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How Strong Is Cuban Coffee?

Will Beck
Last Updated: February 28th, 2023

If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you might already be familiar with Cuban coffee. This bold, rich coffee is a great way to kick-start your day.

The question is, just how strong is Cuban coffee? Well, it turns out that Cuban coffee is about two times stronger than American coffee.

But, there’s a whole lot more to this answer than just that. Let’s take a look at what else to know about Cuban coffee in this guide!

Why Is Cuban Coffee So Strong?

cuban coffee

There are a few reasons why Cuban coffee is so strong. Mostly, these reasons have to do with the brewing method, amount of beans, and type of beans.

Let’s take a closer look at why Cuban coffee is so strong.

Cuban Coffee’s Unique Brewing Method

Cuban coffee is traditionally brewed using an espresso maker or a Moka pot. These pots use steam pressure to extract the coffee from the beans.

In contrast, American coffee is brewed by pour-over or drip maker. These brewing methods use gravity, pulling the water to reach the coffee grinds. As a result, not all of the coffee’s flavors reach your cup.

What ends up happening is that Moka pots create a much richer, more potent cup of coffee than American coffee. As a result, Cuban coffee tends to have stronger flavors.

Cuban Coffee Has More Beans

With the same amount of water, Cuban coffee utilizes more coffee beans than American coffee.

The coffee and water ratio for most American drip methods ranges from 1:50 to 1:18. In contrast, Cuban coffee uses a 1:7 to 1:10 coffee water ratio.

Since you use more beans to make Cuban coffee, you wind up with a stronger cup of Joe.

Cuban Coffee Calls for a Smaller Grind Size

Cuban coffee uses more finely ground coffee. This differs from American drip makers, which use medium to large ground coffee.

Because the coffee grounds are smaller, you can get more coffee out of the beans. As a result, the final brew is much more potent.

Cuban Coffee Uses Dark Roast Beans

Cuban coffee is made with dark roasted beans. In contrast, American coffee uses medium roasted ones.

The darker coffee beans are roasted, the more water-soluble and porous they become. As a result, it’s easier to extract the flavors from the beans.

Also, dark roast beans have a smokier and more burnt taste. These beans’ dark and solid flavor profile adds to the perceived strength of Cuban coffee.

The Caffeine Content of Cuban Coffee

caffeine content of cuban coffee

If you think a regular cup of coffee’s caffeine content is enough to boost your day, you’ve never tried Cuban coffee. Cuban coffee has way more caffeine; in fact, it has about five times as much caffeine as regular coffee!

Cuban coffee has 199 milligrams of caffeine, while regular coffee only has 40 milligrams. In other words, you’re going to get a powerful start to your day if you drink Cuban coffee!

Making Your Own Cuban Coffee

making your own cuban coffee

Creating a DIY Cuban coffee is easy when you have the right ingredients and a good espresso machine. We’ll teach you the step-by-step guide below.

Step One: Gather Your Ingredients

First, get your ingredients. We recommend using premium dark roast espresso beans and granulated white sugar.

Just remember, following your machine’s instructions is the key to creating a good Cuban coffee.

Step Two: Mix the Sugar

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, brew a shot of espresso. Then, add about 1.5 teaspoons of sugar to the espresso shot.

Step Three: Pull Your Next Shot

Use a little whisk to make the espresso shot foamy. Then, pour the second shot of espresso on top of the first one.

Voilá! You’ve just made a tasty Cuban coffee!


If you’ve still got a couple of questions about Cuban coffee, don’t panic. Here are a few FAQs to clear up any last questions about this country’s coffee!

Is Cuban coffee stronger than espresso?

Espresso is around 4 to 5 stronger than Cuban coffee. For reference, Cuban coffee has 2.5% coffee particles and 97.5% water. In contrast, one cup of espresso has 8 to 12% coffee beans and 88 to 92% water.

Is Cuban coffee healthy?

Cuban coffee is similar to an espresso shot but has sugar for added sweetness. If you ask about the calories, Cuban coffee has at least 30 calories in a shot.

While it’s strong and sweet, it still has relatively low calories compared to other coffee kinds, making it pretty healthy.

Can I drink leftover coffee from the Moka pot?

It should be fine to drink leftover coffee as long as it doesn’t show signs of mold or spoiling. Just note that it will have a less intense flavor and weakened aroma.

How Strong is Cuban Coffee – Conclusion

Cuban coffee is a unique-tasting coffee with a good amount of caffeine to boost your day. It has the right balance of richness, boldness, and bitterness.

Try making one at home using your espresso machine and let us know your thoughts on this type of drink in the comments!

About The Author

Will Beck

Will is a true digital nomad, taking his work on the road at every opportunity. His first love is coffee, with whiskey a close 2nd. He loves nothing more than enjoying a perfectly brewed coffee with spectacular scenery whilst he coordinates behind the scenes of the Drink Stack blog!

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