Must Have Spanish Coffee

I have always, since my young adulthood, taken my coffee black. This is how my mother drinks her coffee, and I am a stickler for tradition. But Spain changed all that.

In Spain it is nearly impossible to drink black coffee because what is offered when you ask for black coffee – or  cafe americano  – is really espresso. And it is so bitterly strong that any significant quantity might kill you.

The husband drank cafe americano from Galicia to Andalucia, and shortly after our return he suffered a ruptured appendix. Coincidence? While all medical science might insist that it was, I choose to think not. I’m surprised it didn’t take out his spleen as well.

The alternative to this gastric solvent was cafe con leche, the Spanish version of a latte.  And that is what I drank. I’ve always thought sugar in coffee quite disgusting, but milk isn’t so bad. In fact, after a few weeks of frothy cafe con leche, I wasn’t quite as keen on plain old black coffee as I used to be.

After our return, I found myself pining for Spanish-style cafe. I didn’t want some super-sweetened $5 Starbucks latte. I wanted coffee with frothy milk in it, just like I got at the Hotel Altair in Santiago de Compostela.

Frabosk Still, I wasn’t prepared to put out $200 for a latte / cappucino / espresso maker. Even if I was willing to pay the price, I don’t have the counter space.

Instead, I laid out $30 for a Frabosk milk frother, a little  stainless steel pot with a pump-action screen that froths up milk like a charm. (Being a fussy American, I use 2 percent Lactaid milk.)

Que delicioso.


One thought on “Must Have Spanish Coffee

  1. Tony Jefferies

    Very happy to see a convert writing about the finest coffee in the world. I’m a British expat living in Andalucia and quite addicted to cafe con leche or cafe cortado (just a dash of milk) and – since moving here – a little sugar.
    The coffee you get in the pokiest, most run down bar or venta in even the smallest no-horse town in Spain is generally far superior to anything Brits and Americans drink. Whenever I return to London I don’t touch coffee from the moment I leave the departure lounge to my arrival back on Spanish soil. The so-called coffee offered by chains is just bilge water topped off by unedifying froth, its lack of taste necessarily disguised by all manner of spices and choccy concoctions. We have so much to learn…and I won’t even get started on real food v plastic food! Salud!


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