Coffee is a year-long habit that just hits different in the Fall. Something about the way it warms you up that its watered-down, iced counterpart can’t live up to even during the hotter months.
I won’t even front, I’m down to get basic with a good PSL (for those with dignity, that’s a pumpkin spice latte) as much as the next Karen. Though just like my cousin Greg, this McRib of coffee is only fun in small doses and tends to overstay its welcome every year. Thankfully, there are plenty of gimmick-free, Latin-inspired coffee recipes ready to take its place. Sorry Greg, there’s a pandemic going on.
Many of these recipes require a Moka pot (see picture below), they’re pretty affordable and will take your coffee game to the next level.
Café con Leche
A timeless classic that’s always a safe option. Brew your espresso (Café Bustelo or some other Cuban espresso) in the Moka pot. Heat up some evaporated milk on the stovetop or in the microwave. Stir a splash of coffee with however much sugar you want to use. Then you have to turducken that sugar mix into your coffee and your coffee into the milk.
Café de Olla
Even though this traditional Mexican beverage has a myriad of complex flavors, it’s relatively simple to make. The key here is using piloncillo or dark brown sugar.
In a saucepan, simmer a few cups of water with cinnamon (0.5-1 stick) and the piloncillo (1/3rd cup) until the sugar dissolves. Add coffee when boiling, cover, and turn the heat off. After a few minutes, you can strain and serve immediately.
Condensed milk is something I gravitate towards whenever I see it on the menu. If you’re a coffee fiend (be honest, you’re amongst friends here) it takes more to get the next fix you’re looking for, and this is where the Café Bombón comes in. Half espresso, half condensed milk (on the bottom). Take it as a shot and knock it back like you’re VIP at Magic City.
The cortado and its primo the cortadito are a one to one of espresso and steamed milk. Slowly pour your steamed milk of choice into your espresso and for the love of God, don’t foam it up. This recipe is tried, tested, and best enjoyed in its purest form.
2+2=4. Horchata is good. Coffee is good. There’s no need to overthink it.
Make your horchata by soaking rice overnight and tossing the mix into a blender with cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla extract. Be sure to strain once blended. Then heat while stirring in espresso or instant coffee.
Caffeine isn’t the only thing that will wake you up in this brew. Sugar from the chocolate and a pinch of cayenne pepper will beat your taste buds into submission. When this close-quarters combat of flavors finally subside, you won’t be able to resist getting back in the ring and doing it all over again.
Take either two shots of espresso or a cup of coffee and stir in a mixture of cinnamon (1/4 tsp), cocoa powder (1 tbsp, preferably Mexican), nutmeg (1/4 tsp), powdered sugar (2 tbsp), and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Add cream to your preference.
Get some great entrepreneurial advice from Pinkafe while you sip your latte!