True coffee lovers will be able to tell you the difference between American coffee and Cuban coffee without the slightest bit of hesitation.
If you’re looking for a milky, watered-down latte with barely any actual coffee content, maybe the local Starbucks is for you.
If however, you are somebody who can appreciate a rich, full-bodied coffee that really speaks to the senses, Cuban coffee is the best kind you can get.
Many people wonder if Cuban coffee is really as strong as people say it is. If you want to find more about the differences between Cuban coffee and regular coffee, take a look below, as we delve into the topic.
Four Delicious Types Of Cuban Coffee
If you find yourself in Miami and are looking to pick up a true Cuban coffee for you and your friends, you should probably be aware of the different ones on offer.
Cuban coffee has a range of different varieties available, so if you’re curious, have a read of our list.
No, not a pina colada! The colada coffee is one of the signature coffees of Cuba.
It is made by brewing 4 – 6 servings of coffee on a stove top espresso brewer, then this is mixed with a sugar to create a divinely sweet liquid called a ‘crema’.
They are served in small plastic containers, which represent the strength of the coffee, so if you’re feeling like drinking it all in one shot, maybe you should reconsider, based on the colossal coffee content these little cups hold.
If you want to make sure that you do only receive one shot of this coffee, take care to ask the waitress for an “una colada”, otherwise, you might end up with more than you bargained for!
In terms of appearance, the cortadito looks very much like your regular old flat white.
Most Cubans who are acquainted with drinking large quantities of coffee will take it without any milk, but sometimes if they feel like being kinder to their stomachs, they will order a cortadito.
The cortadito essentially tastes as it looks, it is regular Cuban coffee which has milk added into the mixture.
The cafectio is traditionally drunk to accompany a meal. It is essentially an espresso, which you can tell from the little cup it is served in.
Unlike the regular American espresso, however, it comes with a ‘crema’ on the top. What is a ‘crema’, I hear you wondering?
Well, despite the way it looks, it is not actually made from milk, making it safe for vegans.
Crema is made from beaten sugar combined with coffee, the result is a sugary foam that gives it that extra little sweetness. Delicious!
Café Con Leche
Some of you may have already heard of this delicious Cuban drink. The café con leche is a drink commonly drunk in the mornings in Miami – How glamorous!
For those who are trying their first cuban coffee, and are worried about being blown away by the potency, this is a good first coffee to try.
It is mixed with boiled milk, and if you want to tone down the strength, you can simply tell the waitress exactly how you like it.
Again, this is a sweet coffee, so if you’re a fan of hot drinks with a hint of sugar, you’re sure to love this one.
What Is Going On With Cuban Coffee Beans?
Many people on their quest to try and find out why Cuban coffee is stronger than regular American coffee often presume that it’s down to the beans that are used, after all, Cuban coffee beans are made from a darker roast.
This is not the case though. Just because some coffee beans have a darker roast, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are stronger.
Darker coffee beans have simply been roasted for a longer period of time in order to get a stronger flavor.
This doesn’t actually mean that there is more caffeine content in the coffee beans themselves. So, if you are measuring a shot of espresso and a shot of Cuban coffee, they will have the same strength.
So, Is Cuban Coffee Actually Stronger Than Regular Coffee?
The simple answer – Yes, Cuban coffee is, infact, stronger than regular coffee. There are a few reasons explaining why exactly this is.
First of all, the reason why Cuban coffee tastes stronger is because of the grind size. The way in which Cuban coffee has been ground means that a smaller pot is used called a Cuban Moka pot.
This pot uses finely ground coffee beans, meaning that it can extract more caffeine content from the beans.
Another reason why Cuban coffee is stronger is pretty obvious, it simply has more caffeine content. It has been shown that Cuban coffee has approximately five times more caffeine than normal coffee.
To take a side by side comparison, a 100g of Cuban coffee contains around 199 mg of caffeine, whereas normal American coffee has only about 40 mg! This is quite the difference.
Finally, another reason why Cuban coffee tastes stronger is because Cuban people use a different coffee to water ratio.
Therefore, there is more coffee mixed in with the water or milk than there would be in a regular American coffee you might get at your local Starbucks.
If you are concerned about your first Cuban coffee tasting too strong, make sure that you order one on our list above that has some milk added to the mix.
How To Make Your Own Cuban Coffee
To make your own Cuban coffee at home, you will need the following ingredients:
- An espresso maker
- Cuban ground espresso
- A measuring cup
- 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- Begin making your Cuban coffee by filling your espresso maker with water and your ground coffee beans.
- To your measuring cup, add your sugar (you can adjust the amount that you use based on how sweet you like your coffee) and then add a few drops of the espresso into the sugar.
- To create the ‘crema’, you have to mix these ingredients together very quickly, this is what will create the foamy texture that we’re looking for. This can take some practice if you’re new to making Cuban coffee. A helpful tip is to add the espresso gradually as you mix, instead of all at once.
- Allow your espresso maker to brew on the stove as you are doing this.
- After it has finished brewing, pour the brewed espresso into the cup containing your crema. Stir both of these together slowly.
- Serve immediately, to ensure that the coffee is still nice and hot and ready to be drunk.
Cuban coffee is certainly very different to the kinds of caffeinated beverages that we’re used to consuming.
At first, you might be surprised to discover how strong it actually tastes, but with time, you might be taking less trips to your local Starbucks, and instead opting to create your own delicious Cuban brew!