Love your morning cup of coffee but looking to switch things up a bit? Coffee is enjoyed by millions around the world, and many regions have their own unique take on this delicious drinks. Don’t get me wrong, I love a steaming cup of old-fashioned brewed coffee. But, sometimes I crave something a little more decadent.
Each of the following recipes makes ONE cup of coffee. Adjust your ingredients accordingly!
No Cuban meal is complete without a cafecito. This delicious cup of coffee is made of an espresso shot that has been sweetened with sugar. First, place 1 – 2 tablespoons of sugar into a large glass (remember, this coffee is supposed to be sweet) and begin brewing the espresso. Traditionally a stovetop espresso maker is used. When your espresso begins to brew, pour a little bit into the glass with sugar. Stir the sugar/espresso mix quickly until some of the coffee melts down into the sugar – it will become foamy. Once the espresso is finished brewing, pour an espresso shot into the sugar mixture and stir. You should end up with a nice, frothy sugar foam on top called “espuma.” Pour into your espresso cup and enjoy!
For an authentic cafecito, use Cafe Bustelo – this is my personal favorite and many swear by it! You can buy it here.
Café con Leche
This traditional Spanish coffee is my absolute favorite. It is full of complex flavors and is very easy to make. Simply put, café con leche is coffee with milk. I like mine fairly sweet, but you can adjust the sugar to your taste. Like a cafecito, traditional preparation of this drink uses a stovetop espresso maker. While your espresso is brewing, place 2/3 cup of milk in a small pan over the stove – heat until it is barely boiling. Place 1 – 3 tablespoons of sugar into a cup and pour the finished espresso overtop. Stir for a few moments to dissolve the sugar. Add the milk and enjoy.
Irish coffee is a sweet cocktail made of coffee, whipped cream and Irish whiskey. Before you being, prepare the whipped cream, by whipping 1.5 ounces of heaving whipping cream. It’s always better to under-whip than over-whip. Place in fridge to chill.
Tradition requires a warm mug, so pour some hot water into your coffee cup and heat in the microwave. Once warmed, dump the water and fill 2/3 of the way with coffee. Irish coffee should be dark, but not as dark as espresso – this tends to overpower the drink. Next add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add in 1.5 ounces of Irish Whiskey. Go for Jameson if you’re looking for a classic Irish coffee. Slowly pour the cold cream over the back of a warm spoon, being careful not to break the surface. Add a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg on top, and enjoy.
This traditional Italian coffee is meant to be an experience, not merely a caffeine boost in a to-go cup. In Italy, you will often find people sitting or standing at cafes, socializing and sipping on Italian classics, like cappuccinos, lattes and (my favorite) macchiatos.
Put simply, a macchiato is simply espresso topped with a spot of steamed milk. Many Italians use a stovetop espresso maker, or a “macchinetta.” While your espresso is brewing, heat milk on the stovetop over medium low until steaming. Whisk for about a minute and then poor the steamed milk over top of the freshly poured espresso.
*Although the traditional method for making a macchiato, I tend to be a bit impatient while waiting for my morning coffee. One trick I’ve learned is to use the microwave. Fill a glass jar halfway with milk and shake for about a minute. Remove the lid and microwave on high for about 40 seconds. The milk will separate, with the steamed milk at the bottom and foam on top. Use a spoon to hold back most of the foam, pouring the steamed milk overtop of your espresso.
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Café de Olla
This smokey, spiced coffee is also known as Cafe Mexicano. I recently came across a delicious recipe from Mexico in my Kitchen and it inspired me to write this post on all the coffee recipes I love. To make café de olla, combine 1 cup of water, 2 tablespoons of piloncillo (traditional brown sugar cane) and 1/8 Mexican cinnamon stick into a small saucepan. Simmer until the piloncillo is dissolved and the mixture starts boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of dark Mexican ground coffee, like Mexican Chiapas, and let the mixture steep for 5 minutes while covered. Pour through a strainer and enjoy.
*I like to add a bit more cinnamon to this recipe because I am a huge fan. Mexican cinnamon is less “spicy” and has a mild vanilla flavor. It is very thin and delicate, flaking easily.
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