HAVANA – Adios, cafe con leche?

Cuba, where strong shots of espresso are a way of life, says it had its worst coffee harvest in history last year, with production plummeting to 5,500 tons.

And a full-page article in the Communist Party newspaper Granma on Wednesday warned that authorities will no longer fill the shortfall with imports. It said the government cannot afford to spend a projected $40 million this year and $47 million next year just to keep islanders in high-octane caffeine.

Cuba was the world’s top coffee exporter in the 1940s, Granma reported, producing a bean “that was very coveted in discerning markets.”

As recently as the harvest of 1961-1962, Cuba produced 60,000 tons.

The newspaper cited inefficiency and negligence as reasons for the drop in production, but did not go into detail.

Orlando Guevara, a coffee specialist at the Agricultural Ministry, told Granma that Cuba hopes to produce at least 6,700 tons of coffee in the coming harvest that begins in October and lasts about two months. He said Cuba hopes to one day get back to the 1970s level of 28,000 to 30,000 tons a year.

As part of an effort to improve coffee production, Cuba recently abandoned the long-held practice of using teams of ill-trained student volunteers to harvest coffee, most of which is grown in the island’s east.

Strong, almost tarlike espresso is most commonly served on the island in thimble-sized shots cut with copious portions of sugar. Cafe con leche is strong espresso combined with a large glass of steamed milk. Though it is famous in Cuba, it is more commonly drunk by Cubans living in the United States or elsewhere.

Bad news about coffee production follows a report in May that Cuba recorded its worst sugar harvest in more than a century, a scathing assessment that followed the firing of the head of an industry that was once a symbol of the nation.