Best Cuban Coffee

There’s no better way to make mornings a delightful experience than a hot espresso shot of sweet Cuban coffee. More than just a delicious treat, this type of coffee has its roots in the rich culture of Cuba, and is now adopted by various countries around the world.


But, how exactly is Cuban coffee prepared? And what makes its flavor so different from other coffees?


Continue reading below and learn more about why this coffee is so special!


Read our Best Cuban Coffee Review to find out.

Product Reviews

2LB Mayorga Organics Café Cubano Roast, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


Pros:

  • Works excellently for café con leche.
  • Has a bold yet low-acidic profile
  • 100% organic, verified as non-GMO, and Direct Trade
  • Offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for unsatisfied customers.

Cons:

  • The packaging is not vacuum sealed, resulting in some stale batches
  • The effect is not strong enough to hit heavy drinkers

This Mayorga coffee applies a Cuban-style approach in dark roasting to produce a bolder and syrupy flavor, with a surprisingly low acidity profile. It has taste notes of vanilla and nutty chocolate. Though dark roasted, its bitterness is amazingly tolerable and not overly burnt.


Health and quality are the strength of this brand as it is certified 100% organic, non-GMO verified, and Direct Trade. This means that from coffee farm cultivation to processing, everything is well-coordinated to ensure proper traceability of the product.


Although the product is exceptional, the quality fluctuates from order to order. There are instances when customers have received a stale batch with a lesser aroma. A major factor that causes this is the coffee bag, which is not vacuum sealed so it will affect the freshness of the coffee beans.


Since taste is subjective, some users find the dark roast in Mayorga coffee to be more of medium roasted. With this, others may not find this drink to be strong enough for them and will find other heavier options. Other users also find the coffee beans to be too oily for them.


Considering its excellent bold flavor and mild aftertaste, the coffee is reasonably priced. This can be easily a go-to cup of coffee in the morning.

Cafe Bustelo Supreme Whole Bean Espresso Coffee, Two 16-Ounce Bags


Pros:

  • Works excellently for café con leche.
  • The Expiration date is indicated on the packaging.
  • It is affordable and a good value for money

Cons:

  • Not as good as the ground version.
  • The product has many issues in terms of broken seals, stale batch, and unappealing aroma.

If you have tried Café Bustelo’s ground coffee, then you also have to try this whole bean version for a fresher espresso experience. The beans produce decently strong flavors and a rich aroma that is pleasing to the majority.


When it comes to making Cuban Café con Leche, this coffee can get the job done. Looking at the price tag, it is very hard to beat as the package already includes two bags of 16 ounces. With a high quantity to price ratio, you can brew Cuban coffee as much as you like.


An expiration date is indicated on the bag so you can be guided on the consumption. However, there have been a few issues when it comes to the packaging quality of the coffee. Upon arrival, many customers noted that the bag was already torn, causing the beans to be partially oxidized and affected their taste and flavor.


Being a dark roasted Cuban coffee, though the flavor is good, several others find it lacking in strength. Patrons of the regular Bustelo coffee might not be truly satisfied when they shift to the whole bean version.


Overall, even if this coffee has a few flaws of its own, it is still a great contender in the Cuban coffee category.

Gavina Since 1870 Gourmet Coffee Gaviña, Whole Bean


Pros:

  • It works great for a cortado or café con leche
  • It has a balanced, sweet flavor and does not have a burnt taste
  • The coffee’s production is environment-friendly.

Cons:

  • It might not be satisfying for extra hard coffee drinkers.

Roasted in Los Angeles, the Old Havana Espresso coffee has been a long-time preferred coffee by many people since 1879. Having been made with eco-friendly principles in mind, the company is dedicated to their “Direct Impact” initiative, producing their 100% Arabica coffee while ensuring a sustainable environment.


This medium-to-dark roasted coffee produces a full-bodied, balanced, and sweet nutty flavor. Its fragrance has a citrus smell with a cherry zest to it, with small notes of caramel – all of which effectively complement each other for a palatable cup of coffee. The overall taste is not bitter and not very acidic, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts.


Old Havana whole coffee beans have slight traces of oil and are best used in Beans to Cup machines. Espresso shots from this coffee are perfect for your lunch or midday breaks.


The coffee is best used in making cortado or café con leche. Though it has a Cuban flavor, it is somewhat milder than other brands. So, if you are into lighter coffee and don’t want that powerful espresso kick, then this might be for you. Additionally, its taste is not burnt so if you want to feel the taste of your coffee, Old Havana Espresso can work well for you.

Naviera Cuban Style Dark Roasted Coffee (1 Pack (14 Oz)


Pros:

  • Perfect for café con leche
  • Tastes very delicious
  • Offers bulk purchase

Cons:

  • Slightly pricier than other brands
  • Its chicory flavor might not please others.

Having been around since 1921, Naviera coffee is also tough to beat with its Cuban style dark roasted coffee made in Tampa. Up to this day, it is being operated directly by the family for a personalized touch to its customers. Though not very popular, it has gained a high reputation for producing delicious and tasty coffee.


Its gourmet shop in Tampa has closed and has moved to a larger facility, making Naviera fans frantically searching for the product. Luckily, you can purchase the coffee easily online.


Its coffee beans produce a remarkably high-concentrated profile with a chicory flavor. If chicory is not your thing, it might not be enjoyable for you as it has a woody taste to it.


The coffee is ideal for pairing with milk, making a wonderful café con leche. If you are not a fan of milk, the coffee is still fine on its own.


Compared to other brands, Naviera coffee is relatively pricier but many customers find its quality worth their investment.


The great thing about this brand is that it is being offered in bulk at a discounted price. If you and your family or friends are die-hard coffee aficionados, then this could save you a few bucks.

2LB Don Pablo Café Cubano, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee, Low Acidity, 2 Pound


Pros:

  • It’s 100% Arabica and free of GMO.
  • The coffee’s low acidity is good for those with stomach acidity issues.
  • The taste is not bitter and has a delightful aroma.
  • Its shelf life date is indicated on the bag, which can be used to compute for the roast date.

Cons:

  • It’s a little lacking in flavor.
  • This may be too mild for coffee drinkers who yearn for an extra kick

The Don Pablo Café Cubano dark coffee never gets left out in coffee talks. The coffee’s flavor is intensely bold, yet has extraordinarily low acidity, making it a favorite among people who prefer low-acid coffees.


What makes the coffee quality great? Well, its esteemed coffee beans are sourced from different farms around the world – America, Africa, Indonesia, Asia, and India. They are roasted in small batches to ensure quality output.


The production itself is very admirable because the coffee is artisanal made, ensuring the beans are in excellent condition. The coffee is 100% Arabica and is GMO-free, assuring its users of a healthy experience. If you think that this dark roasted coffee is bitter? Guess what, it isn’t! Many actual users are dumbfounded because of its non-bitter flavor and magnificent aroma.


If you are a coffee lover who wants that powerful kick, this might not be strong enough for you. Others find it too mellow and light for them, considering that it is dark roasted.


There is no roast date indicated on the packaging, but you can use its best before date as an estimate to determine freshness. As far as its freshness is concerned, there is a minimum to no reports received from verified consumers.

What Is Cuban Coffee?

Originating from Cuba, this type of coffee is distinctively marked with a strong and sweet taste due to the addition of sugar in the drink.


The basic coffee beans used to make Cuban coffee are the Arabica and Robusta varieties that are grown in the mountain regions of Escambray and Sierra Mestra in Cuba. As places dedicated to growing coffee, the soil and climate in these areas help to produce high-quality organic coffee. They are well-protected and carefully maintained by local workers.

The Traditional Cuban Coffee

How Did Cuban Coffee Start?


Coffee growing in Cuba started around the 1700s and during the year 1790, large volumes of Cuban coffee beans were exported to Spain. In the 1950s, coffee production weakened and resurfaced later on during the 1970s with a continuous momentum.


How Do You Make One?


The traditional way of preparing Cuban coffee is by mixing it with sugar before the brewing process. Dark roasted beans are used and are finely ground.


A Moka pot is used to push the coffee through the grounds using steam. Adding sugar to the brewed coffee will create an espuma, a Spanish term for froth. Through vigorous stirring, aeration will create a thick froth.


It is usually served in espresso-style, but today, you can complement it with milk and even serve it colada-style or using larger cups. Breakfasts in Cuba will not be complete without a warm cup of Cuban coffee. Aside from being a morning energizer, Cuban coffee is also taken during work breaks.

What is Special About the Cuban Coffee?

The Cuban coffee is close to the hearts of Cuban culture but is now also a popular choice among many coffee lovers worldwide because of its exceptional taste. What sets Cuban coffee apart from other types is its unique dark appearance and strong taste.


This especially sweet taste is produced when the espresso’s heat hydrolyzes sucrose, which is significantly different from the taste when you add sugar at the end. 

How the Unique Cuban Coffee Flavor is Made

The catalyst in bringing out the Cuban flavor is demerara sugar, a brown sugar refined from sugar cane, which contains a small amount of molasses that have a high nutritional content.


During preparation, this sugar is added directly to the espresso through thorough whisking. The result? An impressively thicker coffee with a fabulous layer of crema.

Types of Cuban Coffee

Drinking Cuban coffee is certainly fun! Coffee in Cuba is synonymous with socializing. People drink coffee to immerse themselves in long conversations with neighbors or friends.

 
You can choose from a variety of options, depending on how you want them to be served – with or without milk, single, double, or in a larger cup. Read through below to know more of these types.

Café Con Leche

Alongside the Cuban coffee, hot steamed milk will be served in a separate cup. Just add the milk to the espresso according to taste and voila, you’re good to go! The coffee to milk blend ratio is often around 80/20.


If you are in a coffee shop, you might be asked if you want to have it clarito or oscurito, that is, light or dark. The darker it is, the darker the taste. Just simply say mediano if you want something moderate.

Cortadito

The hot steamed milk is already blended with the Cuban coffee right after brewing before serving it. You can enhance its sweetness by adding white sugar. It is a great alternative to a dessert.


What distinguishes it from café con leche is the coffee to milk blend ratio, which is 50/50 or equally proportional. Considered as a short version of the café con leche, this is usually served using a special kind of glass with a metal handle and a metal base.

Cafecito

This is the regular cup of Cuban coffee, brewed from dark roasted beans and blended with sugar to make it sweet. Its power? Twice the power of the American espresso.

Colada

If you are serving coffee to a larger group, you can place the Cuban coffee inside a larger cup together with smaller cups that accommodate single espresso shots.


This is great for a business meeting or when hanging out with your coffee-loving friends.

Conclusion

It’s hard to choose the best Cuban coffee among those that we tackled, but after careful deliberation, the clear winner is Mayorga Organics Café Cubano coffee. Its price might be a bit higher than the other brands but its quality speaks for itself.


You are assured of excellent quality organic beans because the company continuously engages directly with farmers. Organic products have more edge than others. Health is of prime importance.


As for the taste, it’s pleasant to the taste buds, amazingly smooth, and not bitter, sour, or burnt. It has an incredible crema, low acidity while staying true to its robustness.


The production of each bag of Mayorga coffee has specialty-grade that is traceable from the farm. You can serve this coffee virtually in all ways – from a cup of capecito to a large cup of colada, with or without milk!

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