A cafecito is a Cuban-style coffee drink that perfectly encapsulates the country’s history. Cafecitos are famous for being bitter, filled with a dark froth called espuma, and offered in tacitas, which are demitasse cups.
All three features of the cafecito are symbolic of the country’s long history, as well as the hardships, scarcity, and turmoil that the Cuban people have faced. Since their world was turned upside down after the Cuban Revolution, Cubans have had to find ingenious workarounds to live.
What is Cuban Coffee
Coffee was brought to Cuba in the mid-1700s, and by 1790, large quantities of Cuban coffee beans were also being shipped to Spain.
When French coffee producers left the revolution and started producing coffee in Cuba, the industry grew. In the 1820s, coffee bean sales surpassed sugar sales, and by the early 1950s, coffee bean exports had surpassed 20,000 metric tonnes.
The Cuban Revolution of 1956 nationalised coffee estates, putting the country’s coffee bean economy on the slide. During the 1960s and 1970s, production of coffee slowed, then increased in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Cuba’s main sponsor was the Soviet Union, and as the Soviet Union fell apart in 1990, Cuba’s coffee-growing sector began to decline once more.
The Sierra Maestra Mountains in Cuba’s eastern area are home to one of the country’s most important coffee-growing regions.
The climate is ideal, and the rich, reddish-brown soils high in humus enable coffee to be grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, earning Cuba a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the greatest coffee in the world.
Moreover, coffee production in the Sierra Maestra has a long tradition of hand-picking coffee cherries from trees.
Coffee cherries are brought out of the region in bags by the coffee producers and then transported by mule to coffee drying locations.
The mountain people’s traditional preparation process involves roasting the beans and then pulverizing them using a wooden “Pilone”. After steeping the coffee in boiling water, the grounds are strained out with a cotton towel.
Also, the Escambray Mountains in central Cuba are the other major coffee-growing region. Coffee is grown in the Guaniguanico Mountains in the west and the Nipe and Sagua-Baracoa Mountains in the east.
The distinct flavour of a Cafecito is produced by heating hydrolyzing sucrose (sugared water), resulting in a taste that is distinct from that produced by pouring sugar just at the end.
However, many people prefer to start with a tiny amount of espresso coffee and stir it thoroughly until it becomes a light brown paste. The remaining espresso is then added, resulting in a light brown frothy layer topping the drink.
How to make Cuban Coffee
1. Start by brewing the espresso
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for filling your espresso maker with water and ground espresso. Brew the espresso on the stove over medium-high heat. Check out our previous articles for the best espresso makers.
2. Make a froth with the sugar
Place the granulated sugar in a creamer cup or measuring cup. In the cup of sugar, pour the initial few drops of espresso out from the espresso maker. The most intense espresso is usually the first few droplets that come out from the espresso maker. Let the espresso maker brew while you prepare the sugar foam. To make a pale, thick sugar foam, firmly stir the sugar and the very few drops of espresso together.
3. Mix the brewed espresso and the sugar foam
Pour the brewed espresso into the sugar foam-filled cup. To blend them, gently stir them well and you are all ready to serve you a cup of Cuban coffee.
Benefits of Cuban Coffee
- It is typically consumed first thing in the morning in Cuba, hot and freshly brewed. Its aroma evokes the strongest morning desires for anyone who enjoys a nice cup of Cuban coffee.
- An excellent cup of Cuban coffee, drank very hot, usually in the mornings or at lunchtime, keeps you awake and helps to relieve some migraines and headaches. It is therefore normal to take it first thing in the morning. The sensation is one-of-a-kind, and the mood is significantly improved. When coffee is consumed in the morning or as needed, alertness and focus are usually increased.
- The amount of energy you have tends to rise. This is due to the fact that, like other varieties of coffee beans, Cuban coffee has caffeine in its chemistry. Because it operates directly on the neurological system, this chemical has the effect of increasing energy levels in the body. As a result, the body exhibits less fatigue, increased attention, and increased energy levels.
- The organs gain from some of their functions. Gallstones and some gallbladder illnesses are reduced, as are the possibilities of cardiovascular disease and liver cancer.
- According to studies, a nice cup of coffee can also help minimise Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease-related disorders.
Those who have had Cuban shots often rave about them. Its striking dark look and pungent taste make it stand out. The use of a raw variety of sugar known as demerara brown sugar distinguishes this sort from others around the world. The sugar thickens the drink slightly. So when this drink is offered, it is not included.
Rather, the sugar is combined with the coffee grounds during the preparation process. It is first vigorously whisked or beaten along with a small portion of espresso.
It is then combined with the coffee. This blend generates a fine crema layer, which is what distinguishes Cuban coffee. It’s also cultivated with organic soil content with no artificial fertilizers. So, If you enjoy coffee, you won’t want to miss out on Cuban coffee.