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Cafe con Leche – Barefeet in the Kitchen


Cafe con Leche is a creamy hot coffee drink typically made with espresso and milk. While I enjoy mine lightly sweetened, many people prefer it unsweetened.

It’s easier to make than you might think and you don’t need a fancy countertop espresso machine to make it.

Learn how to make Cafe con Leche at home! get the instructions at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Cafe con Leche

A few years ago, my sister Jenny vacationed in Spain with her husband. They both returned home with a love for Spanish Cafe con Leche.

They shared their love of this creamy coffee drink with us when we visited them and I was hooked from that first sip.

I had never before been a coffee drinker, but that changed as soon as I tasted Cafe con Leche. The very next morning after we returned from visiting them, I ordered my own stovetop espresso pot and a milk frother.

For the past 5 years, I have been brewing my own cafe con leche almost every morning. I love it.

Make Cafe con Leche at home with these easy tips to follow! get the instructions at barefeetinthekitchen.com

I have served this to friends and family numerous times and it has been much loved. I have a couple of friends that joke about coming back to visit and staying longer, just to enjoy this every morning.

This is not merely an at-home substitute for fancy coffee-shop lattes, this drink puts those coffees to shame.

What is Cafe con Leche?

Cafe con Leche is Spanish for coffee with milk. It is a hot coffee drink made with espresso and scalded milk in approximately a 1:1 ratio.

Sugar is added according to taste. I like mine fairly sweet and my sister prefers hers barely sweetened at all.

Spanish Cafe con Leche recipe by Barefeet In The Kitchen

Things You’ll Need To Make Cafe con Leche

Equipment:
6 cup Bialetti Moka Express stovetop espresso maker or 3 cup Bialleti Moka Express stovetop espresso maker (recipe directions are for the 3 cup size, double the ingredients for the 6 cup size) *
1 milk frother, I use this simple battery operated frother

* Please note that this is an espresso maker, not a regular coffee pot. The “3 cup” size produces only 6 ounces of espresso, enough for 1 large or 2 small cups of cafe con leche.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon good quality espresso, I use Lavazza
  • 1-3 teaspoons sugar (If I have it on hand, I use this homemade vanilla sugar or raw sugar.)
  • 2/3 cup milk
Espresso for Cafe con Leche

Cafe con Leche Recipe

Fill the bottom portion of the 3 cup espresso pot with water, to just below the valve. (If using a 6 cup pot, double the ingredients.) Place the filter into the pot and scoop 1 tablespoon of espresso into the pot.

Screw the top half of the espresso make onto the bottom half and then place the filled pot on a stove burner. Place it with the handle facing off the side of the burner, so that it doesn’t get too hot. (You will still need a hot pad!)

Set the burner to medium (medium high on my current stove, but I used medium on my other stove). Within about 10 minutes, the espresso will have pushed through the filter and filled the top of the pot. Remove it from the heat as soon as the pot is full, do not let the espresso boil or it will burn.

While the espresso is heating, place the sugar in a large cup or divide it between two small cups.

Steamed milk and espresso for Cafe con Leche

Pour the milk into a large 2 cup measuring cup and warm it for about 90 seconds in the microwave. Or if you are using the stovetop to scald the milk, start it on low when you start the espresso.

When the espresso is finished, pour it over the sugar and stir for a few moments to dissolve the sugar. Froth the milk until it has doubled in size and then pour the foamy milk over the coffee. Stir to combine. Serve hot.

Homemade Cafe con Leche tastes better than the coffeeshop! get the instructions at barefeetinthekitchen.com

For more homemade drinks that are better than the coffee shop, try Homemade Chai Tea or the London Fog.

Italian Cream Liqueur is a favorite around the holidays and I often make it and gift it to friends. This Peppermint Mocha Latte and this Butterscotch Caramel Coffee are on my list to try soon.

Kitchen Tip: I use this stovetop espresso maker and this milk frother to make this recipe.

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Servings: 2 (3) ounce servings

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Fill the bottom portion of the 3 cup espresso pot with water, to just below the valve. (If using a 6 cup pot, double the ingredients.) Place the filter into the pot and scoop 1 tablespoon of espresso into the pot. Screw the top half of the espresso make onto the bottom half and then place the filled pot onto a stove burner. Place it with the handle facing off the side of the burner, so that it doesn’t get too hot. (You will still need a hot pad!)

  • Set the burner to medium (medium high on my current stove, but I used medium on my other stove). Within about 10 minutes, the espresso will have pushed through the filter and filled the top of the pot. Remove it from the heat as soon as the pot is full, do not let the espresso boil or it will burn.

  • While the espresso is heating, place the sugar in a large cup or divide it between two small cups. Pour the milk into a large 2 cup measuring cup and warm it for about 90 seconds in the microwave. Or if you are using the stovetop to scald the milk, start it on low when you start the espresso.

  • When the espresso is finished, pour it over the sugar and stir for a few moments to dissolve the sugar. Froth the milk until it has doubled in size and then pour the foamy milk over the coffee. Stir to combine. Serve hot and Enjoy!

Calories: 66kcal · Carbohydrates: 7g · Protein: 2g · Fat: 2g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 8mg · Sodium: 35mg · Potassium: 195mg · Sugar: 6g · Vitamin A: 130IU · Calcium: 92mg · Iron: 0.1mg

{originally published 12/4/12 – recipe notes and photos updated 2/1/22}

How To Make Cafe con Leche at home! get the instructions at barefeetinthekitchen.com


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