At least since the middle of the 18th century, the Cuban people have been cultivating and consuming coffee. Cuban coffee as we know it today wasn’t popular until nearly a century after the country’s independence from Spain. A lot has changed in Cuba and with Cuban coffee since that time. This article entails some interesting information about Cuban coffee and an easy way to make it yourself!
A Sip into History – The Beginning of a Captivating Enterprise
Jose Antonio Gelabert was the first to bring the first coffee plant to Cuba in 1748. These coffee bushes could grow with hard labor and favorable weather. The surge of French immigrants fleeing the abolition of slavery did not arrive in Cuba until 1791.
They also had a lot of farming knowledge, which helped increase the development of coffee plants across Cuba, thanks to this new workforce of freshly formerly enslaved people.
Much of Cuban territory at the time was forested and possessed undisturbed soil ideal for coffee cultivation. The first plantations were established in Wajay, a little town on the outskirts of Havana. Newer plantations were established in the Sierra Maestra Mountains and Guantanamo, with the next wave of immigration in 1791. As a result, enormous stone homes were constructed to accommodate the workers.
As time passed, the country grew alongside the coffee fields. Cuba’s economy was booming, and the country boasted 171 famous coffee estates.
In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Cuba’s coffee industry was the country’s most significant agricultural growth. Cuba used to export more than 20,000 metric tonnes of coffee beans every year before 1950. These beans were among the top-of-the-line brands offered at premium prices on the international market. The European market, notably Germany and the Netherlands, was the largest buyer.
What Makes it Different from Others?
The black appearance and robust flavor of Cuban coffee are unmistakable. The main difference between Cuban coffee and other varieties is demerara sugar, a raw brown sugar. This results in a slightly denser beverage. Instead of adding it after the fact, it’s thrown into the pot with the espresso as it’s being made.
Sugar is first beaten or whisked with a small amount of espresso. Add the mixture to the coffee and stir well. As a result of the “crema,” Cuban coffee https://brewedcoffeeguide.com/best-cuban-coffee-brands is perhaps best known for its distinct flavor. It is also grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers on organic soil.
The Aromatic Blend of Moka Pot and Coffee
The Moka pot, a familiar sight throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Central America, and South America, is used to make Cuban coffee. Coffee is brewed using steam pressure to drive water up through the coffee grounds in stainless steel pots, sometimes glazed in enamel.
The rich flavor of Cuban coffee is due to the fine grinding of the beans. Cafecito is only one of the many ways it is served. Small cut in Spanish, which is steamed milk added to a coffee shot, is another variation. Similarly, the milk-to-coffee ratio in a café con Leche is 80/20. Sugar and salt are used liberally to sweeten this dish. For Cubans, a colada is the quintessential expression of camaraderie. Sweetened espresso is served in styrofoam shared among friends, typically with four to six shots.
What You’ll Need to Make Cuban Coffee
- A Moka pot
- Cuban Coffee, such as ground Café Bustelo or Pilon espresso
Some very dark roasts ground for espresso would suffice if you can’t get these brands.
- Cups for measuring
Many Cuban coffee drinkers traditionally use a measuring cup to whip their sugar into espumita.
- Spoon/Whisk to stir and Whip the Sugar
- Demerara/Brown Sugar
Although there are differing opinions on which type of sugar is better, you can use anything you choose.
Brown sugar produces a thicker foam with a sweeter flavor, with molasses undertones.
The flavor of white granulated sugar is more neutral.
- Start by brewing the espresso. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for filling your Moka pot with water and ground espresso. Brew it on the stovetop over medium heat
- Make a froth with the sugar. Put the powdered/granulated demerara sugar in a measuring cup. In the cup of sugar, pour the initial few drips of espresso from the espresso maker. The most intense espresso is usually the first few droplets from the espresso maker. Let the espresso maker brew while you get the sugar foam ready.
- To make a pale, thick sugar foam, vigorously stir the sugar and those few drops of espresso together (espumita)
- Add a few drops at a time, constantly stirring, until the sugar froth thickens but is still drippy. Keep track of how much you put in, so you know how much to put in the following time.
- Combine the brewed espresso and the sugar foam in a mixing bowl. Pour the brewed espresso into the sugar foam-filled cup. To blend them, slowly stir them together. Use espresso cups to serve.
If you’re planning a trip to Cuba, don’t miss out on the opportunity to drink some authentic Cuban coffee. And if you can’t go there, you can bring Cuban coffee to you without much ado!