Sweet Foam Is Vital For A Properly Made Café Cubano

If this were a just world, the café Cubano would be as commonplace as the latte or cappuccino. Sugary and silky but still giving you a bracing hit of strong roasted coffee, the café Cubano is one of the best uses of the tropical bean that has given the world dozens of different drinks. If you haven't had one, know that the Cubano combines demerara sugar with espresso, which Savor the Flavour notes is usually prepared using a stovetop kettle. It sounds basic, but when properly prepared, it takes on a flavor no other coffee drink can quite replicate. The sugar gives it a syrupy texture and rich sweetness that makes it work as a dessert drink just as well as an afternoon pick-me-up.

In most of the country's coffee shops, the café Cubano hasn't seen the kind of widespread adoption its Italian and French relatives have. But according to Perfect Daily Grind, the café Cubano has remained strongly tied to the Cuban culture, and the Cuban immigrants who have spread out around the Americas. The drink is a common sight in places like Florida, which has a large Cuban population, or on the menu at Cuban restaurants, but it can be harder to find elsewhere. That leaves many café Cubano lovers the only option of making it for themselves. And you aren't going to make one right if you don't know about the creamy, sweet foam that forms the drink's base.

Make a proper espuma for a perfect café Cubano

There is no secret ingredient that makes café Cubanos great; it is just espresso and sugar, but the way of mixing in the sugar sets it apart. According to Coffee Affection, instead of being incorporated into the hot espresso after it has been brewed, the sugar in a café Cubano gets whisked with a small amount of the espresso from the moka pot until it is worked into a frothy cream. This foam, or espuma, is meant to recreate the foamy top of a high-quality espresso. Unlike a regular espresso's foam, the espuma makes the café Cubano a very sugary drink and gives it a more substantial body.

The key to a proper espuma is vigorous whisking. Food & Wine states that the sugar needs to be beaten with a small amount of espresso for up to a minute to fully dissolve and achieve the viscous foam it's known for. The rest of the espresso is then added on top of the sugar mixture, after which the foam of the espuma will rise to the top of the drink as the syrupy body melts into the coffee. It's all rather ingenious that such a simple method can transform a drink so much, and it's a testament to the dedicated coffee culture of Cuba. Now we just need to start convincing our local coffee shops to take up the cause.