How to Make Cuban Coffee


The coffee coming from the gooseneck (?) into the top collector (?) of that pot looked amazing. What is the concept on which the pot operates? How is it brewing? At first, until you put the top on, I thought it was a small percolator. Nice video, and beautiful brew.

I first became a caffeine fiend by being introduced to Cuban coffee. When I was just a young whippersnapper, I would drop my Mother off to get her hair done by some Cuban ladies. They gave me some of this miracle elixir. I eventually backed down from Cuban coffee to regular drip coffee. Man, this stuff is awesome!

It’s a moka pot. Very common in Italy – it’s pretty much the way every household makes coffee every day. The resulting coffee is roughly half the concentration of esspresso.

It’s kind of the inverse of a percelator: the water at the bottom is forced upwards, just like in a percelator, but in pushes up through the coffee and ends up at the top, instead of skipping up past the coffee and then dripping back down through it.

You can look at a pretty diagram I made a long time ago, and an animation someone else made from it, right here:


I wouldnt call that exclusively “Cuban Coffee”. Not even close. Many countries use the same type of percolator. I’m from Venezuela and we use it heavily but it can easily be found anywhere else in the world, not just latin america. Plus there is nothing really unique from the brewing method, he just used a stove top percolator/espresso maker. All you do is turn on the stove, add water and coffee. The only new step is disolving the sugar before hand into the coffee, but that wouldnt really change the taste of the coffee.

My grandma’s method for brewing coffee is to heat up water in a pot, and she has this fabric filter where you pour the water through. You can pour and repour the water/coffee through the filter once or twice to make sure you get all the coffee goodness. Then put the brewed coffee back on the stove in a pot, add sugar and powdered milk and stir over medium to low heat. It ends up super delicious, i can never get it taste quite as awesome as my grandma.

I haven’t watched the video, but from the description, this is just a very very sweet straight Moka coffee, right?

Personally - I like a latte made with my Moka pot. I don’t care if the milk is microwaved, as long as it’s hot. One sugar, half milk, half coffee and I’m good. To me the milk help draw out the various flavours of the coffee, rather than being (to my tastes) strong and bitter.

I won’t even try to claim it’s the “best” coffee or anything like that. Saying that about such a subjective matter would be a bit daft.

Nice post, thanks. I’ve been experimenting with different ways of making coffee, especially pour-over for the last few years, which started out as simply a way to get away from brewing with plastic, but has taught me a little about the characteristics of coffee. This pot looks amazing, and I am definitely looking forward to picking one up.

I’ve seen another technique for Cubano coffee which involves adding sugar to the coffee grounds and brewing it all together in a moka pot, rather than fiddling with the sugar afterwards.

I use a moka pot for my coffee, unless I’m using my Chemex. Might try this.

I should get a briki so I can make Greek coffee.

Haven’t had this stuff anywhere except Miami. Gotten into a lot of trouble at all hours while drinking this stuff down there.


Curious as to what’s the rate of hypertension in Italy. I have a moka pot and that’s basically why I quit using it. I did not, however, completely cut out coffee.

But this Cuban version should also do wonders for my triglycerides (which I finally got into normal range, at least they were before last Friday)

EDIT: I would’ve recommended throwing a black cardamom pod into steeping coffee, but in my case it caused continuous heart palpitations until I stopped doing that.

you don’t get the Pumita that way

Full disclosure, though: after growing up on the moka (in Rome), and continuing to use one for about ten years after coming to the States, I’ve now moved to the aeropress and haven’t looked back.

The main reason was that the moka isn’t the most reliable method of making perfect coffee every time. Occasionally the brew will take to long, and the coffee will come out bitter and burnt-tasting. It also takes a little longer to prep and clean.

The aeropress consistantly makes the same coffee every time for me. Almost as strong as as – but less bitter than – the moka.

That said, the moka is a pleasure to use, and to smell and hear while it’s bubbling. It’s a fine addition to the stove, and when I feel homesick I take it out and use it.


I really like the deco design on the Bustelo can, it’s a thing of beauty.

I used to have one of those but got rid of it because it is aluminum. I found a stainless steel version made by Ilsa which I have been using for years. Last year I started getting heart beat irregularities so I have now switched to decaf, and still get a nice buzz from it but without the chest pounding drama! It’s a fun way to make coffee, especially outside at my work table in the middle of winter.

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Great Article using the “Old Fashioned” Moka Pot. I didn’t even know that’s what it was called, we just called it the “cafetera”. My family had been making our Café Cubano like that for generations before we got an electric espresso maker but usually used the KLOC brand as that was what you found/find in the grocery stores. I remember back when I left for the military one of the gifts my parents gave me was a mini pot and a couple of bags of Coffee (Pilon), so I could get my fix while I was away from the “homeland” (Miami).
At around 3:05 everyday (Miami-Dade County’s “Official Cafesito time” as defined by the County Commissioners), Legions of little old ladies in offices all across Dade County do it this way. Oh and Grey Devil yes that is exclusively “Cuban Coffee”; the Secret/difference between Cuban Coffee and “espresso” (beside the machine) Is precisely the method of sugaring. Making sure to get only “the first Drops” of the Café and mixing it in the sugar till you get the Golden “espumita” is THE Cuban way*. AFAIK They don’t do it that way in Venezuela (except for my Tia and Primos who live in Caracas who are of course Cuban). From what I have seen much of South/Latin America drink “Café Americano” not espresso, let alone Café Cubano. (Caveat- my experience comes from going to Various LatAm countries and of course living in Miami the de-facto capital of Latin America- and everybody has an opinion on coffee)
Heck, Even when I lived in Italy my local friends liked they way I made the coffee as it was different from how they took it.
FYI as for Coffee, Bustelo is good but I prefer Pilon (but my wife picks up what’s on sale) I have tried other various brands of espresso beans but to my taste those two fit the bill, most likely because that is what I grew up with. I love LaVassa and Illy but for daily use they are little on the expensive side. Don’t get me started on Starbucks, though in Miami some stores sell a "Café cubano separately. That said your a fool to pay 2 bucks for Starbuck Cuban cafesito when the Gas station/bodega/Restaurant Window that is open to the street charges .50 cents


That’s how folks we visited in Southern Brazil tended to make their coffee too.

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I suppose dissolving the sugar would be enough of a difference to make it it’s own thing so consider me schooled :slight_smile: and yeah, i rather like the fabric filter for brewing coffee. I couldn’t logically say why, nostalgia for grandma’s coffee i guess? But it always seems to taste better. However, currently i use an electric brewer for convinience more than anything else… i do have a Moka pot stashed that i’d like to use eventually.

Yeah Dissolving the sugar by Whipping it till your wrist hurts makes all the diff :smiley: For Realz! But I too have stopped using the Moka pot for Day to day use. However when I’m having a party I have a Ginormous pot I think I can make colada’s for at least ten people.

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Arrrhg CAFETERA not Cafeteria damn autocorrects!