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How to Make Café Cubano at Home

How to make Café Cubano at home

Café cubano, also called cafecito, is a Cuban drink steeped in history. Before you head to Havana, why not try making this sweet, strong coffee at home? With a few basic ingredients, like espresso and sugar, you can quickly whip up a tasty café cubano.

Though you can use any espresso-making method, Café cubano is traditionally brewed in a Moka pot, which is a stove-top espresso maker, using finely-ground Cuban coffee. Serve your drink in a small cup, also known as a tacita, and top it with a distinctive light brown froth, called espuma. This layer, made with whipped sugar and espresso, is a version of the crema found on typical shots of espresso.

Keep reading to learn how to make a perfect tacita of café cubano!

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What You’ll Need

  • Cuban-style ground coffee, such as Café Bustelo
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • Moka pot
  • Demitasse, tacita, or other small cup
  • Spoon and whisk
  • Creamer or small bowl

Café Cubano ingredients

1. Set up your Moka pot.

Fill the base of the Moka pot with water. Add finely-ground Cuban coffee to the filter insert. Level it off, but don’t pack it down. Attach the filter basket to the pot and screw the top section of the pot to the bottom section.

Café Cubano Moka pot

2. Start brewing your coffee.

Heat the Moka pot over medium heat. If it heats up too fast, it will brew too quickly and won’t capture the full robustness of the coffee.

3. Add sugar to your creamer.

Add two tablespoons of sugar to a creamer or small bowl. This will produce a very sweet coffee, but you can adjust the amount of sugar depending on your taste.

Add sugar to creamer

4. Make the espuma.

As soon as the coffee starts to fill the pot’s upper chamber, remove it from the heat and pour an ounce or two into your creamer. Return the pot to the stove and whisk the espresso and sugar mixture vigorously. You want the sugar to dissolve and a light brown foamy layer to form on top.

Make the espuma

5. Combine and serve.

Once your coffee finishes brewing, remove the pot from the heat. Pour the coffee into your espresso cup. Top with the espuma and serve!

Combine and serve your Café Cubano



Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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