How To Make Cuban Coffee Without An Espresso Maker?

How To Make Cuban Coffee Without An Espresso Maker?

Cuban coffee is originated in Cuba and is now even popular in many Latin countries. Cubans take their coffee as an intense shot of caffeine. It’s now growing for over centuries and Cuba can export their coffee beans to other countries. 

Cuban coffee is organic due to its ideal climate and is of good quality too. It’s usually grown by small farmers. Its coffee beans are growing in the Eastern part of Cuba in some mountains.  The Sierra Maestra Mountains makes it boasts fertile, reddish-brown soils and a great climate where most of the coffee is grown here. These factors made a good growing location and to eliminate the use of chemical fertilizers. The island of Cuba produces both Robusta and Arabica beans.

Coffee farmers hand-pick the ripe beans when ready. The beans usually grow on steep terrain which makes them hard to use machinery to do the job. When they harvest, they picked the beans to large sacks and throw them over the back of a mule and this mule carries the bags to drying areas for processing. Roasters process the beans using a drum roaster, which takes a lot of skill and the expert roaster relies on just his eyes, ears, and smell to know if it is fully roasted. 

How to make Cuban coffee without an espresso maker?

Cuban coffee is a very unique coffee the same as its origin country. It takes dark roasted espresso that usually gets brewed directly onto the sugar. You can also mix the sugar granules with the coffee grounds as they are extracted. This unusual process is so easy and simple. Mixing in the sugar causes the sucrose (sugar) to break down and to create a new, sweeter flavor. 

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As you may prefer to know how to do it using the authentic method. Most Cubans use a stovetop Moka pot to brew coffee at home. If you have the equipment, let’s try these steps on how to make Cuban coffee without an espresso maker.

To do so, you need the following:

  • Medium to dark roast ground coffee beans (1 shot per cup)
  • Sugar (1tbsp per cup)
  • Hot water
  • Moka pot 
  • Espresso 
  • Mixing cup


Fill your Moka pot with your coffee grinds. Don’t tamp the coffee but level it off with your finger. Fill the bottom reservoir with hot water and place it on low to medium heat. As soon as it is brewed, remove it from the heat. 

Sugar Mixture

Place your sugar into a mixing cup then, add 1 tsp of brewed coffee to the sugar and whip it aggressively. Whip it for 2-3 minutes to make it nice and foamy. It should be creamy and you can add for coffee too if you want. Mix it up to dissolve the sugar and watch the foam rise to the top. And you may now pour into your espresso cups. 

You can actually make Cuban coffee anywhere as it’s all about the brewing style even without an espresso maker. You just have to know what you’re doing and it’s better if you have the dark-roasted Bustelo or Pilon coffee which both are from Cuba.

Those Cuban coffees that you ordered at the cafe shops were made with an espresso machine but you can actually make it at your own comfort at home with Moka pot. To make a proper Cuban espresso at home, all you have to do is to add sugar. The secret to what makes Cuban coffee so great is to whisk sugar with a little bit of espresso to make a layer of sweet crema that floats on top of it. 

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The use of sugar to make the crema is a way to mimic the heady crema of a cafe-bought espresso. This sugar-laden espresso culture could also be an influence of the quality of coffee for Cubans over the years. Since there was a decline in the production of Cuban coffee in the 1960s there was also less available on the market. So the Cuban government began to ration out 4 ounces of coffee a month to its citizens. And with that small amount given, it was cut with ground chicharo bean or the cafe con chicharo which makes it an earthy and bitterly brew. 

Here’s a video on How to make Authentic Cuban Coffee Recipe Espresso.

Video Source: Easy Cooking Cuban

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