What Is In a Spanish Coffee? Here’s What We Know

what is in a spanish coffee

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Have you heard of Spanish coffee before? It’s a wonderful drink for those who are looking for a late-night refreshment. I imagine you are probably wondering what is in a Spanish coffee, and we will answer all your questions down below.

Although the name makes it sound like it originates in a warm and sunny country in Europe, it is actually an American invention, created in Portland, Oregon in the 70s.

The reason that the word “Spanish” is in the title is due to the fact it’s based on the Spanish concept of “carajillo”, also known as “spiked coffee”.

So, what exactly is spiked about it? Read on to find out the answer.

What is in a Spanish Coffee? The Quick Answer

If you’re wondering what’s in Spanish coffee, here are the facts.

Known as spiked coffee, it is an espresso mixed with Kahlua, rum, and orange liqueur.

And if that doesn’t pull you into trying it, you should know that it’s topped off with delicious whipped cream and the rim is sprinkled with sugar to provide that extra taste.

And, if you’re a fan of dramatic entrances, you should know that the rum is set on fire to caramelize the sugary rim.

All in all, this is a special coffee cocktail to really enjoy when overlooking the sunset on a summer’s eve.

What Ingredients You Should Use to Make Great Spanish Coffee

So, let’s go through the ingredients you need to make a Spanish coffee.

  • Coffee: Any coffee brewing method will do, whether it is espresso, capsule coffee, or even instant coffee.
  • Choose Kahlua for an authentic taste. However, you can use any coffee liqueurs you prefer.
  • Orange liqueur such as Cointreau or Triple Sec
  • Rum: 151 rum is preferred, but any type of aged rum usually does the trick
  • Sugar
  • Lemon
  • Whipped cream
  • A kitchen torch or a simple lighter will work wonderfully

So, now you have gathered all the ingredients, you are now ready to start making delicious Spanish coffee.

spanish coffee whipped cream

How to Make Spanish Coffee: A Step-by-Step Guide

First things first, you need to make your coffee. There are many different ways to make coffee. So, let’s explain how to make it using these different methods. You can’t make the irresistible Spanish coffee without them!

Pour Over Coffee

This is one of the oldest ways to brew coffee and is perfect for making this great java cocktail. Here’s how you make great coffee with this method:

1. Boil water

2. Grind the coffee finely. For best results, maintain the golden ratio of 22 grams of coffee for every 350 grams of boiling water. We recommend grinding the beans just as you are about to make the drink rather than the night before.

3. Place a coffee filter on top of a jug and then add the coffee granules to the filter.

4. When this is done, start pouring boiling water onto the coffee, beginning on the outside and slowly worming your way to the middle.

5. Finally, wait for the coffee to drip down. This process should take around 3 minutes. After this, you’ll be all good to continue making your Spanish coffee.

Coffee Capsule Machine

This is probably the easiest way to make coffee. Take a look at how to do it here:

1. First, add water to the coffee capsule machine. It doesn’t matter if it is cold water, as the machine will heat it up anyway.

2. After this is done, add a coffee capsule to the machine and put the glass under the spout.

3. Press the button for one espresso shot, and it should pour into your glass ready for you to start adding the rest of the ingredients.

Espresso Machine

Espresso machines create some of the best coffee. Find out how to make it below:

1. First of all, preheat the espresso machine.

2. After this, start grinding the coffee beans finely. There are many different ways to grind coffee beans if you don’t have a grinder. Some espresso machines have a built-in grinder, so in that case, the machine will be able to do it for you.

3. Make sure the coffee grounds are level and push them down with a tamp.

4. Once this is done, pull the espresso shot until you have 60ml of great-tasting coffee. This usually takes around 20/30 seconds when pulling on the lever.

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is an easy way to make coffee for cheap. Here’s how to do it:

1. First of all, mix around 2 teaspoons of coffee with 120 milliliters of boiling water.

2. Once this is done, start stirring the mixture together until all those little instant coffee granules are dissolved.

3. And there you have it!

How to Make Whipped Cream for Your Spanish Coffee

So, once you’ve finished making the coffee, now you have to make the whipped cream.

It is possible for you to just buy whipped cream, but for the best taste, we recommend it homemade.

To make great homemade whipped cream, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • Powdered/Icing Sugar
  • Your favorite whisk

So, now that you’ve got all the ingredients, what happens next?

Well, you now need to get whipping.

Move a whisk forward and back in a quick motion until you get a fluffy texture. Add a sprinkling of powdered sugar in between whipping to provide a sweeter taste. As well as making delicious whipped cream, this method is also a great forearm exercise!

Once you’ve got the texture you desire, you’re all done and can now rest your aching arms.

How to Caramelize the Rim

Now for the fun part.

To caramelize the sugary rim, you need to set it on fire. Now, this should always be done safely so you don’t burn yourself, so we’re going to give you a few pointers on how to do this properly.

First of all, we recommend using a quality kitchen torch.

Although you can use a lighter or a matchstick, a kitchen torch will allow the flame to be far away from your hand and drastically reduces the chance of injury.

The Japan PRO2 Culinary Torch is great for all sorts of uses, not just for Spanish Coffee. You can use it for Creme Brulees, BBQs, Meringue, and many more to get your money’s worth.

After you’ve sorted your fire lighting equipment, you’re probably wondering how to caramelize the rim.

First of all, you’ll need a glass. Ensure it is a reasonably thin glass, as thicker glasses may crack and shatter under the heat. If you can, get a heat-treated glass to ensure no breakages.

Once you’ve got the glass, add some warm water to it to heat up the glass. Leave it there for a few seconds before throwing the water down the drain.

After this, grab a lime (a lemon will work too), and rub it around the rim of the glass. This is to ensure the sugar sticks to the rim before it is set on fire. Then, slowly sprinkle sugar onto the rim, and tip the glass upside down now and then to ensure that only the rim has sugar on it.

Once this is done, it’s time to add an ounce of rum and a quarter of an ounce of orange liqueur. Any type of orange liqueur will work well for this recipe.

For best results, we recommend using 151 rum for optimal fireworks. This is a much higher proof than other rum types, so is much more likely to catch fire quickly. However, any type of aged rum will work just fine, as long as it isn’t an alcohol-free version!

Then, tilt your glass slightly, and using your kitchen torch or lighter, light the drink. You often don’t have to touch the liquid with the lighter, as the fumes from the rum will light it anyway.

Look carefully, as it can often be difficult to see if the drink has been set alight or not. Once it has, twist it slowly around at an angle so the sugar can be cooked and caramelized well. Be careful where you hold your glass, as it will be hot.

After the sugar has been caramelized, extinguish the flame by blowing on it or putting a plate over the glass to stop the fire from receiving oxygen.

And there you have it, a beautifully caramelized rim!

spanish coffee caramelize rim

How to Make the Rest of the Spanish Coffee

So, after adding rum, orange liqueur, and caramelizing the rim, you now need to make the rest of the Spanish coffee.

The next thing to do is to add Kahlua. Kahlua is a great coffee liqueur and is a stunning mix of rum, sugar, and coffee. Add an ounce and a half of this liqueur on top of the current mixture to add a sweeter taste to the drink.

After this has been done, it’s time for coffee. Add one espresso shot, or if you are using instant or pour-over coffee, pour it until the coffee nears the top of the rim so you’ve got enough room for the cream.

Now, add the heavy whipped cream from earlier and pour it evenly around the top of the Spanish coffee.

And why not add freshly ground nutmeg sprinkled over the top for a great finish?

So, there you have it, a delicious Spanish coffee for you to enjoy at any time of the day!

What Is In a Spanish Coffee? The Answers Revealed

Now you know what is in a Spanish coffee, as well as how to make it.

This drink provides a mixture of great tastes.

You have the great coffee flavor, the sweetness from the Kahlua and the caramelized rim, orange from the orange liqueur, the whipped cream to provide richness, and the rum provides a great kick to finish it all.

Moreover, it also gives a great sensation when drinking it, with the cold whipped cream on top and the hot coffee underneath.

Try it out today, and let us know what you think.