I need my cafe con leche. Help me make it.
November 28, 2007 4:46 PM   Subscribe

Help me replicate my beloved cafe con leche.

The only thing I miss about my eight years in Miami are the beach, my roommate's dog and the ungodly amounts of Cuban-style cafe con leche I consumed. I want to make it at my new home here in Phoenix but my efforts haven't turned out at all like the stuff I got at the cafes in Miami. What am I doing wrong? Should I be looking for a certain brand of coffee?
posted by notjustfoxybrown to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How are you making it now?
posted by Stewriffic at 4:51 PM on November 28, 2007

How are you making it? Are you using sweetened condensed milk?
posted by necessitas at 4:52 PM on November 28, 2007

Response by poster: Well, I bought some Bustelo coffee...which seems to be as strong as the stuff they used in my old neighborhood..and might actually be the same thing. I brew that, double strength and then add about two teaspoons of sugar. Then, I steam the milk, add some um...more sugar...and mix the two together. I'm steaming on the stove. I don't have an actual steamer.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 4:54 PM on November 28, 2007

i was going to say the same thing...i believe you want to make espresso and mix it with sweetened condensed milk. maybe cut it with regular milk if it's too rich?
posted by thinkingwoman at 4:55 PM on November 28, 2007

Response by poster: I know for a fact that no one used sweetened condensed milk. It was always regular ol' whole milk.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 4:56 PM on November 28, 2007

Bustelo's a decent choice for the actual coffee. I use a stovetop espresso maker, zap some milk in the microwave, and add the espresso to taste. And then sugar it up as necessary. Play around with milkfat levels, too.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:58 PM on November 28, 2007

Best answer: Look at this page for what I mean. Also called a café cubano. Wikipedia seems to think you should pull a shot with sugar already in the basket. Worth a shot, I suppose (Groan. Pun not intended. But I left it there, didn't I? Bad me!).
posted by Stewriffic at 5:00 PM on November 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Stewriffic:
Yup! That's it. I knew there were two sugar entry points. The actual milk and the espresso. Thanks! I treat myself to whole milk when I make this. It's just wrong to put all that sugar in it and then have the nerve to add nonfat milk.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 5:03 PM on November 28, 2007

YAY! Glad to help.
posted by Stewriffic at 5:10 PM on November 28, 2007

Yep, Geraldo used to make Cubano shots down at Chatz at 2nd/Howard in SF, and I believe he used either one or two packets of raw sugar in the espresso thingy.
posted by rhizome at 5:52 PM on November 28, 2007

The secret is adding a tiny pinch of salt with the sugar. Trust me, it makes all the difference.
posted by QueSeraSera at 8:25 PM on November 28, 2007

I mean, not literally with the sugar, but add it to the warm milk to bring out the flavors.
posted by QueSeraSera at 8:39 PM on November 28, 2007

Response by poster: Ahh salt...never thought of that one. Thanks!
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 9:53 PM on November 28, 2007

Man, this works so well with my Bialletti! Thank you Metafilter! Wooo-hoo! Quality of life improvement!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:01 AM on November 29, 2007

My barista friends used to add sugar to shots they were pulling for an iced americano. They stopped after they realized that it was gunking up their hardcore top-of-the-line machine. So if you're using a $10 stovetop espresso pot, dandy. But you might not want to use this technique with a fancy dancy machine.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:45 AM on November 29, 2007

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