Cafe con Leche
Coffee with milk. That's what cafe con leche translates to. There are many variants of this drink, it is popular in many Latin American countries, and it appears to originate from Spain. While all versions contain the basic ingredients of coffee and milk, usually in a 1:1 ratio, this recipe includes a stick of cinnamon — not as a mere decoration, mind you, but as an essential part of the beverage. Nothing overpowering but just a hint of flavor and aroma of cinnamon.
- ½ cup strong brewed coffee
- ¼ cup evaporated milk
- ¼ cup full-fat milk (see notes after the recipe)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- sugar to taste (see notes after the recipe)
- First, prepare your coffee. Half a cup. Strong brew. If you have a coffee press, use it. If you want to use a percolator, do so. If you have a fancy espresso machine, that’ll do too. How the coffee is brewed is secondary. What’s important is that you get strong brewed coffee as a result.
- Then, pour the two milks a small pan and add a stick of cinnamon. Boil the milks gently for about a minute, stirring often to prevent the formation of a skin on the surface.
- Remove the cinnamon stick with a slotted spoon.
- Pour the hot milk into the coffee. Serve the cafe con leche with the cinnamon stick. Add sugar to taste and — here’s the cool part — use the cinnamon stick to stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved.
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Full-fat milk is my personal preference. Note that using low-fat or skim milk will result in a less rich cafe con leche. Using vanilla sugar is optional but recommended. A drop of good quality vanilla extract may be substituted.
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