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How to Make Cuban Coffee with an Espresso Machine

Beth Huston Profile image

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Updated February 12, 2023

The process of learning how to make Cuban coffee with an espresso machine isn’t as hard as you might think. If you want a sweeter flavor for your espresso shot, this is the way to go.


  • First, brew your ground coffee in a Moka pot to make Café Cubano. Fill a cup with sugar and add a few drops of espresso to create foam.
  • From there, add in the rest of your shots of espresso. After that, pour your coffee into espresso cups, and you’re ready to enjoy a robust, smooth coffee flavor.
  • Authentic espresso can only come from the basic espresso machine you can find in most coffee shops. A Moka pot is the closest you’ll find without investing in such a machine.

You don’t need an expensive espresso machine, but it will help. Even the best coffee maker can’t produce espresso cups. At the very least, you’ll require a stovetop espresso maker to get close.

Making Cuban Coffee in an Espresso Machine

Also known as Cuban espresso, Cuban-style coffee is made with dark roast coffee grounds. Either granulated sugar or raw cane sugar is used to sweeten it during the brewing process. Essentially, it’s sweet espresso.

Insider Tip

A single-serve coffee maker is excellent for making a bit of coffee, while pot coffee is excellent for large batches.

This varies from the brewing method associated with strong espresso. If you’re looking for a traditional version, learning how to make espresso with a regular coffee maker will help. For more coffee maker tips and tricks, check out our guides discussing how to brew coffee in a Moka pot and how to use a stovetop coffee maker.


Fill your stovetop espresso maker with water and espresso grounds. Use heaping teaspoons according to the directions of your Moka pot. Place it on the stove to brew coffee to begin the process for this beloved espresso drink.


Next, focus on making the delicious sugar foam for this amazing drink. Using granulated, white sugar will result in a thinner foam. Brown sugar will give you a thicker foam.


Now it’s time to combine the espresso with sugar. Use a cup of sugar to begin. Add a few drops from the stovetop espresso maker into the cup with sugar.


As you mix the strong espresso and sugar mixture, allow your stovetop espresso maker to continue brewing. This will keep your coffee strong. Continue mixing as your coffee brews.


Once you have a delicate foam of your desired consistency, pour the rest of the shot of espresso from your Moka pot into the cup.


Gently stir the espresso with the sugar mixture until they are thoroughly blended. From here, it’s time to serve your cups of espresso. This is an excellent activity with friends. Another way to share a beverage with family is learning how to make a cappuccino with a regular coffee maker.


Choosing the correct sugar granules will determine the flavor profiles for your coffee drinking experience.


Should I tamp down the ground espresso in my Moka pot?

You should never press down the grounds in a Moka pot. The modern versions of a stove-top espresso maker need loose grounds for steam to travel through.

Which coffee beans are best for a Moka pot?

For strong coffee, you’ll want Cuban coffee beans. A cup of coffee is only as good as the quality of ingredients that produce it. Cuban coffee brands have awesome coffee.

What can I do to make my Turkish coffee taste better?

Modern coffee culture suggests adding steamed milk to a bit of coffee for the best results. Raw cane sugar can also help boost flavor profiles for your coffee mixture.

Is hot water necessary to brew a proper coffee pot?

For most styles, moderate heat is necessary for the coffee-drinking experience. Too much heat can burn the coffee. However, cold brew methods require you to lose the hot water in favor of cold.

STAT: The coffee plant was introduced into Cuba in 1748, but coffee farming did not develop into a proper industry until the 1790s. (source)

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