If there’s one thing Cubans know how to do well (besides dancing and cooking and arguing, but that’s not important right now =D), it’s how to make the Best Coffee on This Earth.
Seriously, every Cuban home I was lucky enough to have been a guest in, served the most delicious, practically perfect, just-sweet-enough-with-the-perfect-amount-of-“espumita” cup of Cuban coffee. But more than that, what I absolutely loved was that every single person who made the coffee prided themselves in their creation. And in every home there’s always the One Person who gets asked to make the coffee because they just “know” how to make it right.
So today, because I love you and I know what’s good for you, I am going to share with you the Perfect Blend of art and science, which will produce that just-sweet-enough-is-there-anything-better-than-this? -God-I-love-being-Cuban cup of Café Cubano.
And as much as I hate to admit it, in my house, I’m not The Coffee Maker. My daughter, Amy Kikita is. Which makes us The Perfect Blend: I cook the meal. She makes the coffee.
See what I mean? Perfect.
How to Make Cuban Coffee
You will need:
Stovetop espresso maker
Cuban-style coffee (Bustelo, Pilon, La Llave – available here)
Glass or metal pitcher
1) Fill the bottom of the espresso maker with water - just to the valve.
2) Fill the strainer with Cuban-style coffee until it’s packed in well.
3) Screw the top on tightly.
4) Place on the stove, over medium flame, slightly to one side, so you don’t accidentally burn the plastic handle.
5) Place sugar by tablespoon in the glass (or metal) pitcher – the ratio is one Tablespoon of sugar per TWO demitasse cups. Remember we like our cafecito SWEET.
6) When the coffee just begins to brew, remove from heat and pour a little bit into the pitcher with the sugar.
7) Place coffee pot back on the heat to finish brewing.
8) Meanwhile, stir the sugar/coffee mixture quickly until the bit of coffee melts down the sugar and you get it nice and frothy. (this is your espuma!)
9) Pour the rest of the coffee into the sugar mixture and stir. Very gingerly, scoop some of the froth and drop it in each cup.
10) Then very carefully pour the finished coffee into the cups making sure you don’t damage the espuma.
11) Sit back and enjoy. Not just the coffee, but if you’re The One, receive the compliments graciously. Smile, Look down. Blush if you can manage it.
And say, “it was my pleasure.” And mean it.