A Tribute...How to make Cuban Coffee / Cafe-con-leche

Picture of A Tribute...How to make Cuban Coffee / Cafe-con-leche
How the art of making Cuban coffee is done. A dear friend of mine showed me this way years ago. We lost him in the late 90's to a car accident that was his fault. I love and miss him dearly. Jose and I worked side by side in a auto repair shop in Miami. We had a hot plate between our stalls on his work bench. We would make it together... he would start it and i would finish or I would start and he would finish. Every time I make Cuban coffee I think of him. Salute! Jose... may you rest in peace.
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Step 1: How to make cafe-con-leche (Cuban Coffee and Steamed Milk)

Picture of How to make cafe-con-leche (Cuban Coffee and Steamed Milk)
The basics for Cuban coffee. Cafe Bustelo or Cafe Pilon coffee. Sugar. A stove top espresso maker. A Pyrex or similar 2 cup measuring cup. This type of espresso is world renown espresso coffee. It use to be roasted in Cuba many years ago but now is roasted in Miami. check out the "about us" link for some History about Cuban Coffee Roasting. ;-)

Step 2: The heart of Cuban coffee....Sugar

Picture of The heart of Cuban coffee....Sugar
I use 1/3 of a cup of sugar. You can change this to taste. Some restaurants hand you sugar in packets after the coffee is done. That insults someone like me. The sugar is key to making Cuban coffee properly. The sugar must be cooked or "Caramelized" into the coffee.

Step 3: Gotta have water to make coffee.

Picture of Gotta have water to make coffee.
Fill the tank of the coffee maker to just under the pressure relief valve. Its about 8 ounces or so.

Step 4: Love the smell of Cuban Coffee.

Picture of Love the smell of Cuban Coffee.
Load the coffee basket with coffee. Be careful, this coffee is very fine and will get everywhere if you are not careful.

Step 5: Pack lightly.

Picture of Pack lightly.
Do not pack down the coffee too tight. The water passing through it will do that on its own.

Step 6: Coffee is cooking.

Picture of Coffee is cooking.
Screw the top on and start on the burner. It takes appox 2 mins to start to cook the coffee. Don't leave the lid open unless you are right there to catch it. Don't leave the kitchen or step away too far. It will spray coffee everywhere.
ntarasiuk1 year ago
Represent! I've lived in Miami all my life. Good Instructable! I follow those same basic rules (I even have the same percolator), but instead of nuking the milk, I use a pot to heat it up and froth it with THIS. I was also a Barista at Starbucks. Let's grab a coffee sometime :)
Why is it that I follow the steps and it don't taste the same like the Miami café con leche :(
gtc164 (author)  yanira.e.morales.92 months ago

Bustelo coffee, and 10 tsp of sugar (1/3) cup. Just have to time it right to get the foam just right. Adjust for altitude if you live near mountains. Do not wash your percolator with soap just use water. The aluminum is porous and will leave the taste of the soap. Whole or 2% milk works for me. Can not think of anything else that would effect taste.

Cafe Pilon, Sabroso hasta el ultimo buchito! Ok, I can't find my little expresso maker. I'm cuban and I love my coffee but I need to buy a new one. Just wanted to say thanks for reminding me of the great taste of cuban coffee. I hope others will enjoy your tribute to cuban coffee. :)