Cuban coffee in Miami is more than just a beverage; it’s a cultural institution and an integral part of the city’s vibrant fabric. Miami’s Cuban community has a deep-rooted love affair with coffee, and this strong, sweet, and aromatic brew holds a special place in their hearts.
When you order a Cuban coffee in Miami, you’re not just getting a caffeine fix—you’re immersing yourself in a rich tradition and a flavorful experience.
At the heart of Cuban coffee lies the tiny but mighty espresso shot, known as “cafecito” or “colada.” This concentrated dose of caffeine is the foundation of any Cuban coffee concoction.
Best Cuban Coffee Spots in Miami
In Miami, ordering a Cuban coffee often involves a lively interaction between the customer and the barista. When you approach the counter at a local cafeteria or ventanita (a small outdoor window), you’ll likely hear the barista yell, “Quien sigue?” meaning, “Who’s next?” In response, you announce your order with a customary phrase like “Una colada, por favor,” indicating that you’d like a colada, which is essentially a larger serving of Cuban coffee intended for sharing.
The colada is served in a special container—a small foam cup with multiple tiny plastic cups called “tacitas.” This communal style of serving encourages socialization and sharing among friends and family.
It’s common to pass around the tacitas, pouring small portions of coffee for everyone to enjoy together, fostering a sense of camaraderie and conversation.
It’s About Community
Drinking Cuban coffee in Miami is an experience that goes beyond the taste. It represents the vibrant energy and rich cultural heritage of the city’s Cuban community. It’s sipping the essence of Miami’s bustling streets, hearing the rhythmic clatter of dominoes, and engaging in passionate conversations. It’s an instant connection to the people and their stories, an opportunity to delve into the local culture.
Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, trying Cuban coffee in Miami is a must-do. It’s an invitation to embrace the city’s Latin flair, indulge in bold flavors, and join a community united by a shared love for this dark elixir. So next time you find yourself in the Magic City, make sure to order a Cuban coffee, sit back, and savor the lively spirit that comes with each sip.
So, without further ado, here are the 5 Best Spots for Cuban Coffee in Miami.
El Caribe, or as it’s been called since back in 1979, is the go-to place for a tasty cafecito when you’re hanging near the Miami airport.
Caribe Cafe Restaurant
3953 NW 7th Street
Hey, if you’re in Little Havana, check out El Rey de las Fritas! It’s right smack in the middle of all the action. Sure, they’re famous for their killer Frita Cubanas, but they also make a mean cafecito.
El Rey de las Fritas
1821 SW 8th Street
Chances are, you’re here at Islas Canarias for their mind-blowing ham croquetas, but trust me, you’d be seriously messing up if you don’t snag a cafecito to go with ’em.
Islas Canarias Cafe
3804 SW 137th Avenue
Miami has almost ten La Carreta locations, but the one in Westchester, housed in a former Black Angus building, stands out. Why? Well, they’ve got the second best-known ventanita in Miami (after Versailles), where there’s always someone eager to chat about their take on politics.
And let me tell you, the cafecito they serve there is absolutely fantastic, which helps make most of those people bearable.
8650 Bird Road
If you haven’t tried a Cuban sandwich from Luis Galindo Latin American, you’re missing out on the true essence of Miami’s Cuban sandwich scene. And if you’re into their strong and flavorful cafecito, their cortadito is absolutely top-notch.
Luis Galindo Latin American
898 Red Road
West Miami, FL
Making Cuban Coffee at Home
To prepare the perfect Cuban coffee, a small metal espresso maker called a “colador” (moka pot) is used. It consists of two parts—a bottom chamber for boiling water and a top chamber where the coffee grounds are placed. The water is heated, creating steam pressure that forces the water through the coffee grounds, producing a dark, robust espresso.
Once the cafecito is ready, it’s time to add sugar—the secret ingredient that sets Cuban coffee apart. Traditional Cuban coffee is sweetened with demerara sugar or “azúcar moreno.” This unrefined brown sugar gives the coffee a distinct caramel flavor that perfectly complements its bold intensity. The amount of sugar can vary, but a common rule of thumb is to add one teaspoon of sugar per shot of espresso.
Now, if you wanna make cafecito at home, I suggest you use this colador and coffee; the same ones I use at my home: Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup and Tu Café Gourmet Espresso Ground Coffee.
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