Cafe con leche

Cafe con leche, with an horchata twist.

Cafe con leche, with an horchata twist.

Like in many other cultures and countries, in Latin America, we take our coffee seriously. It’s no wonder as it produces some of the world’s best coffee, but I may be biased. Unlike in North America, coffee is often not forbidden to children.

Such was the case in my childhood. My dad would often tell us about his coffee picking days (read about how that led to my preference for fair and direct trade coffee here) and would give us sips of his coffee. When we were young and we visited our homeland, El Salvador, our grandma would give us freshly made cafe con leche (coffee with milk).

A steaming hot cup of cafe con leche is much more than a cup of coffee. To me, it represents slowing down to savour the moment and sharing it with loved ones. It carries with it a very different aura that the rushed, daily cup of before-work coffee does. While I usually prefer my coffee black, once in a while (usually on chilly fall or winter weekends) I prefer to slow down and savour a cafe con leche. It always brings me back to my days spent with my grandmothers in El Salvador.

It’s now officially fall and with it comes the annual plethora of pumpkin spice everything. I’m no against a good pumpkin spiced latte, but this year I am starting a new trend. I am making horchata the new taste of fall!

How am I doing this? With my new delicious obsession – RumChata! A few weeks ago I made a Horchata Tres Leches and I’ve been looking for new ways to use it since. Lucky for me, the RumChata website offers plenty of recipes, including a Cafe con Chata recipe. It’s basically a cafe con leche with RumChata; almost like a pumpkin spiced latte.

I used my own cafe con leche recipe and just added the RumChata. Cafe con leche is usually on the sweet side and the coffee to milk ratio is 1:1 but feel free to adjust according to your taste (I use 2:1 coffee to milk ratio). The Cafe con Chata recipe on the RumChata website calls for 2 parts of cafe con leche and one part RumChata (don’t forget it is a liqueur).

It is perfection on fall weekend mornings. Just add the weekend paper, a good book or netflix and enjoy life!

Cafe con Leche (Cafe con Chata*)

Makes 4 cups 

*Follow directions for cafe con leche and add the 5th step in the directions to make it a Cafe con Chata.


  • 2 cups of freshly prepared, strong coffee (or espresso) made preferably in a french press
  • 2 cups of milk
  • sugar to taste
  • ground cinnamon or 4 cinnamon sticks


  1. Place milk in a saucepan bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to just simmering and let simmer for about 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Meanwhile, divide coffee between four cups.
  4. Sweeten with sugar to taste (if adding RumChata, add only a little first as the RumChata is also sweet).
  5. Add 1 oz of RumChata*.
  6. Add milk to each cup. The ratio for cafe con leche is 1:1 BUT you can adjust according to your preference.
  7. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick.
Cafe con leche + RumChata

Cafe con leche + RumChata