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The Cuban espresso drink is a treat at any time of day

Rebecca Firkser
January 08, 2019

Cafecito is no ordinary coffee. The strong, sweet drink also known as Cuban coffee, is especially popular in Miami, where there are “cafecito windows” operating out of eateries all over the city. But you don’t have to head to Florida to start your morning with a cafecito. Unlike many espresso drinks which seem to require at least two years professional barista experience to master, cafecito is simple enough to make in your own kitchen.

“The beauty of Cafecito is that it doesn’t require fancy ingredients—just coffee, table sugar, and an old-school moka pot,” Eduardo Merino, Senior Brand Manager of Rowland Coffee Brands, which owns Cafe Bustelo, told me in an email. “Super simple!” Though moka pots are relatively inexpensive, you can technically use whatever coffee-brewing method you already have set up to make the base of a cafecito.

To make a cafecito, start by brewing coffee in the moka pot, or, if you don't have one, brew extra-strong coffee in another coffeemaker. Next, whip equal parts of the brewed coffee and sugar together in a cup until the mixture becomes syrupy. For one serving, Merino recommends using 1 tablespoon of both coffee and sugar, but you can use more or less if desired. Finally, pour the rest of the brewed coffee over the syrup, which will force a thin layer of foam, or crema, to float to the top. Pour the coffee into espresso cup-sized servings and be conscious about how many you drink. This stuff is basically jet fuel.

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