Saturday, April 11, 2015

*I had some dreams they were clouds in my coffee

      Finished our taxes today - if by "finished" you understand that I mean I took a stab at it then sent the mess over to my dad (who's a CPA) in the hopes that he will have time to look it over. Usually I can do it myself but we did stuff that made them more complicated this year and I'm skeered. 

I decided to celebrate with a café  con leche, and then decided to document the process of making a proper Cuban coffee so y'all would all know how to do it. (Doesn't matter though - even though I have shown a number of my friends how, it seems like I'm the only one who they trust to make it). 

Ready for the magic? 

Okay here's what you need to start - a cafetera, some Café Bustelo, sugar, a small glass pitcher or measuring cup, and evaporated or regular milk if you want a café con leche. Today I did but usually I just want a cafesito Cubano. 

Start by adding water to the bottom half of the cafetera, just up to the little valve/screw. Fine I don't know what that is. It has never mattered until now. It doesn't matter much now. 

Then add the coffee (really don't bother with anything but Café Bustelo) to the little filter basket. Loosely packed is best. 

Screw the two halves of the cafetera together tightly, then set it on the stove at medium high to high heat with the top open. This is actually a very crazy thing to do because if you aren't vigilant you will spew boiling coffee everywhere, but it's the best way to make sure you get the first few drops of coffee and that is CRUCIAL. You are now pretty much stapled where you are  now staring at your cafetera. 

Take your eyes off it for a second and put about 4 tablespoons of sugar in your glass measuring cup. 

Heat up your milk - either on the stove or in the microwave. I use about 1/2 a cup or so.  It should be steaming but not scalded. You can use evaporated or just regular milk. If you didn't heat it in your cup pour it in your cup once heated. Skip this step if you just want café cubano and not café con leche. 

Carefully watch your cafetera. Once the first drops of coffee start coming out, close the lid (to avoid boiling coffee spewing everywhere) and add those first drops of coffee to your sugar. It will usally be a tablespoon or two. Put the cafetera back on the stove to finish brewing. 

Now get a spoon and stir the HECK out of that sucker. If your arm doesn't hurt you aren't doing it right. Stir the whole time the rest of the coffee is brewing. It should make a thick glossy light brown paste of absolute deliciousness. This is your espumita (sugar froth) base. 

super double plus YUM. 
Once the coffee is done GENTLY pour it into your pitcher. 

and stir it gently, almost like folding. You don't want to destroy your espumita. It should rise to the top like a gorgeous carmelized head of awesomeness. 
For café cubano just pour the coffee into a demitasse cup. 

For cafe con leche add it to your steamed milk. 

I love this so much. Now I'll curl up on the couch with my book and my coffee. Yay, Saturday! 

* You're So Vain - Carly Simon


  1. Buenas! I like your web site and stories. Where did you find your demitasse cups with "Habana" and island map? I am looking for cups like this to buy for me. Yo soy Cubano de nacimiento.
    Thank you

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