Introduction: Making Cuban Coffee

About: In a past life I was a scenic designer, living in New York and building plays and fashion shows. Now, life has slowed down a bit and I'm figuring out how to be a good husband and dad.

Cuban Coffee is a type of espresso that is popular in many Latin countries. It is fairly easy to prepare, and incredibly delicious. Since moving to Miami I have fallen in love with the stuff, and I am trying to spread the joy of this wonderful coffee drink.

Step 1: Ingredients and Cookware

Here's what you need.

Espresso: I believe any kind will do, but in my opinion Supreme by Bustelo is best.
Sugar: Plain, white sugar. Not powdered, not the raw stuff.

Espresso maker: I use a stove-top espresso maker. If you have a plug-in automatic type then more
power to you.
Mixing container: I use a metal cream/milk pourer, but you can use a coffee mug.
Teaspoon: A tablespoon is too big.

Step 2: Brewing the Espresso

As I said before, if you have an automatic espresso machine, then just use that to brew the espresso. This step is for those who want to do it in a stovetop espresso maker.

A stovetop espresso maker consists of three parts.
1. The base, where you put the water
2. The strainer, where you put the espresso grounds.
3. The top, which collects the brewed espresso.

First fill the base with water. Stop right before the little release hole. (You can see it in the picture near my thumb.) Second put the strainer in and fill with espresso. Level it off with the spoon. Finally screw the top on tight and put it on the burner. (Put the maker on the burner and then turn the burner on. Don't heat the burner up and then put the maker on.)

Step 3: Sugar

While the espresso is brewing measure out the sugar into the mixing container. I use 5 1/2 heaping teaspoons (in the picture you can see what I mean by heaping). Some people like a little more, some like a little less.

Don't use anything too big to mix in, or the sugar/espresso ratio will be off. In the picture below you can see the size of my mixing container. This is roughly the size you want to stick with (approx. 3/4 of a normal coffee mug).

Step 4: Mixing

Once the espresso is brewed, it's time to mix it. This is actually the tricky part. Don't worry, if you mess it up it won't effect the taste, it just won't have espuma (foam). The foam is kind of the trademark part of Cuban Coffee. It takes a few times to get it right, but like I said, it's still great even without the foam.

First add a little coffee to the sugar (It's hard to tell you how much, because I always do it by sight, but I think that it would be about two or three teaspoons worth.) Now mix the HECK out of it. It should almost look like a thick cream when you are done. If you mix it and it's still clumpy, add a little more espresso and mix some more.

Step 5: Finishing It Off

Now fill the mixing container to the brim with espresso and mix it up until you don't feel the sugar in the bottom anymore.

Step 6: Done!

Here's the finished product. You can see the thin, tan foam floating on top. The little cup show what 1 serving is. 2 servings is usually plenty, and at 3 or 4 I get a little jittery. Great for study nights or all night partying. Have fun and enjoy!