How to Make Cuban Coffee – Cafe Cubano Recipe (Cuban Café ‘Espresso’ with Faux Crema / Espuma)

Step-by-step Cuban Coffee recipe will walk you through how to make the best, sweet, frothy Café Cubano with a thick layer of faux crema on top. This layer, called “espuma”, is made of whipped sugar, which you’ll see how to make in the video. Super easy, super delicious. ** KEEP READING FOR MORE TIPS ….

Visit my website for the full recipe, tips, and more photos:


**Making a Thicker, Sweeter Version**
If you prefer your Cuban Coffee closer in consistency to the kind served in paper cups in Miami, you’ll have to increase the sugar content to around 1 – 1.5 TABLESPOONS per serving. Check out the blog post for pics of what the final product looks like when you use more sugar. It’s far thicker, the espuma layer is deeper, and the coffee becomes lighter:

** What kind of coffee should I use? **
Cuban coffees are most traditional, but any medium-to-dark roast will do. Cuban coffee is sold at almost all grocery stores. Brands include Cafe Bustelo and Cafe Pilon, among others. These coffees are a bit finer in grind than I typically recommend for moka pots, which makes the next tip ESPECIALLY important:

** My Abuela tamps the coffee down. Why shouldn’t I? **
This is a common mistake with modern moka pots. The instructions with most of today’s moka pots specifically state not to tamp, and for good reason. Tamping makes it harder for the steam to rise through the grounds. This creates a build-up of pressure that modern, aluminum moka pots are not constructed to handle, putting you at risk of a blow-out. Using finely ground coffee (common with Cuban coffee brands) increases this risk since the smaller grinds mean more compaction, less air, and more pressure build-up. So it’s especially important not to tamp.

** You’re using decaf. What’s wrong with you… **
Health issues dictate that I’m stuck drinking decaf for the foreseeable future. But you don’t have too! Lucky you!

** You don’t use enough sugar, or the wrong sugar. **
It’s true, traditional Cuban Coffee can have as much as a full TABLESPOON of sugar per cup. Feel free to add more sugar if you like. For me, 1-2 teaspoons per serving provides a great balance that is still very sweet, but allows the coffee flavor to shine through. But in general, more sugar = thicker espuma. For the sugar type, I’ve used standard white sugar, but brown sugar or turbinado can be used as well.

** Don’t add extra water to the coffee. **
I agree. But as I say in the video, this option is only for folks who can’t stomach the full-strength stuff. It’s not traditional.

** My Abuela says you’re doing it wrong. **
Like any “traditional” recipe, there’s many variations out there, and the makers of each one will always claim theirs as the most “authentic”. And they may be right!

** Safety Advisory: **
Moka pots have been used in households worldwide for decades. But it is a pressure-based system, so it’s important to read your manual and follow all safety instructions recommended by the manufacturer. Never leave a moka pot unattended on the heat.


♥ We love to hear from you! ♥
Please feel free to ask questions and share your own experiences.

Music Credit: “Cumbia No Frills” by Kevin MacLeod.
Available under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license:

*FTC* – This is not a sponsored video.

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40 Replies to “How to Make Cuban Coffee – Cafe Cubano Recipe (Cuban Café ‘Espresso’ with Faux Crema / Espuma)”

  1. MokaBees

    *REGARDING MELT-DOWNS OVER MY USE OF DECAF:* As mentioned in the video description, I'm stuck using decaf due to a heart condition. Decaf is obviously not traditional here. But if you can use standard coffee — more power to you. I envy you!

  2. James Thomas

    Can't get the whipped sugar consistency, I'm using coarse natural sugar with a mini whisk, which may be the problem. Any recommendations? I've been stirring for a good half hour and nooo luck


    I can’t for the life of me get that foam… I’ve tried hand whipping and I’ve even tried a blender to whip.

  4. Mechi Mechi

    ☕🌴Huuuummmm 🌻🌺que rico !!! ☕🌴y con esa espumita 🌺🌻que delicia ☕🌴 y lindo fondo musical🌺🌻Feliz día de este LINDO AÑO 2019.SALUD 🎄 🌴🌻🌺FELICIDADES.🌹 Y PROSPERO AÑO NUEVO ☕🌴🌺 🌻🍵Y MUCHO AMOR.💖 CUBANO . ❤ DEL BUENO 🍵🌴TRIUNFOS 🌻🌺🍵UN ABRAZO 🌴 🌺 🍃 DE LUZ.🍃 🌅 🌄 🌅 DESDE 🌻 🗼🗼🗼🗼PARIS-LA-HABANA 👍💋 ❤ ✌❤ 👏👏👏🎶🎵🎺🎷🎻🔔🔔MYV 💖 🔔🌴🌴🌴🌴🌺🌻🌴☕

  5. Juan S

    I lived among Cuban people In the early 1970's and remember very well the wonderful coffee, and many of their wonderful and tasty delicious cuisine. Wonderful people. Arriva los Cubános, siempre fueron muy buenos vecinos.

  6. Lars Swede

    Looks good. Strange thing (maybe) is that my dad showed me how to make a similar coffee that he had come across in Saudi Arabia of all places. It was nothing like traditional Arab coffee that I don't like much. Maybe there were some Cubans working in Saudi.

  7. Mario Soto

    my wife,born in Philippines that she is,got this sudden antojo for coffee one day and I showed her how to make Cuban coffee and after she tried,she goes,"oh wow,no wonder you are so wired up all the time?"…..she goes"don't blame me if our kids are like you"…yeah..our kids are always moving around non stop!!…especially our little girl who is always moving and asking questions and just been active,like,super active…I don't think is because I am Cuban or the coffee but..there is always that duda siempre!

  8. Schmoopie

    Gorgeous! Thank you for the video! Do you happen to have a cafe con leche tutorial, too? Cuban bread would be nice, too! 😉

  9. Anita Thompson

    Looks so delicious thanks so much for sharing have a awesome blessed day today in Jesus Christ our Lord GOD and savor JESUS CHRIST BY

  10. Juan Hernandez

    Great instructions, but as a real Cuban and a self proclaimed expert at making Cafe Cubano several times a day for my fellow employees, the only thing I would change is always use raw brown sugar. White sugar is ok, but only when you don’t have brown sugar. Remember what La Sonora Matancera (Celia Cruz’s) song Azúcar Negra.

  11. Enzo Pianelli

    That's great with the Moka brewer. You hit the nail on the head. When using an actual espresso maker that has a pump, the pump pushing water under high pressure releases the coffee's own crema or foam (espuma) and you don't have to whip the sugar because the foam is there already. It's all about the foam, crema or espuma…whichever you prefer to call it. I don't' use a Moka any more. Too much work. I live in Miami so I know. Great video. Thanks!

  12. uncle roadkill

    Thanks for the share. Been dying for some up in Oregon. Use to drink it all the time in Homestead, all my Cuban buddies would bring in on graveyard. Zoom all night long.😁


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