An Introduction to Cuban Coffee

The influence of the Cuban population is everywhere in Miami —in the culture, the food, the music, the nightlife and more. But one of the simplest ways to experience a taste of Cuba is to try a Cuban coffee. Known as Café Cubano or sometimes Cafecito, this drink is a distinctive molasses-sweet strong espresso—and it is the high-octane that fuels South Florida.

Here’s a primer on what to order when you want to sample a truly unique Miami experience that is a Cuban-style coffee:

Cafecito: This refers to an espresso shot which is sweetened (usually with natural brown sugar) as it is being brewed.

Colada: This refers to a larger cup of cafecito that comes with little thimble-sized cups for sharing with friends.

Cortadito: This is a shot of cafecito topped with steamed milk, and translates literally in Spanish as “small cut.”It is usually 75/25 espresso and milk.

Café con Leche: This is a shot of the Cuban espresso served with hot or steamed milk. Usually the milk is served separately, so the espresso can be poured into the milk at the desired strength. This is the traditional Cuban breakfast beverage, and is often served with pastries or toasted Cuban bread (perfect for dunking!).

With the vibrant energy of Miami, a quick shot of Cafe Cubano is a great way to stay energized, and also a wonderful way to strike up a conversation with locals — Cuban coffee is often served at walk-up windows known as “ventanitas”and enjoyed at the counter alongside fellow patrons!

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