How to make Cuban Coffee Outdoors
Why do most people get hooked on Cuban coffee after their first sip? Could it be the rich, creamy sweetness? Or perhaps it’s due to its strength, strong aroma, and double dose of caffeine? Maybe it’s the delicate, frothy espuma? Regardless, we’re certain that most people who try a café cubano never want to drink any other type of coffee.
While lots of people have perfected the art of brewing Cuban coffee at home, many do not know how to do it without using a Moka pot. If you’re one of those people, join us as we share a few secrets on how to make Cuban coffee outdoors like a pro. If you have yet to taste a sip of Cuban liquid gold, you haven’t earned your stripes as a full-fledged coffee drinker.
Making Cuban Coffee with an AeroPress
Since you cannot possibly take a Moka pot with you everywhere you go, the AeroPress is the next best thing for making Cuban coffee. This device forces boiling water through the ground coffee, just like a Moka pot. However, it doesn’t require the use of electricity or a direct heat source, making it an excellent choice for making coffee while hiking, camping, or for any other outdoor events.
What You’ll Need:
- Ground coffee: Cuban coffee is made from a specific blend of Robusta and Arabica beans. Without this precise blend, you will not get that famous espumita, no matter how hard you whisk it with sugar. For this reason, we recommend purchasing a reliable pre-mixed blend of Cuban coffee such as La Carreta’s.
- Hot water: AeroPress manufacturers recommend keeping the water between 165º and 175ºF. However, we found that water that’s just around the boiling point can do the trick, meaning you can always rely on your hot water flask or portable water heater.
Steps to Follow
Step 1: Prepare the AeroPress
To prepare the AeroPress, place the filter in the basket, then rinse it out with hot water. This preheats the brewer and eliminates any residual flavor. Once you’re done, place the AeroPress brewing chamber over your coffee mug.
Step 2: Add Your Coffee Grounds
Use the scoop that is included with your AeroPress to add in your La Carreta coffee grounds. Two scoops are usually enough for a 16oz mug. Your AeroPress will have a funnel that helps to ensure that the grounds do not spill as you’re pouring them.
Step 3: Add Water
When adding the water, ensure that you saturate all of the grounds in the AeroPress within 10 seconds. Add a small portion of water at first and stir well so that the grounds swell slightly. Afterwards, add the remaining amount of water and stir some more.
Step 4: Put the Plunger in Place
After twisting the chamber a few times, place the plunger on the AeroPress brew chamber and pull up slightly to create a pressure seal. However, do not start plunging yet.
Step 5: Plunge
After about 60 seconds, release the pressure seal, stir your coffee and water mixture once more and plunge steadily.
Step 6: Whisk with sugar
Press the first few drops of coffee into a small cup and whisk with a generous amount of sugar. This step is critical to achieving an excellent azuquita (or espuma), the essence of authentic Cuban coffee. Remember to whisk vigorously. Set this mixture aside and resume plunging.
Step 7: Serve Your Coffee
All of your coffee should be out after a few more plunges. Add the coffee-sugar mixture to the rest of your coffee, stir, and marvel as your frothy espuma begins to form.
The AeroPress is an easy-to-use tool for everyone, even for those without prior experience. However, you may want to practice a few times before brewing your Cuban coffee outdoors, especially if you’ll be doing it on a day when you’re out with friends.
The more you practice, the more likely you are to achieve that perfect mix of coffee, sugar, and water, as well as the optimal brewing time. If you’ve ever tried to make Cuban coffee with an AeroPress before, let us know how it turned out in the comments.