All About Cuban Espresso

All About Cuban Espresso

¡Un Cafecito! All About Cuban Espresso

What is a Cuban espresso?

Cuban espresso, also called cafecito, is a strong, sweet espresso drink. It's brewed with dark roast coffee and sweetened with sugar during brewing, creating a thick, creamy foam on top called espuma.



What is a cuban espresso?



What Makes Cuban Espresso Different?

Two key things set Cuban espresso apart:

Sweetened with Sugar:

Unlike traditional espresso that's served black, Cuban espresso is brewed with sugar. Demerara sugar, a type of brown sugar with large crystals, is often the preferred choice for its rich flavour and ability to create a delightful foam.

Creamy Espuma:

The magic of Cuban espresso lies in its "espuma," a thick and creamy foam on top. This isn't the same crema found in regular espresso. Espuma is created by whipping the first drops of brewed coffee with sugar, resulting in a sweet and frothy layer that adds a delightful textural contrast to the strong coffee.



How To Brew Your Own Cuban Espresso

While Cuban coffee makers (called "cafetera moka") are available, you can also brew a delicious cafecito at home with a stovetop Moka pot or even an AeroPress. Here's what you'll need:


  • Finely ground, dark-roast coffee beans
  • Demerara sugar (or white sugar)
  • Water


  • Moka pot or AeroPress
  • Small espresso cups (tacitas)
  • Demitasse spoon (or small spoon for whisking)

Step-by-step guide to making your Cuban espresso

1. Grind your coffee beans:

Use a fine grind, similar to what you would use for espresso.

2. Fill the Moka pot:

Fill the lower chamber with water just below the pressure release valve. Add coffee grounds to the basket and don't tamp them down.

3. Prepare the sugar:

Place a demitasse spoon of demerara sugar in your espresso cup.

4. Brew the coffee:

Assemble the Moka pot, place it on the stovetop over medium heat, and brew until the coffee pot sputters (for Moka pot) or press down on the AeroPress.

5. Create the Espuma:

While the coffee is brewing, collect the first few drops of espresso in your cup with the sugar. Quickly whisk the coffee and sugar together to create a thick foam.

6. Pour and Enjoy:

Once brewed, carefully pour the remaining espresso over the sugar foam.


How to make a cuban espresso




Traditionally, Cuban espresso is quite sweet. Adjust the amount of sugar to your taste. You can also substitute white sugar for demerara sugar if needed.

Beyond the Cafecito:

Cuban espresso is a base for other coffee drinks like café con leche (espresso with steamed milk) or cortadito (espresso with a small amount of steamed milk).

So there you have it! With a strong brew, a touch of sweetness, and a creamy foam, Cuban espresso offers a unique and delicious coffee experience. So grab your demitasse cup, whip up a cafecito, and enjoy a taste of Cuban culture!

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