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Cafe con Leche… En Mi Casa

July 21, 2011

The Cuban in me loves a good cafe con leche.

… which (and I can hear my Cuban ancestors rolling in their graves as I say this), is basically a latte. With atttitude.

But if you’re watching your budget (and my trip to London isn’t going to pay for itself), frequently getting one from Starbucks/Coffee Bean/insert-name-of-a-Cuban-coffee-shop-I’m-jealous-you-live-near can add up.

Thanks to one of the few Cuban friends I have in L.A., I’m able to make my own cafe con leche in my kitchen! And you can buy all the equipment necessary for about $15… cheaper than about any coffeemaker on the market.

First, you need one of these. It’s a stovetop espressomaker.

I was going to do a photo a step-by-step process of how to work it, but I found this diagram online that works even better:


Here’s how to work it. It’s as easy as using a coffeemaker, you just can’t leave it alone (you know… burning stove and all).

  1. Fill the bottom chamber with water just until the water level touches the steam release valve.
  2. Place the funnel filter on top and place espresso grounds in. I prefer Cafe Bustelo, but any espresso grounds will do. The funnel filter should be filled, but the grounds should NOT be packed in.
  3. Screw on the top chamber, filter plate in place, and place on a burner turned to high.
  4. You can tell what’s happening by listening carefully. You’ll hear a light sizzle when the coffee starts boiling up into the top chamber. When it’s done, you’ll hear a light gurgling noise. That means that the only thing left to boil up is air bubbles.
  5. Turn off the stove and remove the espresso maker. Be careful, because even the handle might be too hot to touch!

While the espressomaker cools slightly (it only needs a couple of minutes), you can heat up the milk. I’m lazy, so I nuke it. 2 minutes in the microwave should do. You’ll need about one cup. I usually use skim milk, but I’ve got it with almond milk lately.

The hot milk becomes pretty bubbly on its own when poured into a mug. You can leave it like this, or you can get fancy and use a milk frother to get the kind of foam you see in coffee shops. They range in price, but Ikea has one to the tune of $2. I have it. It’s great. There really isn’t a reason to get a fancier one.

You’ll only need to use the frother for about 5-10 seconds.

After that, you can pour in the coffee. Make sure you do it over the sink, though, because I myself haven’t mastered the art of not spilling coffee everywhere during the pouring process.

I usually drink my cafe con leche unsweetened (milk sweetens up a bit once it’s warmed up), but if I add anything, it’s usually half a Splenda (oh, you stop with your fake-sugar judging!).

Sidenote: Yes, that’s the Ravenclaw mug making yet another cameo (I’ve declared myself blue and silver). It’s my favorite. πŸ™‚

And since a cup of coffee is by no means a complete breakfast, I ate this guy, too.

A multi-grain English muffin, 1 scrambled egg, 2 slices of Canadian bacon, and some light cheese.

A perfect, post-yoga breakfast. πŸ˜€

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Michael permalink
    July 22, 2011 9:06 am

    mmmm, cafe cubano con azuca. Just need some toasted cuban bread and butter to go with it or the multi-grain muffin thingy, either way! LOL

    Tio michael

    • July 22, 2011 12:33 pm

      Oh, trust me. If they sold Cuban bread in grocery stores like they did back in Tampa, I would be eating Cuban toast way more than is necessary. I MISS IT!!

  2. July 22, 2011 2:22 pm

    You love coffee and own a Harry Potter mug. We should hang out!

    • August 4, 2011 11:03 am

      That mug is by far my favorite. And I agree– although be warned… I could talk about Harry Potter for HOURS. πŸ™‚

  3. July 25, 2011 7:24 am

    Wait…you are going to London? How jealous am I?

    I’ve never had Cuban food. Unless you consider plantains from a random place in Larchmont Cuban food. I’m not really an expert but they were tasty!

    • August 4, 2011 11:02 am

      Yes! I’m heading to London on September 12th! And Porto’s has pretty authentic food, so you should definitely give them a try– start with a Cuban sandwich. πŸ™‚

  4. July 28, 2011 6:46 am

    Perfect post work-out treat! I love cafe con leche so this is a great recipe for me πŸ™‚


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