What is Espumita?

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Espumita is the creamy foam that tops Cuban coffee, adding a touch of sweetness and texture. In this blog post, we’ll explore its origins, how it’s made, and its role in making Cuban coffee unique. Join us to discover the charm of Espumita and why it’s one of the best things, ever.

Key Takeaways

  • Espumita is sweet, frothy foam made by whisking fresh espresso with sugar.
  • It’s added to the top of espresso to create the signature Cuban coffee drink.
  • Espumita adds sweetness and a creamy texture, helping to balance the strong taste of espresso.
  • Espumita is distinct from crema, the natural sweet layer that forms when pulling regular espresso.

What is Espumita?

Espumita is a frothy foam topping essential to traditional Cuban coffee. It’s made by vigorously mixing sugar with the initial shots of espresso until it forms a light, frothy layer. This froth is then added to the top of the coffee, balancing the strong taste of the espresso with its sweetness and creamy texture.

To get proficient at making espumita, you need to be patient and practice a lot, because the consistency of the foam has a big effect on the overall taste and experience of the coffee.

Espumita On Top Of Espresso


Cuban coffee is known for its strong flavor and a special foamy layer on top called espumita. Espumita is the thick, sweet foam that sits on top of the coffee. This method goes back to a time when coffee was scarce in Cuba. People used this technique to stretch their limited beans and balance out the strong flavor from darker roasts.

Imagine instant ramen. Cheap and easy, but not the tastiest. Just like the Espumita helped Cuban coffee, people might add spices, veggies, or an egg to their ramen to stretch a single pack and make it more exciting. Same idea – a little creativity goes a long way!

Key Ingredients:

The key ingredients in Espumita, the foamy layer on top of Cuban coffee, are:

1. Espresso

The first few drops of freshly brewed espresso are the main component of espumita. The high temperature of the espresso helps hydrolyze the sucrose, creating a unique taste.

Espresso For Espumita

2. Sugar

White, brown, or demerara sugar is vigorously whisked together with the initial espresso to create the sweet, creamy foam. The amount of sugar used is typically around 2-4 tablespoons per serving.

Espumita Sugar

3. Air

Vigorous whisking or blending of the espresso and sugar is crucial to incorporate air and create the signature light, frothy texture of the espumita.

Espimita Foam

So in summary, the key ingredients are freshly brewed espresso, sugar, and air incorporated through intense whisking or blending to produce the sweet, creamy foam that tops traditional Cuban coffee.

How to make Espumita at home:

To make the espumita (the foamy topping) for a traditional Cuban coffee, you will need to grab a few ingredients.


  • 2-4 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons of freshly brewed espresso or strong coffee

The key steps are:

  1. Add the sugar to a deep cup or container.
  2. Pour a small amount (2-4 tablespoons) of the freshly brewed espresso or very strong coffee over the sugar.
  3. Vigorously whisk or stir the coffee and sugar mixture for about 1 minute until it becomes thick, creamy, and frothy – this is the espumita.
  4. Once the espumita is formed, slowly pour the remaining brewed coffee into the cup, allowing the espumita to rise to the top.

The espumita should have a thick, creamy, and foamy texture that sits atop the coffee. The amount of sugar used can be adjusted to personal preference, with traditional recipes using 2-4 tablespoons per serving.

Espumita On Top Of Espresso In A Metal Espresso Cup With Metal Spoon


How many calories are in a serving of espumita?

The exact number of calories may be a little different depending on how it is made and what ingredients are used. In any case, a standard serving of traditional Cuban espumita has around 220 calories.

How many carbs are in a serving of espumita?

About 21–22 grams of carbohydrates are found in a typical serving of the classic Cuban espumita topping, mostly from the sugar that is whipped into the espresso.

What are the best coffee beans to use for making Espumita?

Cafe Bustelo

The best coffee beans to use for making traditional Cuban espumita are Dark Roast Cuban-Style Beans. This includes brands like Bustelo, Pilon, and La Llave, which are commonly used for their bold, smoky Cuban-style roasts.

Avatar Of Kelsey Todd
With over two decades in the coffee industry, Kelsey is a seasoned professional barista with roots in Seattle and Santa Barbara. Accredited by The Coffee Association of America and a member of The Baristas Guild, he combines practical expertise with a profound understanding of coffee's history and cultural significance. Kelsey tries his best to balance family time with blogging time and fails miserably.