Discovering Cartagena’s Café Asiático

Image: Shutterstock/Karynav

Some people say the best coffee is found in Italy, and some prefer their coffee from Starbucks but I think the best coffee can be found in Murcia, more specifically Cartagena. Have you ever tried a Café Asiático or seen locals drink an unusual-looking coffee from a glass and wondered what it was? 

From Asia to Murcia: The Historical Fusion Behind Café Asiático’s Creation

Café Asiático is a coffee with a long tradition, inspired by sailors who arrived at the port of Cartagena from Asia at the beginning of the 20th century and ordered coffee with condensed milk and brandy. This combination soon merged with the personality of Cartagena creating the recipe now used.

Layers of Delight: Decoding the Complex Composition of Café Asiático

Café Asiático contains many layers the first is condensed milk followed by brandy then Licor 43, the coffee is added next topped with foamed milk, a touch of lemon peel some grains of coffee, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Image: Shuttestock/Iness_la_luz

Condensed Magic: Murcia’s Love Affair with Sweetened Coffee Creations

The use of condensed milk in coffee spread to the rest of the Murcia region so if Café Asiático is not for you try a ‘Bombon’ which is condensed milk with an expresso on top usually served in a small glass. Or a ‘canario’  which is condensed milk coffee and foamed milk. Whatever you choose you won’t regret it the only problem is returning to a flat white when you are not in Murcia!

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!


    • Angela

      10 March 2024 • 10:53

      I’d very much like to know if one needs to stir it before drinking it ,or if it should be drunk through the layers?

      • Catherine McGeer

        12 March 2024 • 13:12

        Thanks so much for reading the article. Yes, unfortunately with this coffee you need to ruin the display and stir it thoroughly to enjoy it! Be careful of the coffee beans once it has been stirred : )

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