Cafe Bustelo for a Cafe au Lait
Ever since I went to Latin America about a decade ago, I have enjoyed Cafe au Lait. I love it for its strong flavors and is unapologetic rough flavor that can only be tamed by a little milk and sugar. The brand that I ran into is pretty basic, Cafe Bustelo, which sells for less than $3.50 per 10-ounce can where I shop. I know it sounds odd, but the coffee always seems pretty fresh in the can as there are a lot of hispanic consumers buying it at our market, which keeps things turning over fairly often. To be clear, this is not your single origin fair trade arabica only blend, as it's got enough kick in it to think that it's got more than a robusta bean or two in there. That's OK, because I like the added body and flavor that a robusta blend has, and if you do, read on.
Whenever I am brewing for cafe au lait, I brew it in my Moka pot. This is a 4-cup (8-ounce) pot that makes just enough for me to enjoy a pretty good sized mug of cafe au lait in the morning. The whole proces takes about 6 - 7 minutes; and only about 1 of that is actual work. Fill the bottom of the Moka pot with water, add a few tablespoons of coffee to the grounds holder, screw everything together, and put it on the stove. I usually get the rest of breakfast going, and by the time I am done, the coffee is ready.
I usually add about 2-4 ounces of milk to the 8-ounces of espresso, with a good slug of sugar too. Wakes me right up.
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Posted by Scott Martin at April 29, 2008 8:07 AM