Miami runs on coffee. The tradition of Latin coffee is the soul of drinkable energy from Caribbean countries. It’s more than the strong aroma and the impact of a shot of dark espresso. It’s companionship, the collective memories of family, friends and colleagues.
Whether somebody is a new immigrant or their family has been in the US for generations, coffee is the perfect complement to the start of the day or a lift up after a generous meal. Latin coffee in and of itself provides a reason to share its strong, warm and sweet smell in a social meeting.
Cuban coffee, along with other Caribbean coffees (Puerto Rican coffee, Dominican coffee, etc), forms an important epicenter of Miami’s customs. The official names are not espresso or cappuccino. Instead, Miami’s coffee culture uses the names as they are known in the Spanish Caribbean: cortadito and cafe con leche. They are made from gritty dark-roasted beans and served with so much sugar the coffee takes on an uber-sweet taste and syrup-like texture.
Iconic Latin coffee brands like Cafe Bustelo, Pilon, La Llave and others grace the shelves of local gourmet stores and cafes.
Traditionally, a typical Latin breakfast can be very simple, but never complete without at least one shot. If breakfast is enjoyed by several people, various finger-sized shot glasses are served of the espresso-like mixture. There are many ways to prepare and serve traditional black coffee….depending on how strong or sweet one prefers it.
Originally, Latin coffee used to be about family and friends gathering together to drink, often listening to Grandma’s stories and hearing the latest news. People at dinner parties would include coffee at the end of a meal, talking and laughing as a group into the night.
As Latin people, this flavor reminds us of these precious moments. For others, the rich taste experience makes Latin coffee a worthy experience for the tastebuds.