Since moving to the Miami area, café con leche (literally translated means “coffee with milk”) has become one of my early morning guilty pleasures.
I first discovered it while on line at the Café Bustelo coffee place on campus. Having gotten up at 5:30am that morning, all I wanted was a cup of regular coffee to give me the caffeine boost I needed to start the day. While waiting for my turn to order, I noticed that nearly everyone in line in front of me was ordering “café con leche” – Apparently that was the thing to get, so I followed suit.
After taking that first hot, frothy and ever-so-slightly-sweetened sip, I knew I was hooked.
The following is my pretty-decent attempt at recreating the café con leche flavor profile over ice:
- espresso or finely-ground coffee (I used Lavazza Café Espresso)
- sweetened condensed milk
- milk (I used 2% because that is what we have on hand)
- ice cubes
- Brew espresso or very strong coffee. I prepare mine with a standard drip coffee maker by using 2 coffee filters and adding additional ground coffee to the top to amp up the strength.
- Fill a mug halfway with your prepared coffee.
- Add about 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk to the mug and stir until dissolved (add more if you like it sweeter).
- Fill the mug the rest of the way with milk and stir to combine.
- Fill a glass with ice cubes.
- Pour milk/coffee mixture over the ice and stir with a spoon to cool.
- Relax and enjoy!
To save myself time, I added a few tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk to the leftover coffee in the carafe, stirred to dissolve and popped it in the fridge for safe-keeping. Now in the morning all I have to do is pour over ice, add a bit of milk and I’m ready to go!
Hope you liked my version of café con leche – Feel free to leave any tips or suggestions in the comments!