Growing up in Miami, although I myself am not Hispanic, meant the frequent consumption of Café Cubano. Cuban coffee. Cafecito. Colada. Much thanks to my Cuban friends and old high school boyfriends, I got a prime taste of the culture in one shot.
It was shortly after I’d tried regular coffee when I was introduced to Cuban coffee. I was in love with this small yet strong coffee. Even more so, with the fact that Cubans encouraged the drinking of it in the afternoon, particularly after lunch when you started to feel a little tipsy from your food coma and were in need of a big boost.
When I worked in advertising, I’d often have to sit with one of our video editors to help bring my scripts to life and my favorite to be paired with was a big-hearted Cuban guy who loved showing me photos of his wife and kids as well as taking many breaks for cafecito. Sitting with someone for 13 hours a day would have been very dull had it not been for these much-needed breaks.
Have you never had it before? If you’re a fan of coffee you are most definitely missing out. Cuban coffee is made with a very rich and deep espresso. It’s mixed with sugar as it is brewing and once finished, has a light sugary layer on top. When serving it, it is essential to not only pour a shot of the dark espresso portion into a small cup but to also scoop some of the light layer of sugar on top. The result is a sweet punch of hot, strong coffee that will definitely keep you from dozing at your desk later.
Cubans are known for their exceptional dancing skills, their kitchen prowess and their ability to properly make a Cuban coffee. Although my friend Jorge always tells me Cubans are also known for their arguing, I certainly could never argue with any Cuban I’ve ever met about their cafecitos being one of the most magical beverages on our planet.
Morning, noon and night, Cuban coffee is big business in the bustling cafes down in Miami where the Cuban population peeks. Coffee lovers all the world over happily embrace the trend that Cubans have laid down of consuming a satisfying shot of colada after a meal. Cubans do have an energy that is enviable and I have to wonder if it somehow ties into their big-tasting coffee potion that comes in that small cup.