Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cuban Coffee

That my friends is no ordinary coffee. It's café! 

Café makes Betty Crapper very happy and a much nicer person.  

Please do not speak to Betty Crapper until she has consumed her morning cafécito. 

Cuban coffee is very easy to make with a stove top Italian espresso maker (cafetera). Every grocery store in Miami sells these aluminum cafeteras very cheap, as in less than $10. 

Betty Crapper has two. If Betty Crapper's nine month old decided it was party time at 2:00 AM, the next morning Betty Crapper reaches for the big one.

Last night was a good night.

Cuban Coffee Instructions

Fill the reservoir with water, up to the bottom of the steam release valve. Insert the funnel filter. Carefully add your finely ground espresso beans and lightly tamp. Attach the top and do not over tighten.

Betty Crapper made a mess.

The key to great homemade Cuban coffee is espumita. Add sugar to a small pitcher.

Place the espresso maker on high heat and wait. 

Espumita is very easy to make, but it requires vigilance. Do not walk away from the stove.

This is what you are waiting for!

Pour the very first drops of café into your sugar. Return the pot to the stove. It needs to finish oozing goodness. With the spoon, vigorously beat the first drops of café until the sugar/café mixture is very light colored and foamy.

Add the rest of the café and stir.

What beautiful crema on top, achieved without the benefit of a fancy and very expensive espresso machine. Although, Betty Crapper dreams of very expensive espresso machines (hint, hint!)

Decisions, decisions ... Good night? Bad night?

Tips and a Cautionary Tale

If you miss the very first few drops of coffee, no espumita for you! Don't sweat it, the coffee still works it's morning magic.

Any espresso roast will do. Bustelo and Pilon are the traditional brands.

Cuban coffee is usually served very sweet. Betty Crapper does not make hers that sweet. When Betty Crapper uses her single serving model, she uses a scant teaspoon of sugar. 

Café is served in those teeny tiny espresso cups. 

One day, back in her college cramming years, Betty Crapper desperately needed the magic of Cuban café. Betty Crapper was in a hurry and placed her cafetera in the middle of the burner. She figured it would come out faster.

She was right; however ...

Betty Crapper learned the hard way this is not a good idea with a cheap stovetop model. Don't EVER allow the plastic handle to sit directly above the burner. The plastic handle melted all over the burner and set off the smoke alarm.

Not a good day.


  1. That looks like some GOOD coffee!! You had me crackin up;)

  2. Great post and the coffee looks delicious.

  3. I love your blog title! It's great! I can't function without my morning coffee either.

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  4. I adore Cuban coffee!My husby introduced me to it several years ago when he went to Miami for physical therapy - it was wonderful and we came home with our own cafetera! Thanks for the tips!
    Happy Sits Saturday Sharefest - and thank you for the lovely comments on my blog.

  5. Hmm that coffee looks WAY more appealing than my Folgers drip from my aging, almost broken Bunn coffee pot! :p

    Very funny and interesting post. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  6. Thank you for the comments. I truly cannot function without the stuff.

  7. Love your blog and your blog name! Betty Crapper...that's AWESOME! Sorry to hear about your poor melted coffee thingy. I had a similar college disaster with a microwave:
    Very sad!!!

  8. I haven't had any coffee yet this morning, now I REALLY need some!

    Love your blog! Thanks for visiting mine. Happy SITS Saturday!

  9. When I was in Cuba, in every house we went to we were served this amazing coffee in little shot glasses. Best coffee I have EVER tasted. So I totally love you for instructions on how to make it :D

  10. This look like something to look forward to in the morning! I have an espresso machine but had to stop drinking coffee - boo! I miss it. And being fairly new to your site - every time you say Betty Crapper I can't help but giggle. Slightly childish I know.

  11. Mmmm. Believe it or not, I've never had cuban coffee. This looks delightful! I hope you had a nice night. I totally get the whole 2am wake up call since I have 3 of those pesky alarms myself.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  12. Okay, just the title of this blog had me snickering.

    I'm not much of a coffee person, but those tiny, adorable little cups? I need those.

  13. I got those tiny cups at Crate and Barrel several years ago. They currently have similar square ones.

  14. This was so funny! I laughed so hard! Thanks for the humorous post!

    It was educational, too; I've never seen coffee pots like that.

    See, I laughed AND I learned something. That makes it a good day :)

  15. Living in South Florida,(West Palm Beach) we have a huge Cuban population. In other words, every corner has some type of Cuban shop. Even in our local Publix, it is mostly managed by Cuban/Americans, with every available Hispanic products you can buy. They even have a Caffe stand, and make awesome Cuban coffee, and pastries to go with it.
    I also have the stove top coffee makers, large and small, to make my Italian version of the espresso coffee.
    Great job of the demonstration...enjoyed your humor in your story!
    BTW, thank you for your kind comment on my blog!

  16. These are really great coffee makers. I think if you will prepare cuban coffee in it, it will give a different taste and a unforgettable taste too.