Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche [All You Need To Know +Recipe]

Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche [All You Need To Know +Recipe]

Last updated on October 24th, 2023 at 17:38

This article is all about the popular Puerto Rican cafe con leche and how to make it three different ways including the traditional way, with a moka pot and an espresso shot.

I also talk about how this coffee differs from other similar coffee beverages.

Keep reading for a great and easy-to-make recipe.

Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche

Starting the day off with a tasty Puerto Rican coffee with scalded milk, sugar and a strong dominant taste is how millions of natives from the tropical island start their day.

The tasty cup of coffee is available at any time in panaderias, coffee shops, restaurants, and bars all over the island.

When you have made a Puerto Rican coffee once, you’ll be able to make it a million times flawlessly without a recipe. You’ve probably made something that is very close to a Puerto Rican café con leche before.

Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche
A Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche

Read: What is cafe con leche?

Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche Recipe

Making a Puerto Rican cafe con leche is easy and doesn’t require any special equipment or ingredients other than Puerto Rican coffee and an espresso maker.

Ingredients Needed

  • Puerto rican Strong, full-bodied coffee.
  • White Sugar.
  • Whole milk.

The Method

There are many ways to make this popular coffee drink, and to make it well you need a strong coffee. A regular black coffee or filter coffee is simply not going to be strong enough.

The best and tastiest way is to brew an espresso coffee, a single shot of strong black Puerto Rican espresso.

There are traditional Puerto Rican methods which are just as effective but are becoming a rarity in this day and age.

The traditional method involves using a coffee to water ratio of 1:8 and brewing 2 ounces (60 ml) of strong coffee in a saucepan and heating at a medium-high heat.

The scalded milk is made by heating it in a saucepan to near boiling point. It’s a method that produces a very delicious coffee beverage.

When your coffee is ready, mix in an appropriate amount of sugar, a teaspoon, and mix it well into your coffee. Add an equal amount of scalded milk to your coffee and viola your cup of coffee is ready and made in the traditional way.

If you are using an espresso machine, pull a single shot of espresso and the scald your milk by using the milk steaming wand and heating it until it gets to boiling point. Don’t make frothed milk.

Scalded milk is different from steamed milk; it is similar, but is different. Add a teaspoon of sugar to your espresso shot and stir well. Simply add your scalded milk to your shot of espresso in equal amounts.

If you are using a moka pot, a great way of making a strong espresso like coffee. Start by putting Puerto Rican coffee grounds in the Italian coffee maker. Preheat the water that you use to 70C (158F) and add it to the water chamber and then brew your coffee.

This little “trick” of preheating your water will help you to make a tastier moka pot coffee.

When your moka pot coffee is ready, pour it into a cup and add a teaspoon of sugar and stir well. Add an equal amount of scalded milk.

Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche Recipe
Make A Tasty Puerto Rican Café Con Leche

What Makes A Puerto Rican Café Con Leche Unique?

A Puerto Rican café con leche is incredibly simple to make and just like a lot of the popular and tasty American coffee drinks, it needs no special ingredients and is easily made at home.

Let’s compare this beverage with other popular drinks:

  • Black Coffee: This is simply a coffee with no milk or sugar added. Many Puerto Ricans love to drink their coffee black.
  • Latte: A latte is often mistaken as a café con leche, but these two drinks are different. A latte has twice as much milk as this Puerto Rican style coffee and uses steamed milk, which has a more velvet-like texture and a fine cap of microfoam.
  • Flat White: A flat white is made with a different type of espresso, a ristretto and steamed milk and 1 cm layer of microfoam.
  • Cappuccino: This is very different as it is made with coffee, steamed milk and foam in equal amounts.

The main differences between these drinks are the coffee to milk ratio, the type of milk used and microfoam being present. In the case of a flat white, the type of espresso shot used.

Frequently Asked Questions About Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche

The most popular ways in which Puerto Rican coffee is enjoyed by locals, their favorite coffee drinks are:

  • Pocillo (an espresso).
  • Cortadito (an espresso with steamed milk).
  • Café con leche (An espresso drink with scalded milk).

Why Is Puerto Rican Coffee So Good?

Puerto Rican coffee is so good because of the flavor and aroma. It has undertones of dry fruit, sweet nuances and chocolate notes. You can notice hints of plum, nuts and almonds. The dominant flavor is chocolate.

Puerto Rican coffee is a gourmet coffee.

Is Cafe Con Leche A Latte Or Cappuccino?

A cafe con leche, a cappuccino and a latte are three distinct and different coffee drinks. The table below outlines the differences between each of these three coffee beverages.

Coffee Drink Espresso Shot Milk Coffee To Milk Ratio Microfoam
Cafe Con Leche Yes Scalded. 1:1 No.
Latte Yes Steamed. 1:2 Yes, a thin layer.
Cappuccino Yes Steamed. 1:1 Yes, the same amount as espresso.

Note: A cappuccino has milk, coffee and foam in equal amounts, in 1:1:1 ratio.

Read: How to make cafe con leche

What Is The Most Popular Coffee In Puerto Rico?

The most popular coffees in Puerto Rico are:

  • Café Bustelo.
  • Café Lareno.
  • Alto Grande.
  • Café De Oro.
  • Yaucono.

The most popular cup of coffee is a coffee with milk (café con leche), and espresso (Pocillo).

Café Con Leche Condensed Milk

A café con leche made with condensed milk has a different name, a café Bombon.

What Kind Of Milk Is Used In Café Con Leche?

The type of milk used in a café con leche is a whole fat UHT milk. The milk is then scalded rather than steamed. Fresh milk is not commonly used.

 Final Thoughts – Puerto Rican Cafe Con Leche

Puerto Rican cafe con leche is tasty and delightful and is best made with great coffee from the island, Yaucono, Café Crema, El Coqui and Riojo espresso and great choices.

I double dare you to make in the old-fashioned and traditional way for a trip down coffee culture’s memory lane.

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Derek Marshall, a certified barista by the Specialty Coffee Association possesses over two decades of experience in specialty coffee shops. He holds professional certifications for coffee brewing and barista skills. Derek is also an author with authoritative books covering various coffee topics including specialty coffee, sustainability and coffee, coffee brewing, coffee recipes, coffee cocktails and books focusing on Brazilian coffee, Vietnamese coffee, Indonesian coffee and Malaysian coffee. As a barista for over two decades, Derek Marshall has worked in specialty coffee shops across the United Kingdom, Spain, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. His expertise extends to the distinct coffee cultures, specialty beverages, and brewing techniques of each nation. Functioning as a coffee consultant, Derek charges US$50 per hour. To learn more about Derek Marshall and Latte Love Brew, visit his About Me Page. For coffee inquiries, contact him at +34-639-410-375 or Derek@LatteLoveBrew.com, mentioning your name and location

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