The Thing About Cuban Coffee

Twenty-nine million American adults drink gourmet coffee beverages every day. Though specialty coffee shops like Starbuck’s can be found just about anywhere, Cuban coffee, known for its strong taste, is only found in areas of the United States where there is a large Cuban American population. Sought after by coffee connoisseurs, it is the finest and most sought-after coffee in the world. Often compared to espresso, it is actually a rich blend of Cuban, Spanish and Italian coffee traditions.

Cuban coffee is roughly double the strength of regular American coffee. It is usually served in small cups called “tacitas,” which are smaller than demitasse cups, at the end of a meal. It is a mud-thick java brew with a tantalizing flavor and aroma made sweet by the amount of sugar that is used. The secret to “Cafe Cubano” or”cafecito,” as it is known in Cuba, is the finely ground, dark roasted coffee beans.

Coffee was brought to the eastern region of Cuba by French immigrants in the mid 18th century. By the early 1800’s it became a bigger import than sugar. Cuba’s natural humid climate, fertile soil and two centuries of cultivation techniques, have made it the ideal setting for growing coffee beans. The coffee beans are grown high in the shady jungles of the Sierra Maestra Mountains. The cultivation of the beans is labor intensive and its planting, growing, harvesting, and processing procedures have been perfected every step of the way. Large beans are used and are left out to try in the sun instead of using mechanical dryers. No pesticides are used so the coffee is 100% organic.

Cuban coffee beans have a superior reputation in Asia and Europe with Japan and France accounting for 70-80 percent of the exports. Other importers of Cuban coffee include Italy, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Embargo on Cuban goods has created a challenge for those i America who would like to enjoy this distinctive coffee. However Cuban American grocery stores and cafeterias sell their version of Cuban coffee. There are a number of Cuban coffee companies like Tu Cafe and Cafe Llave with Cafe Pilon being the top seller, that market “authentic Cuban coffee.” The beans for these brands are grown in Brazil,Colombia or other parts of Central and South America.

There is no secret recipe or process for making Cuban coffee. All that is needed is freshly ground dark roasted coffee beans, sugar and a “cafetera,” a unique italian double chamber coffee pot. Water is placed in the lower chamber and the ground coffee goes into a perforated holder. The top is screwed on and the pot is heated. The brewed coffee rises into the upper chamber. The coffee is poured into a “tacita” and sugar is added.

Drinking “Cafe Cubano” remains a prominent social and cultural activity within Cuba and in Cuban American communities. The rest of the world is slowly catching up to enjoy this particular style of coffee. One can find “authentic” Cuban coffees in many supermarkets and the specialty brewers are sold everywhere. So if you want a true coffee experience try Cuban coffee.

Source by Mario Del Sol

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