In my continuing list of guilty pleasures this one is on my top 10. Cafe Bombon is originally from Valencia, Spain but it has gained huge popularity in Latin America and from my own experience it can at least be found in any coffee place in Ecuador.
It is simple to prepare: pour condensed milk into a transparent espresso glass and then brew your espresso on top. The transparent glass is just because it is fun to see the 2 layers: creamy and heavy in the bottom and black and thin on top.
Mix the milk and the espresso gently with a small spoon and then enjoy the voluptuous texture and silky sweet flavour of this beverage. Some recipes say that the ratio between milk and coffee should be 1 to 1, thus the same amount of condensed milk as espresso, but it is up to you on how sweet or milky you want your drink.
This preparation may sound similar to Ca Phe Sua Nong, also known as Vietnamese coffee, but the extraction method is different. For Vietnamese coffee one pours 120 ml of coffee extracted with a Phin or filter pour-over method, and then add 2 tablespoons of condensed milk. This results in a creamy and sweet drink, yet less strong on the coffee.
Some interesting variations of Cafe Bombon include adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract for an extra flavour, or during summer, to pour the Cafe Bombon in the blender with added ices cubes and blend for a fresh yet sweet drink. The cold version of Vietnamese coffee, called Ca Phe Sua Da, is prepared by adding ice cubes to the warm version. No blender is used.
I like to replace the condensed milk with another Latin American wonder: dulce de leche. This gives a more decadent version: thicker, sweeter, deeper and almost-dessert beverage. Known as dulce de leche in Argentina, manjar in Ecuador and Chile, arequipe in Colombia this delight is a confection prepared by slowly heating sweetened milk.
As with the traditional Cafe Bombon, put some dulce de leche in a glass and then brew an espresso on top, then stir and enjoy. In case the “Dulce de leche” version is too sweet or heavy I add a bit of orange zest to add some freshness and acidity. It is already more a dessert than a coffee any way.