The secret to Café Cubano is the finely ground, dark roasted coffee itself, or what Cubans call a cafecito. The two brands favored by Cuban Americans are Bustelo and Pilon. Look for them in Latin markets.
For Cafe con Leche use 1 part steamed milk stirred into 2 parts Café Cubano (prepared as above).
- finely ground Cuban coffee or espresso (as needed)
- ¼ cup sugar
- water (as needed)
Prepare a 6‑serving stove-top espresso maker according to manufacturer’s directions and brew a pot of strong Cuban coffee or espresso. Put the sugar in a large glass measuring cup and add 1 or 2 tablespoons of the hot coffee or espresso. Using a small whisk, beat the sugar with the coffee or espresso until pale and thick and nearly dissolved, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining hot coffee or espresso. Let the foam rise to the top, then pour into espresso style cups and serve immediately.