Cafe con leche means coffee and milk, so there are no surprises here. The milky coffee specialty is widespread in every Spanish-speaking country, from Spain to Latin America. Still, there are some local variations, and that makes the drink exciting!
Today we’re making cafe con leche Veracruz-style. This is one of the most famous Mexican seaports in the Atlantic, where coffee traditions have deep roots. It comes without saying some of the best coffee beans in Mexico come from Veracruz.
What makes cafe con leche so impressive here is that milk is poured from an arm-length distance into the glasses filled with coffee. It’s an authentic show, but it’s more than that, the coffee and the milk mix and foam beautifully, and that’s what I’d like you to try.
Let’s start with the coffee. We need concentrated coffee, so I use two espresso shots per glass. Coffee is almost always roasted heavily in Veracruz, so look for a dark Spanish or espresso roast.
After brewing the coffee, we’ll sweeten it with a full spoon of brown sugar. Then we’ll pour the coffee into the glasses. You don’t use mugs or cups for this one, but thick glasses, like those you use to drink milk.
You must heat the milk, too. You want it steamy and not boiling. Then the hard part — pour the milk into a spouted pitcher and head on to the table. On the one hand, you’ll have your glass with the coffee. On the other, you’ll have the milk pitcher.
Pour the milk slowly, and gradually raise the pitcher as much as you can, creating a lovely stream of milk, a foamy fountain filling the glass while combining the ingredients simultaneously.
Practice the movement a few times with cold water because you can get burned. Done right, this is the most artistic cafe con leche in the world. Are you ready? because I bet you’ve never prepared coffee like this one!
Brew your espresso like you usually would. Pour It into a small pot and dissolve the sugar.
Divide the coffee in the tall, heat-resistant glasses.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk until steaming but not boiling.
Pour the hot milk into a heat-resistant pitcher.
Slowly pour the milk into the glasses, gradually lifting the pitcher to pour out the milk from a considerable arm-length height, making the coffee and the milk foam. Be careful; the milk is hot. You might want to practice with a pitcher of cold water first.