How To Make Cuban Coffee With A French Press?
If you are not familiar with Cuban coffee or Café Cubano, well, it is a super-sweet coffee with whipped sugar and strong coffee or espresso. It is many Cubans and Cuban Americans daily morning ritual and is absolute legend among espresso with double strength of regular American coffee. Most restaurants at Miami lined up for café Cubano served in thimble-sized paper cups and is served after their meal in tiny cups.
This coffee symbolizes the resiliency and creative thinking of the Cuban people ever since Cuban Revolution. Cafes are were not only places for Cuban but a vital part of their culture and national pride. Their coffee shops are known as ventinitas, mirror of their history. Cubans outline their day visiting coffee shops or brewed coffee at home with their loved ones.
Cuban coffee is traditionally produced in moka pot, a simple yet ingenious stainless steel pots that brew the coffee by pushing water up through the coffee grounds with its built-in steam pressure. According to some expert baristas, the bitterness of strong black sweetened coffee is due to the toasted chickpeas that are ground up with Cuban coffee beans. It has espuma as well, sugar whipped together with small amount of coffee forming thick and frothy cap to mimic the crema of espresso.
But how to make Cuban coffee with a French press?
One of the coffee enthusiasts described that the proper, old-fashioned way to make Cuban coffee is in a pot on the stove. However, if you don’t have a stove pot, you can still do your espresso with a French press coffee maker or an Italian espresso maker.
In order to achieve the taste of Cuban coffee you can use a finely ground, almost powdered coffee which is widely available in both whole bean and ground espresso. Cubans enjoy most the coffee with much sugar. Cuban coffee is almost available at all grocery stores.
Below are some of the things you have to prepare when making Cuban coffee.
- 2 espresso or demitasse cups of coffee
- Cuban-style ground coffee
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 3-cup moka pot
- 2 espresso or tacita cups
- Mixing spoon
Here are the steps on how to make Cuban coffee with a French press.
- You have to unscrew the Italian espresso maker and remove the metal filter cup from the bottom half. Next, is to pour an ice cold water into the bottom of the espresso maker to the bolt found inside.
- Put the metal filter cup back into the bottom and fill it very tightly with coffee grounds. Screw the espresso maker and place on hot burner heat. While waiting for the espresso maker, get a metal cup and pour about one teaspoon for each tacita.
- Pour enough to moisten the sugar in the metal cup and vigorously mix the moistened sugar and coffee until becomes light paste.
- While waiting, take the espresso heat once the top portion is about ¾ of the way full. This can help you prevent from burning or overflowing onto your stove. Once the coffee is done, you can slowly pour it into the metal cup while gently mixing it with sugar paste. This sugar paste will create a foam once mixed with the entire coffee. Pour tacitas or emitasse cup and you can have your Cuban coffee.
In a traditional Cuban coffee you can have as much as a full tablespoon of sugar per cup. You can add more sugar if you like or until you can perfectly balance the sweetness allowing your coffee to emerge. But overall, the more sugar you put, the thicker espuma it will be.
Keep in mind as well that moka pots that are used in common households are pressure-based system so it’s very important to read and familiarize the manuals along with the safety instructions provided by the manufacturer. And never leave your moka pot unattended on the heat.
You can also enjoy your Cuban coffee on these few traditional ways:
- Cafecito, black with no additions except the espumita.
- Cortadito, blended with an equal amount of milk.
- Café con leche, mixed with steamed milk and sometimes a little salt and butter
Make sure to remember these things for you to master on how to make Cuban coffee with a French press.
- Prepare your tools which are the French press, freshly ground coffee beans (Cuban coffee), measuring spoon, stirring stick and hot water.
- Lift the lid out of the pot. French press has a lid and a rod that screw into the mesh filter. This mesh filter and plunger will be pressed down on the coffee grounds and water. The filter will separate the grounds from the drinking. Set to it to pull it up upon removing.
- Heat your water using stovetop safe kettle. As your kettle begins to heat the water, you can warm the glass container of your French press by swirling some hot water in it. You may also add a bit of warm water to ensure your glass won’t be destroyed from sudden change of temperature.
- Grind your beans.
- Add grounds to your French press. Pour 36 grams of grounds into our press.
- Pour a splash of near boiling water over your grounds and add another two cups of water after a few seconds.
- Stir your brew. Give it a quick stir with a long-handled spoon to prevent clumps and to add consistency on the frothy. Push the lid down until it rests on the water. Make sure not to plunge your filter yet for you need to steep your coffee.
- Steep you brew. Let it rest until the coffee is very dark like for about 3-4 minutes.
- Press your brew. Hold the lid and press the plunger down slowly until it stops.
- Let your brew set before pouring.