Warm Your Soul with This Heavenly Puerto Rican Cafe Latte

Welcome coffee lovers! Today, I’ll introduce you to a beverage that enchants not only Puerto Ricans but also coffee aficionados worldwide: Café con Leche. This traditional Puerto Rican coffee drink is made by combining strong coffee with scalded milk and sugar. It’s a rich, sweet, and creamy way to start your morning or warm up on a cold day.

What makes this recipe even more special is that it’s easy to make! You don’t need a fancy espresso machine; all you need is some instant coffee, milk, and sugar. With just a few simple steps, you can recreate this delicious beverage at home.

Why settle for boring black coffee when you can treat yourself to a cup of Café con Leche? Join me on this journey and discover why this iconic Puerto Rican drink should be part of your repertoire of healthy recipes.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte
Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte

Let me break it down for you, my caffeinated comrades: Café con Leche is a Puerto Rican coffee drink made with scalded milk and strong coffee, and it is absolutely delicious. Why will you love this recipe? Well, let me count the ways.

Firstly, the café con leche is both creamy and bold, making for a perfect balance of flavor. The mixture of hot coffee and warm milk creates an incredibly smooth coffee beverage that you’ll crave time and time again. Plus, the addition of sugar helps to sweeten up the drink just enough without being overpowering.

Secondly, this traditional café latte recipe resonates with the Puerto Rican culture. It’s a drink made with heart and soul – hence why it’s a staple in almost all Puerto Rican households. By taking a sip of this flavorful café con leche, you’ll feel as though you’re transported to a quaint street café in San Juan enjoying the company of friendly locals.

Lastly, this coffee drink is versatile enough to be enjoyed any time of day. It’s especially great as part of breakfast – think French or Italian bread dipped into hot café con leche– but can also be enjoyed as an afternoon pick-me-up or even as an after-dinner dessert.

All in all, there are countless reasons why you’re going to fall head over heels in love with Café con Leche. From its flavorful blend to its authentic cultural roots, it’s certainly worth a try. So go on, make yourself some Café con Leche today and join me on this caffeine-induced journey!

Ingredient List

Get Your Ingredients Ready

To make this Puerto Rican-style Café con Leche, you’ll only need 5 basic ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Instant coffee: This recipe calls for 1 to 2 tablespoons of instant coffee. If you have access to Puerto Rican coffee beans, feel free to use those instead. But if not, any high-quality instant coffee will do.

  • Milk: Milk is a key ingredient in this recipe, as it helps create the creamy texture that’s characteristic of Café con Leche. Use whole milk for the best results.

  • Sugar: You’ll need just a teaspoon of sugar to sweeten your drink.

  • Water: Use water to brew your instant coffee. You can also use a stovetop espresso maker or an espresso machine to prepare your coffee if you have one.

  • Condensed milk (optional): Some recipes call for sweetened condensed milk instead of sugar as a sweetener. If you want a richer and sweeter drink, feel free to use condensed milk instead of regular sugar.

With these simple ingredients on hand, you’re ready to get started with your Café con Leche recipe!

The Recipe How-To


Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of Café con Leche! For this recipe, you will need instant coffee, white sugar, whole milk and water. The amount of each ingredient used depends on how many servings of the delicious drink you are making.

Step 1: Brew the Coffee

First things first, we have to make our foundation coffee. In a small pot, bring water to boil, and add in your instant coffee. Stir well, then turn off heat before adding sugar.

Step 2: Scald the Milk

Heat up your whole milk in another pot for about 5-10 minutes continuously stirring until scalded. You want to avoid burning the milk so keep an eye on it as it heats up. Make sure not to boil or overheat it since we only want scalded milk.

Step 3: Combine the Coffee and Milk

Add a desired amount of your hot coffee brew into your cup or mug. Fill the cup three quarters of the way with hot milk while gently whisking it in until thoroughly mixed together.

Step 4: Add Sugar (Optional)

Now comes the fun part – sweetness level! Depending on how sweet you like your Café con Leche, you can add white sugar to taste.

And just like that – you have made Puerto Rican’s famous traditional beverage known as Café con Leche enjoyed piping hot for breakfast, brunch or even dessert paired with sweet pastries.

Remember that this is just a starting point for making this yummy concoction; there are endless ways you can personalize this recipe to make a perfect blend for your liking.

Now go ahead and try your hand at making your own café con leche today!

Substitutions and Variations

In my humble opinion, part of the magic of this recipe for café con leche is its simplicity. Nevertheless, there are a few substitutions and variations that can be made to cater to your taste preferences or dietary needs.

Firstly, for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, you can replace the milk with an alternative such as oat milk or soy milk. Both substitutes tend to go well with coffee and are readily available in most grocery stores.

For a richer and creamier version of café con leche, you could swap out whole milk for half-and-half or heavy cream. This variation may not be as traditional, but it will certainly tantalize your taste buds.

Another option is to play with the sugar content. Naturally, there is sugar in the milk which I find enough to sweeten my coffee. However, should you have a sweet tooth, or conversely want to reduce sugar consumption, feel free to adjust the amount used.

You could also change up the type of coffee used. Traditionally, Puerto Ricans use strong dark-roast café pilón (Puerto Rican ground coffee), but instant coffee (two teaspoons at most) works just as well if you don’t have any freshly brewed coffee on hand. Experimenting with different types of coffee might yield an interesting twist on this beloved classic Puerto Rican drink.

Finally, if you’re feeling adventurous or want something more decadent, incorporating condensed milk into your recipe is worth trying. You can add it towards the end and stir it into your desired sweetness. This variation is what’s called cafe cubano in Spain and is popular in Latin America.

As with all substitutions, do keep in mind that there may be slight changes in taste and texture but experimenting in the kitchen is always fun!

Serving and Pairing

When it comes to serving up a cup of Cafe Con Leche, there are a few options to consider. Traditionally, this coffee beverage is served in a small glass or mug. However, any regular coffee mug or travel mug can be used.

Pairing options for Cafe Con Leche are quite versatile. This Puerto Rican Cafe Latte Recipe goes great with sweet treats such as pastries, cookies, and cakes. Its sweet notes complement the baked goodies, creating the perfect balance of flavors.

If you’re looking for a breakfast pairing option, try dipping French or Italian bread into the hot beverage, creating a delicious French toast style treat.

Cafe Con Leche is also an ideal beverage to serve as part of your brunch menu. The sweetness in this drink goes well with savory items such as eggs Benedict or breakfast burritos.

For a healthier option, serve up your Cafe Con Leche alongside a light fruit salad or yogurt parfait. The smoothness of the coffee drink pairs well with the freshness of the fruits.

The possibilities are endless for pairing with this classic coffee drink. Experiment and see what works best for you!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

Are you the type of person who likes to plan ahead, or perhaps you’re just someone who can’t resist a good batch of Cafe Con Leche? Either way, this recipe is perfect for making ahead, storing, and reheating for later enjoyment.

If you’re making a larger batch, it’s best to serve it fresh. But if you want to save some for later, let your coffee cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. You can keep Cafe Con Leche in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.

When it’s time to enjoy your saved Cafe Con Leche, it’s best to reheat it over low heat on the stove. Avoid microwaving it as this can cause the milk to curdle and affect the taste and texture of your coffee beverage.

If you find that your stored Cafe Con Leche has separated or the coffee beans have settled at the bottom during storage, simply give it a quick stir before reheating.

As with most coffee drinks, making ahead and storing may affect the taste slightly. But don’t worry, the flavor profile will still be distinctively Puerto Rican Cafe Latte!

So go ahead and make a big batch of Cafe Con Leche because now you know how to store and reheat it properly!

Tips for Perfect Results

When it comes to preparing a perfect Café Con Leche, there are a few key tips to keep in mind. As a seasoned barista, I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to crafting this delicious Puerto Rican coffee beverage. So, before you dive into making this recipe, here are some helpful tips to ensure your final product is delightful every time:

1. Use Fresh Coffee Beans

The better the quality of coffee beans, the better the end result will be. Invest in some fresh beans rather than using instant coffee for an exceptional taste. Additionally, grind them fresh for each cup rather than beforehand.

2. Scalded Milk is Crucial

While adding hot milk might seem like an easy solution, it’s important to scald the milk first for optimum results. This means heating it until almost boiling-but without actually letting it boil-to create a velvety texture in the drink.

3. A Pinch of Sugar

A pinch of sugar can be added while heating up the milk to balance out any bitterness in the coffee or simply improve the drink’s sweetness. Adjust according to personal preference.

4. Whole Milk is Recommended

It’s always recommended to use whole milk when making Café Con Leche as this contributes to the drink’s rich and creamy texture.

5. Be Careful with Serving Sizes

Pay attention to serving sizes so that you don’t serve too much coffee or too little milk, which will affect both taste and texture. Typically, a ratio of 1:1 strong coffee and scalded milk works well for most palates.

By taking these tips into account and tweaking them according to what works best for you, you’re now equipped with all the knowledge you need for crafting an authentic Puerto Rican-style Café Con Leche at home that is equally enjoyable as one from your favorite café spot- if not better!


As an experienced barista, I’ve heard a lot of questions over the years about making the perfect Café Con Leche. In this section, I will address some of the most frequently asked questions to help you troubleshoot any issues you may have encountered while making this delicious coffee beverage. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the FAQs.

What is a café con leche a latte?

Looking for a strong and delicious coffee drink? The Spanish latte, also known as Café con Leche, might do the trick! This popular breakfast beverage in Spain is made with scalded milk and espresso, and it’s a breeze to whip up. Keep reading to learn how to create this flavourful drink at home.

What is the difference between caffe latte and café con leche?

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between Cafe con Leche and latte, here’s the scoop. Although both coffee drinks are made with espresso and milk, lattes tend to have more milk than their Spanish counterpart. Additionally, while lattes have a thin layer of foam on top, Cafe con Leches are known for their thick and creamy consistency. If you want to learn more about the distinctions between these two popular coffee drinks, keep reading.

What kind of coffee is used for café con leche?

If you’re looking for a tasty and straightforward coffee drink, you should try out Café con Leche! This popular beverage can be found in Latin America and Spain and consists of strong espresso mixed with hot milk. To taste the best results, Café Bustelo® Ground Espresso Coffee is the way to go.

Bottom Line

This delicious and easy-to-prepare Café con Leche recipe is one of the most enjoyable coffee drinks, perfect for starting your day right or indulging in a sweet, warm treat any time of the day. The unique Puerto Rican café con leche recipe combines strong coffee, sugar, and scalded milk to create a traditional drink that brings together the flavors of Spanish and Caribbean cultures.

With this recipe, you can easily make café con leche at home and enjoy it with friends or family. You can also customize your café con leche by trying out some substitutions and variations. If you prefer sweeter coffee, increase the amount of sugar; or if you want to make it more healthy, use skim or almond milk instead of whole milk.

Whether you’re a coffee lover, foodie or just seeking a warm and satisfying drink to start your morning off on the right foot, this Café con Leche recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings. So next time you are looking for a tasty beverage that will leave you feeling satisfied and happy, just brew yourself up a cup of this fantastic Puerto Rican-style café latte.

Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte

Cafe Con Leche, Puerto Rican Cafe Latte Recipe

Print Recipe
Traditional cafe latte puerto rican style. This is enjoyed as part of breakfast, in which french or italian bread is dipped in the hot coffee. You can add a bit more sugar or coffee to fit your tastes.
Course Beverage
Cuisine Puerto Rican
Keyword < 15 Mins, Beverages, Breakfast, Brunch, Caribbean, Easy, Inexpensive, Puerto Rican
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 5 mins
Calories 279.8


  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 teaspoons nescafe instant coffee
  • 2 teaspoons sugar


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  • Bring to a boil.
  • Enjoy!

Your Own Notes


Serving: 188g | Calories: 279.8kcal | Carbohydrates: 27.6g | Protein: 12.7g | Fat: 13.4g | Saturated Fat: 8.3g | Cholesterol: 51.2mg | Sodium: 181.3mg | Sugar: 8.4g

Recommended Recipes Just For You