Cafe con Leche Explained: History, Origins & More

Café con Leche Explained

Café con Leche is a popular breakfast drink in Spain as well as around the world, and it’s easy to see why. It’s simple, sweet, and delicious!

But what is Cafe con Leche exactly? And how do you make it?

Let’s take a look at what this Spanish beverage is made of, how you can make it yourself, and where to find it if you’re craving something creamy.

What Is Café Con Leche?

Cafe con Leche is a popular drink not just in Spain but also around the world.

Café con Leche is a Spanish coffee drink that’s made with scalded milk and strong espresso.

These coffees have been around since the 1700s and are still enjoyed today as a breakfast staple in Spanish restaurants and many homes across Spain.

Serve in small cups with milk on top; the name Cafe con Leche translates to “coffee with milk,” but it’s not just any coffee—it’s rich, dark espresso brewed with scalded milk. 

The result is a sweet liquid chocolate cake taste-like! You can find Cafe con Leche at most cafés in Spain, but if you’re craving some at home, you can also make one.

Cafe con Leche originated in Spain. 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 shot of espresso
  • ⅔ cup of whole dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
  • Stove/Moka pot/Microwave
  • Prep time: 2 mins

Here’s How We Make Ours:

Stir together until they're well blended into the hot water

Step 1:

  • Pour 2/3 cup of milk into a small pot on low heat until it just starts to simmer
  • Stir the milk with a wooden spoon gently until it reaches its desired temperature (around 180 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Set aside the filled pot for about 15 minutes so that the steamed milk can cool slightly

Step 2:

  • Brew some coffee on your espresso maker! You can use any kind of coffee beans you like—but if you want to do it right, we recommend an espresso blend or single-origin beans

Step 3:

  • Add ground espresso beans to the cup. You can use any kind of ground espresso bean
  • Stir together until they’re well blended into the hot water

Step 4:

  • Gently add 1 tablespoon of sugar to your warm milk coffee mug
  • Using medium heat, stir until fully dissolved

Step 5:

  • You should see no separation between the two ingredients! If there is any separation, try again until they are fully mixed into one delicious espresso: con Leche Cafe!

The secret to this recipe is steeping the coffee grounds for a few minutes in a pot before brewing. Make sure not to boil the milk, but just heat it. Check out more on how to make Cafe Con Leche with more recipes here.

Is Cafe Con Leche A Latte Coffee?

Cafe con Leche is different from a latte. It’s made by pouring hot milk into a cup of coffee.

It’s usually served with a dash of cinnamon, as well as other ingredients such as sugar and vanilla extract.

Lattes, on the other hand, are made by pouring steamed milk over espresso shots in a glass mug.

Aside from the milk, what distinguishes it from the Cafe con Leche is the amount of milk used, as Latte contains three parts milk while the Cafe con Leche contains equal parts milk and espresso.

Cafe con Leche and Latte are two different coffees.

What Makes Coffee Worth it?

There's  a lot of reason why you should try Cafe con leche.

Here are 5 reasons why café con Leche is worth it:

1. It’s creamy and rich, with just enough sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the espresso.

2. It’s made from high-quality ingredients like dark roast Colombian coffee beans and organic milk from grass-fed cows.

3. It has less caffeine than an Americano or latte (but more than an espresso), so it won’t keep you up all night long!

4. You can combine it with other drinks for a unique experience—try adding some mezcal for an extra kick!

5. It pairs well with many breakfast foods like eggs or toast, so it’ll make your meal feel more complete! You can also feel good about ordering this—it’s full of protein from the milk and antioxidants from the coffee beans.

Tips for a Delicious Cafe con Leche Made

You can make it at home.

The coffee should be dark roast because it has a stronger flavor than medium or light roast. And this traditional Spanish style of coffee should not be brewed with boiling water.

To make a Café con Leche at home, you’ll need an espresso maker or Moka pot to brew your espresso.

Every espresso maker is different, so make sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions.

Try using whole milk instead of skim or 2%. Whole milk will have more fat than lower-fat options like skim or 2%, which means it will create a creamier texture when combined with hot coffee after cooling down slightly.

So, they blend better without separating into layers due to differences in density between those Spanish drinks.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a coffee geek or someone who’s looking for an easy-to-make espresso drink perfect for a lazy morning, give this a try!

You can also recommend this recipe to your friends and loved ones.

So there you have it! I hope this blog has helped you learn the wonders of Café con Leche. If you have any queries or thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out!


What type of milk is used in Cafe con Leche?

The Cafe con Leche originated recipe calls for whole dairy milk. This will make the drink creamier and a little thicker than regular milk.

Can you add cream to Café con Leche? 

Yes! You can add half-and-half or heavy cream instead of milk if you’d like your cafe con Leche to be richer and sweeter.

How much sugar should I put in my Café con Leche? 

This depends on your personal taste and preference—you could put no sugar at all in your recipe if you don’t like sweet drinks, or you could add as much sugar as needed to sweeten it up just right for your taste buds!

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