How To Make Cuban Coffee (Espresso) At Home – Cafe cubano

Cuban coffee espresso cafe cubano

Our morning cup of coffee or well shot of espresso.

Our morning coffee is something that we take very seriously at our home. It is a rule to not leave the house if we haven’t had our morning shot. Now we’d love the ability to wake up to the smell of a fresh brewed cup of coffee in the morning, but the kind of coffee we drink kind of doesn’t allow for that to happen. See we like espresso coffee made out of a Moka pot and we like our coffee strong, but sweet.

We drink Cuban coffee, as is of our culture to do so. So we are usually packing some Bustelo or Café La LLave into our moka pot, adding some water, and placing it on the stove to brew. Once we remove it from the stove we make some espumita. That is basically a coat of sugar that we add to our espresso to make it sweet. And when we say this is sweet espresso we mean it. It’s sweet.

Cuban coffee espresso cafe cubano

*Pictured above is cuban espresso coffee made with Bustelo.

My love for coffee started as a young child. When every Saturday morning began with some cafe con leche and Cuban bread coated with butter or cream cheese.

As I moved into my middle school years I was learning how to make my own Cuban espresso coffee and by high school, my father would wake me up in the mornings with my espresso in his hand. It was the first thing I drank sitting in bed. Now this is not the healthiest method of drinking coffee but I think you can get the gist of what it means to me. In many ways it means more than coffee. It means family and an expression of affection.

Jorge didn’t really drink Cuban espresso coffee (cafecito) before we started dating. But after being over my house and not wanting to reject my father’s coffee he began drinking regularly and even became amazing at making espumita. After all he is the one that makes us coffee now.

When we married my sister wonderfully gifted us with an espresso machine and that was the start of our tradition in our own home.

Now it is not to say that every morning we drink our espresso shot straight. For a more filling cup of coffee we make some café con leche (coffee with milk). Something as a child I would mostly drink on the weekends but as an adult I seem to add it more into the weekday mix since it is more filling. In this case we make our espresso and skip the espumita step and heat some milk over the stove then add some espresso shots and brown sugar, and voila, a delicious cup of coffee that is very filling.

On our weekends our coffee is not just the morning cup but also the afternoon cup where we sit and talk over our plans, thoughts, and share with the family!

Cuban coffee cafe con leche cafe cubano

*Pictured above is cafe con leche (cuban espresso coffee with warm milk)

We have a breakdown of how to make your own cup of coffee below. Try it out and let us know how you enjoyed it.

Recipe for Cuban coffee with Espumita

*Moka pot

*Metal serving cup

*Coffee grounds (4-6 Tablespoons)

*Water (1-2 cups)


*3 tablespoons of sugar

*Freshly brewed espresso coffee

*espresso cups/tasitas

Directions: Unscrew the bottom half of your moka pot and remove the coffee filter (no paper filters here). Add water to the bottom section of the mocka pot, be sure not to add over the pressure valve inside. After you have added water place the coffee filter back into its position and start to add your tablespoons of coffee grounds (we use bustelo or la llave) be sure to pack that espresso in there, push down with pressure if needed or if you like your coffee extra strong. Once you have added the coffee to your desire screw the top back on and place in medium high heat (if in a hurry you can put on high).

As the coffee is on the stove waiting to brew, add 3 tablespoons of sugar into a metal serving cup/container. Once the coffee starts to brew add a small amount of the first bits of the coffee into the container where you have the sugar, not too much! You don’t want to create soup. Just a little bit as you stir the coffee with the sugar to make almost a caramel like substance, continue to whip as the coffee continues to brew. Once your sugar is thick and creamy and your coffee has finished brewing add the remaining coffee to the sugary mixture and stir. Pour a shot into an espresso cup and share with a friend!