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Michael Barry’s bombon

The bombon is the perfect mixture of caffeine, fat and sugar to jump-start any ride, whether you’re simply commuting to work or grinding to the top an Alpine ascent

by Krys Hines

My long-standing relationship with Michael Barry has always revolved around our mutual loves: coffee and cycling. Even though we grew up mere blocks from one another, we didn’t really become friends until after high school. He and his teammates began coming by a café where I was working. After that, it wouldn’t be uncommon to find Michael hanging out at my apartment, drinking espresso, instead of being in class at the University of Toronto.

Photo: Walter Lai

When Michael made his professional European debut, many of his teammates were Spanish and his base of operations was the seemingly undiscovered, small Catalan town of Girona. The Spanish influence extended onto the team bus, in the form of this delectable little kick-in-the-chamois called the bombon. All the teams Michael rode with provided espresso machines on their buses to keep riders and staff caffeinated. In addition to the traditional coffee add-ins, there was condensed milk. Unlike here in North America, where you usually find sweetened condensed milk in an awkward can, the Europeans wisely sell it in a squeeze tube similar to toothpaste: easy to dispense, with almost none of the sticky, runny mess of a can. In the recipe below, the coffee and condensed milk are married together in a magical union.

Whenever Michael visited my old Domestique Café in Dundas, Ont., cycling would always be a part of the conversation. Inevitably, coffee would always come up. In one of these conversations, he told me about the bombon. Now, I’m happy to share it with you.

Krys Hines and Michael Barry. Photo: Walter Lai

Nutritional Information

For one serving
Calories 62
Carbs 10.5 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Protein 1.5 g


2 shot glasses
Espresso machine with double portafilter


30 ml condensed milk
21 g espresso (I like Rufino containing some robusta)


1. Preheat shot glasses with either hot water or on your espresso machine’s cup warmer.
2. Pour or squeeze 15 ml of condensed milk into each shot glass, being careful not to let it touch the sides.
3. Prepare a double shot of espresso (at my current café, Grupetto, that’s about 21 g) and extract 30 to 45 ml of espresso, split between the two shot glasses.
4. Take pictures and post on social media before enjoying.

Another method, which I prefer, is to use a 7–14 g single shot with a single-spout portafilter. This setup will deliver a drink with more punch than a split double shot without being overwhelming.