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Recipe: Sweet-n-Cool Espresso Cubano

Reminiscent of our days traipsing throughout the jungles of Costa Rica (soon to be repeated this September!), Seattle is experiencing a rather delicious heat wave. We love it! Although you'll hear grumbling from imports at bus stops and in drugstore lines, we think Northwest natives really love it when uncharacteristically cold or hot weather lays in for a spell.

It's already 80F at 9AM and it's supposed to climb up to 100F today...and while we're hanging out on our deck in a sarong, overlooking the city and cooling off with a tasty little concoction inspired by traditional Cuban coffee, we're pretending that we're lying on this beach instead!

We hope that, wherever you are, you're staying sweet and cool, too.

Ingredients

  • 2 shots of espresso, ground a bit finer than usual (see below)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • Freshly whipped vanilla cream (optional, for garnish)

Directions

  1. Grind your espresso a little bit finer than usual -- depending on the type of sugar you'll be using, you'll need to make up for the differences in texture/particle size. For example, if you're using a rough Turbinado sugar, you'll need to grind significantly finer in order to balance the larger sugar particle size and produce a good extraction. Alternately, if you're using a very fine baker's sugar, you may not need to change your grind much at all.
  2. Mix enough ground espresso for 2 shots with 1 tablespoon of sugar, making sure to thoroughly combine.
  3. Load the espresso and sugar mixture into your portafilter, tamp and prep as usual.
  4. Fill two shot glasses or espresso cups with the crushed ice, just below the rim.
  5. Pull the espresso directly over the crushed ice.
  6. Serve! You could make this a dessert item by adding a little dollop of freshly whipped vanilla cream to the top of the shot, effectively producing a chilled con panna concoction.

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