Upgrade Your Coffee: Latin American Recipes

Latin America has a deep, and lasting love affair with coffee. 40% of the world’s coffee is grown in Central and South America. And everyone has their own way of preparing their elixir. Try the below on a weekend morning, with a pastry and a good book for added decadence.

Café Cubano
This is my Sunday morning ritual. Café Cubano requires a stovetop Italian coffee maker (sometimes you can find them used at your local thrift shop) and is well worth the investment. This recipe is excellent , and as a variation, I sometimes whisk a mix of granulated and powder sugar which I find ups the sweetness quotient.

Café De Olla
This is a Mexican coffee that uses dark brown sugar, cinnamon, and other spices. All you need is a big honkin’ pot. During the summer, I quadruple this recipe, pour it into pitchers, and store in the fridge. It keeps me well caffeinated all week, a godsend on busy mornings.  This link will take you to a good recipe.  The variation I use is from ______, and it ups the cinnamon quotient to four sticks six inches long. You can add orange peels, anise stars or nutmeg. I tend to just use dark brown sugar, or if I’m out of brown sugar I mix white sugar with molasses.

Brazilian coffee works largely the same way, minus the spices.  This link will give you a good overview of its place in Brazilian pop culture.

Chorreador Method
This Costa Rican approach is closer to the popular approach stateside. However, the author finds that this slower method, and reusable cloth filter, results in a higher quality cup of joe. Argentina has a sweeter version of this method with lighter beans, mixing coffee and milk in a one to one ratio.

Mistela de Café
Like your coffee boozy? Try making your own liqueur with this recipe from Colombia. You’ll need dark roast coffee, aguardiente (a liqueur made from anise seed and sugar cane), and dark roast coffee. You’ll look awesome when you use it to wrap up your next dinner party.

Take It Up A Notch
Now you’ve made it, how do you describe it? Try the dizzying options on this Coffee Taster’s Flavor Wheel.


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