Cuban Coffee graphic

Everyone knows about Cuban coffee. It’s notoriously dark, strong, and sweet, usually served in small cups called tacitas. It’s easy to get a café cubano (Cuban coffee) anywhere in the little island country, including from carts on the sidewalk. At home, it’s easy to make a decent coffee on the stove. Since it’s similar to espresso in body and consistency, we went a stovetop coffee maker (like a Moka pot) for our café cubano brewing method. To get a dark, roasty, authentic café cubano taste, we selected our Reserve blend Louisiane to use for the coffee.

For this recipe, you’ll need a stovetop brewer and sugar.


  1. Unscrew the bottom of the brewer and remove the metal filter cup. Preheat water and pour it into bottom half up until just under the safety valve.
  2. Grind up some Lousiane, using a fairly coarse grind size. Pour into the basket and use your finger to gently level the mound of coffee grounds. No need to tamp!
  3. Put the brewer back together and set it on the stove over high heat. With preheated water, the brew should only take a few minutes.
  4. While the coffee is finishing brewing, prepare your sugar! Spoon a small amount of brewed coffee from the top of the pot and whip with sugar to create a creamy paste.
  5. Put some of the creamed sugar in the bottom of your smallest coffee cups (tacitas). Then pour the finished coffee into the cups, making sure all the sugar paste dissolves. Sometimes, if you whip your sugar right, you’ll get a little “crema” layer floating on top.

So, how’d your Cuban coffee turn out? Is it sweet? Is it dark? Then you made it right.


  1. I was raised on Cuban coffee and cafe con leche. I am impressed that you know about the sugar paste (la espumita) which can be described as a faux crema if you’re making Cuban coffee on the stove. Now all that you need is a pastelito de guayaba and you’re set.

  2. Hi, can you give an amount of coffee needed per cup (tiny cup or otherwise)? And I thought that a course grind in a moka pot will make the coffee weaker rather than stronger. (More room for the water/steam to pass through.) I know you guys are the experts, so I’m just wanting to learn here. Thanks!

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