|The colada at the Miami Dade College snack bar|
Cuban coffee culture has created the perfect mix of caffeine and friendship, value and flavor -- and I don't understand why I can't buy them all over America.
Behold above: The colada, a huge shot of Cuban coffee served everywhere in Miami in a styrofoam cup with a half-dozen tiny plastic thimbles on the side. Dark, sweet, espresso-like coffee. Served so that you can share with your friends by filling thimbles and snapping them back.
What could be better than a cheap way to drink coffee all day? I bought the colada above at a snackbar at Miami Dade College. Truth be told, I used it as jet fuel. I drank about two-thirds alone so that I didn't nod off during a morning spent listening to lawyers. Huge caffeine boost, but small enough liquid that I wouldn't need the bathroom breaks that come with a venti-largo-grandi cup of coffee.
But the real fun comes from spacing them through the day. I buy one for the group's morning coffee break. You bring one back when you go pick up lunch.
These cost a little more than a dollar in Miami. I assume they're making money, so I don't understand why the colada -- and Cuban coffee generally -- has never become a trend in American cities. A Miami coffee bar serves espresso shots, the big colada, and then sipping drinks like a cafe con leche. Come on people! Someone should start the colada revolution around here.
The best Cuban coffee near Howard County is a Cuba de Ayer in Burtonsville, and I'm a big fan, especially of the pork chop and the Cuban sandwich. They serve nice cafe con leche as well. I have seen that Le Comptoir offers a "cordata" with espresso and steamed half-and-half, but I haven't tried it yet.