cuban Coffee

Making Cuban coffee at home

Making the best coffee? Is there a secret? 

People say there isn’t really a RIGHT way to brew coffee: Turks drink their coffee black and sweet, Brazilians like it steaming hot, Europeans love cappuccino and espresso… But when we think of the most delicious (and best, in our opinion) way to make coffee, Cuban-style coffee is #1 on our list.

To fully enjoy this heavenly beverage, you need to understand what happens behind the scenes – how do the ladies at the ventanitas make the same great cup of coffee every time? What’s the best method for adding sugar to the mix, what are the best ingredients to use…

Roll up your sleeves! Now you will learn what it takes to make the best Cuban coffee.

1. Get the best ingredients possible

First, a barista needs a dark roasted, finely-ground coffee. This is the foundation for making Cuban coffee.

We recommend Café La Carreta – this fine coffee is a family recipe that combines the perfect amount of Robusta and Arabica coffee beans. This is what will give us that taste we love at the end of the process!

And the second must-have ingredient: SUGAR.

These two ingredients combined make up the wonderful Cuban coffee we all know and love.

2. Have the best tools

You will need to prepare the coffee using an espresso machine or a Moka pot. Both ways work just fine! The only difference is the strength of the coffee. When made with an espresso machine, Cuban coffee is sharper and robust, as it uses up to 10 bars of pressure to force the hot water through the coffee grounds.

Oh, let’s not forget; a barista has all of the necessary tools nearby, such as a measuring spoon, measuring cup, and coffee cups.

Back to the process…

3. Start brewing

Put 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar in the measuring cup, the amount of sugar you use depends on how sweet you want it. Now, start brewing your coffee. Once the first drops start coming out of the machine or appear in the Moka pot, quickly pour them into the measuring cup.

Let the machine finish brewing the coffee.

The first drops are the strongest, the darkest and the more flavorful ones.
Tip for the Advanced Barista

4. The secret to the perfect cup!

Time to get in a workout! Mix the sugar with those first few drops of coffee. You can use a spoon or a fork, but the trick here is to vigorously and energetically mix them – it can get pretty tiring after a while!

The end result you are looking for: espumita

Espuma is the essence of authentic Cuban coffee. It gives it a rich and robust flavor, plus, it looks pretty, so your coffee is even more enjoyable!

5. Serving

Once you make the espumita, the rest is easy. Pour the rest of the coffee into the measuring cup and mix well. The last step is to pour the coffee into the small coffee cups. The more, the merrier, as it’s meant for sharing! (look, it rhymes). 

Cafecito is a strong cup of coffee, so small servings will satisfy even the most hardcore caffeine addict. Not all of them, but most. 

Now it’s time for your hard work to pay off; take in the mesmerizing aroma emanating from the cups and watch as the foam floats to the top, giving the coffee a unique look.

Lastly, take a sip. Sit down with friends and take in a part of Miami and South Florida’s Latin culture!

Why do we love it so much? 

Cuban coffee culture has spread widely throughout the world, but it is centered in Miami. Ventanitas all across the city, especially in Little Havana, serve a variety of Cuban coffees, from colada, cafecito, cortadito, café con leche, etc.

The famous comedian Lewis Black once said, “I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake.” This goes along perfectly with our 10 Quotes About Coffee, but Mr. Black obviously never tried a real Cuban cafecito – or he would be awake for real 😉

Try making Cuban coffee at home and you will experience the magic of brewing a Cuban coffee firsthand!


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