As you may have read, I love meandering around St. Augustine. It is a beautiful city and offers so much. I also like stopping for a rest to enjoy the local atmosphere and take in what I’ve seen. The Cuban Cafe and Bakery was a morning stop after spending time at the beach and before hitting the road. I needed some jet fuel to carry me through the 2 1/2 hours to our resort in Orlando and to me there is no better way than to do it through Cuban coffee.
I read the reviews for The Cuban Cafe and Bakery and they rated a 4.3. I read some of the reviews and some gave a 4 for excellent which can drag down a rating. The problem I have with the bakery is that it is very difficult to find and the GPS directions took us to the wrong spot. It was tucked away in the old part of town with several other businesses. Bob finally found it and brought back some Cuban coffee and a churro for himself. Some of the lower ratings stated cold sandwiches, a lack of menu items, and overpricing. Even with these drawbacks, I would rate them well. The coffee was good and Bob loved his churro.
Making Cuban coffee at home is not difficult but requires the right coffee pot and coffee. I found some good reviews and tutorials so that it’s easy to bring the taste of Cuban coffee home.
- The Moka pot: The Moka pat was invented in the early 30s by Alfonso Bialetti. Since that point this is been the pot for easy and affordable coffee at home. This is the go to for making Cuban coffee. You can make it in an espresso machine or drip coffee maker but they don’t deliver the same results as the Moka pot.
I remember my mom having a Bialetti for the stovetop. I didn’t know until years later that it was called a Moka pot because since it was called a cafetera by my parents. The Moka pot uses pressurized extraction to make a thick strong coffee. The Moka has two parts that screw together. The bottom is an octagonal base that houses a metal funnel filter. The top is a pitcher that catches the brewed coffee. Water is placed in the bottom of the base and coffee sits in the metal filter. The pot is placed on the stovetop at medium heat. When the water boils, it pushes steam up through the filter, and then the brewed coffee is pushed upwards into the pitcher. That same model is still sold today and can be found on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000CFSS5/?tag=shbr20204-20&th=1). They cost around forty dollars. The only drawback is that they oxidize over time.
I looked at some reviews from the NY Times, Chicago Tribune, and Business Insider. Some of the considerations were size, gasket, material and durability. Some of the top Moka pots were: bonVIVO, DeLonghi, AICOOK, Bialetti, Bellemain, Grosche Milano, LuxHaus, Imusa. BonVIVO, Bialetti, and Grosche Milano. The links to the reviews are listed below. Given these reviews my next one to replace my Bialetti is the Grosche Milano.
- Coffee: According to coffeebrewster the most popular coffee is Bustelo. I enjoy this and Pilon which are readily available in my local grocery store. Naveira, Mayorga, Cafe La Llave, Chock Full O Nuts and Mayorgan Organic were other brands named across the internet.
- Types: There are 4 different types of coffee. There is a cafe Cubano, colada (means to pour), cafe con leche, and cotadito (cortar means to cut). Cafe Cuban has a crema that is made from some espresso whipped with sugar to make a foam. Colada is is a large cup that is shared with others. When I went to Miami, my aunt would buy an 8 oz coffee and little cups were given with the larger cup. Cafe con leche is a cafe Cubano served with a side of steamed milk. It’s more like a cappuccino. Cotadito is a cafe Cubano with a little steamed milk to cut the strength of the cafe.
- Process: How to make Cuban coffee is fairly simple. The key is not to compact the coffee into the filter. I have done that and it doesn’t brew…at all. The Punch Fork has the most and highest ratings for how to make Cuban Coffee. The YouTube tutorial, for those of you who are visual, is a great representation of the Punch Fork’s process.
Take some time to make Cuban coffee. It is strong, thick and energizing. There is a 100 mg of caffeine in an 8 ounce cup as opposed to 42 mg in 8 ounces of black tea or 112 mg in 8 ounces of Folgers, which is the most popular grocery brand of coffee. This puts this flavorful coffee into a high and parallel range to everyday coffee. To check the amount caffeine in a beverage go to: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/. Enjoy!
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