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How to Make Cafe con Leche Mexican Coffee

Updated on May 25, 2011

Cafe con Leche

Similar to the French café au lait and the Italian caffè e latte, café con leche is a coffee beverage consisting of strong or bold coffee (sometimes espresso) mixed with scalded milk in approximately a 1:1 ratio. Sugar or a pinch of salt are added according to taste.

Another popular and fast way of making cafe con leche is with the use of Nescafe instant coffee granules. This is sometimes referred to as Nescafe con leche, which of course it is, but if you have never tried it, please don't let the thought of instant coffee put you off. This is certainly something that is going to surprise you when it comes to deep rich flavor. The Nescafe Classico gives this coffee the body it needs to stand up to the creaminess of the milk.

The traditional way of serving cafe con leche is with raw sugar, this is very easy to find in almost every grocery store, or can be ordered directly from Amazon along with the Nescafe Classico. Give this coffee a try to it will soon become a favorite treat! And for something truly indulgent, add a little Mexican cajeta to your coffee ... whether it's cafe con leche or your regular morning brew, cajeta is delicious. Of course, it makes a great topping for everything from ice cream to pound cake, so why not coffee as well!

Mexican Food Has Become Very Popular For Good Reason!

Mexican Cafe con Leche

This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons.  Description Cafeconleche.jpg  Caf con leche (Coffee with milk)   Date 2007-10-05 at 11:47   Source Caf con leche   Author Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom
This is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Description Cafeconleche.jpg Caf con leche (Coffee with milk) Date 2007-10-05 at 11:47 Source Caf con leche Author Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom

Dark Roasted Coffee Beans

A perfect cup of cafe con leche starts with the right coffee beans.
A perfect cup of cafe con leche starts with the right coffee beans.

Make a perfect cup of Cafe con Leche

To make Cafe con Leche

To make a good cup of cafe con leche you need to start with good coffee beans. You'll need a good strong, robust coffee, not the kind you buy in a can. You'll want a dark coffee brewed with freshly ground coffee beans.

You also need to think about the water you'll use. Consider a filtered or bottled water for your coffee. If you don't drink the water straight from your tap, don't use it for your coffee either. Your coffee will only be as good as the beans and water you use to make it!

The best way to brew your coffee is with a stove top espresso maker. These are relatively inexpensive and very easy to use. You certainly don't need some big fancy machine to make your cafe con leche. To make the coffee, fill the bottom half of the espresso maker with cold water. Fill the metal filter area in the middle with finely ground coffee and screw the pieces together. Place the coffee pot on the stove and heat until the water boils up into the top chamber and it fills up. When you hear air spurting and the top of the pot is full of coffee, it’s ready and you can turn the burner off.

Warm some milk, either in a saucepan on the stove or in a cup in the microwave. Whole milk is traditional, but you can get by with 2% if you prefer.

Everyone has their own preference as to the ratio of coffee to milk, so you'll need to experiment to see how you like yours. Start with about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 warm milk and add more coffee if you prefer.

If you like your coffee sweetened, add a little sugar to taste.  Some people also like to add a tiny pinch of salt.

Mexican Food - Cafe con Leche - Stove top espresso

Nescafe con Leche

Another method of making cafe con leche, which is very popular in Mexico, is to use Nescafe.

Warm some whole milk, either on the stove in a saucepan, or in a cup in the microwave.  Add the instant Nescafe powder to the warmed milk and sweeten with raw sugar if desired.  I know a lot of people will be appalled at the idea of using instant coffee, but you'd be surprised what a delicious cafe con leche you can make with Nescafe. Try it and you might be a convert!  Nescafe now makes an instant coffee powder Nescafe con leche, which is basically the Nescafe with powdered milk.  I don't think this is as good as the traditional milk and Nescafe method, but it's another great alternative.

Raw Sugar for Cafe con Leche

Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee, 8 Count Single Serve, 12 Count
Nescafe Clasico Instant Coffee, 8 Count Single Serve, 12 Count

Sugar in the Raw Raw Sugar, 24-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)

Its never bleached or over processed

Made from natural cane turbinado sugar


Nescafe Clasico

Nescafe Clasico Suave Instant Coffee, 7-Ounce Jars (Pack of 3)
Nescafe Clasico Suave Instant Coffee, 7-Ounce Jars (Pack of 3)

Nescafe Clasico Suave Instant Coffee is the leading coffee for Latinos in the U.S. It is 100 percent pure coffee, made from a blend of selected coffee beans, carefully roasted to capture its full flavor and aroma.


Mexican Food and Mexican Cooking Recipes

Be sure to try some of our other authentic Mexican recipes, such as amazing tamales that will have you wishing you could make them everyday! We also have several great recipes for Pastel de Tres Leches or Tres Leches Cake, the traditional favorite Mexican dessert recipe.

While you're relaxing with your cup of Cafe con Leche, please stop by and read our article on San Miguel de Allende Mexico. A beautiful town, in a beautiful country; truly a unique visit.

After your Mexican fiesta, you may want to make your way over to shake things up with Richard Simmons and Sweatin to the Oldies!


Submit a Comment
  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago

    Mike, this is a great "grown up" drink :) I don't drink it everyday, but I love having it as a special drink every now and then. Thanks for reading!

  • profile image

    Mike Chronos 

    8 years ago

    When I was a kid I loved Mexican hot chocolate. So it's only natural that when I got older I would love Mexican coffee.

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    That sounds yummy! I bet cream makes it very decadent! I think I'll try the cardamom, sounds unique and delicious.

  • hospitalera profile image


    9 years ago

    ROFL, Mexico is still very similar to Spain where I used to live, I had "Leche con Nescafe" countless times, and it is delicious. Some tips to make it even more so is to add a bit of Cinnamon or Cardamon or other spices or to add a bit of cream for extra yumminess ;-) SY

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    Thanks Moon Daisy, it really is good. You can make it with espresso too.

  • Moon Daisy profile image

    Moon Daisy 

    9 years ago from London

    Sounds great, and looks great too! I'm usually an espresso girl, but this hub almost makes me want to add a little milk...

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    Sounds delicious IzzyM! Wish I could join you for a cafe.

  • IzzyM profile image


    9 years ago from UK

    Look the same or similar to the cafe con leche they serve here in Spain? I love it. I love going into a typically Spanish bar and having a cafe con leche from the big coffee making machines they have behind the bar.

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    Thanks sandyspider, hope you give it a try!

  • Sandyspider profile image

    Sandy Mertens 

    9 years ago from Wisconsin, USA

    Looks real tasty.

  • Lamme profile imageAUTHOR


    9 years ago

    liswilliams, I hope you try it sometime. My favorite is cafe con leche with a little raw sugar. Perfect little cafe to get my day going.

  • liswilliams profile image


    9 years ago from South Africa

    That looks like a really good cup of coffee, I love coffee. Thanks for sharing


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