Cafe Con Leche With Dad

Photos by  @thestudiomagnolia

People are always so surprised when they hear that Iʼm Cuban...and even MORE surprised when they learn that I speak Spanish fluently. Our traditions and lifestyle is very much rooted in my Hispanic heritage. And I was also raised in a very Latin community. Tampa is rich with Latin influence (more on this later)! So today I thought I would share one of my favorite indulgences that (despite the massive amount of sugar in my cup) has become a staple in my home. Cuban Coffee! And specifically Cafe Con Leche! 


I’m so grateful for all of the special recipes my Abuela wove into our lives. She was a spicy little Latina that could cook with the best of them. And she would always sneak a little Cafe Con Leche my way when no one was looking. Now, it’s something my dad and I enjoy together. We sip, we chat, we enjoy...truly quintessential Cuban living. 


Making Cafe Con Leche is really simple. And if you need a little jolt, look no further. This is not for the faint of heart! For those that are interested in a technical breakdown, I have included a link to a great tutorial. But it so simple and I can easily break it down for you! 


First you need a little stovetop espresso maker. I have tried to steal my Abuela’s from my dad, but it’s in heavy rotation at their house so I purchased this inexpensive one from Amazon.


Next you take some really high quality dark roast espresso coffee. Our family always uses Cafe’ Bustelo.

Next you fill the bottom part of the pot with water up to the ‘safety valve’ and lightly pack the coffee funnel with your ground coffee. Note that the ground espresso is VERY fine and has a tendency to scatter, so I usually fill my funnel over the sink. 


Then I put it on the stovetop over low heat and wait for that epic gurgle that makes my mouth water. I can’t help myself by taking a little peek as it starts to bubble up, but do so with caution! It’s hot and can be messy...I just can’t help myself!


I also NEED that first little bit of brewed espresso. When I have a couple of tablespoons brewed, I pop it off the stove and pour that little bit over my sugar to make a decadent paste or coffee frosting. 


Now that I have my ‘frosting’ made, I usually will take the rest of the brewing time to steam my milk. You can warm your milk any way you choose. I use a small handheld milk heater/frother. Make sure it’s set to just heat the foam!!! 

With the delicious coffee paste waiting, milk warm and ready, I head to over to the stove and grab my brewed coffee. Next I add that delicious brew to my sugary ‘frosting’ and my Cuban Coffee is made! If you’re my Dad or Nick, you stop there...Cuban coffee is their rocket fuel. And rocket fuel it is!


But I prefer to take my Cuban coffee with warm milk and voila’! I have my Cafe com Leche! 

This is such a simple and delicious indulgence that is like a warm and fuzzy blanket for me. And it’s something that I enjoy with my Dad, so it makes it even more special. Are you up for a little jolt?!

What are some of your warm and fuzzy traditions????