What’s a Cubano?

by Jeremy O'Bryan

So I’m walking through the labyrinthine library last night that is Powell’s City of Books in Portland, tall bookcases rising with books packed in, and wafting to me among the smell of aging paper and glue and wood, was the distinct aroma of coffee. And it was growing stronger.

I followed my nose to the cafe in the store and stood staring at the hanging chalkboard menus. Cubano. Now there’s an item I don’t remember ever seeing on a cafe or coffee shop menu.

“What’s a Cubano,” I asked the barista.

“It’s an espresso shot pulled with raw sugar.”

Whoa. Sold.

“That I’ve got to have.”

The Cubano is probably to coffee what the Cuban is to cigars. The black, pungent elixir is rich and thick and sweet and comes in far too small a serving. A good double is probably enough, physiologically speaking, but it’s likely you’ll be just getting into it when the cup runs dry.

image: Jura