Coffee from Cuba to Miami: A History as Rich as the Café Cubano

Miami Coffee Phenomenon

At some point while enjoying a cup of café cubano, you might have pondered how Cuban coffee ended up here in Miami, 1148 miles across the sea.

If you did, you truly are a passionate caféphile. Well, we’re not going to let your curiosity get the best of you. Today we will be taking a look at the coffee’s journey, from Cuba right into your cup in Miami.

Coffee culture in Miami is very different when compared to other states in the US. In South Florida, café cubano is not just a drink. Thanks to the Cuban Revolution, it is enjoyed and celebrated as a part of the culture.

Stay tuned as we reveal the majestic timeline of café cubano.

The History of Cuban Coffee

The first coffee plant in Cuba dates back to 1748, but coffee farming grew as an industry in 1790, where it was cultivated in mountainous regions of Cuba. The industry rapidly flourished, and soon coffee matched sugar in terms of economic importance. Thus, coffee became a significant part of the daily routine in Cuba, and café cubano, the signature form of coffee on the island. However, the situation worsened during the Cuban Revolution and millions of people left and ended up settling here in Miami.

This amazing statistic about Cuban coffee will blow your mind!

In 1960, Cuba alone produced a record 60,000 tons of coffee and became the largest exporter of coffee in the world.

The Cultural Bond Between Cuba and Miami

The ties between South Florida and Cuba date back to the Cuban Revolution in 1959 when millions of Cuban people migrated to Miami. Cuban people bought their culture and cafecito tradition with them. Places like La Esquina de Tejas and La Milagrosa Supermarket were established during this period.

If you ever get a chance to visit Miami, you will see restaurants and cafés with ventanitas. Ventanitas are those charming little windows where you can order Cuban coffee on the go. Ventanitas seem like a modern business idea, but in fact, they were introduced in the early 1970s.

Don’t have time to sit in a restaurant and enjoy a cup of coffee? No problem, you can order your café cubano from the ventanitas and enjoy it to-go.

La Carreta Restaurant

The luxurious Cuban restaurants and cafés that you see in almost every town in South Florida also date back to the Cuban Revolution.

When discussing Cuban cuisine, La Carreta never goes unmentioned. How can one forget the nostalgia of delicious traditional food and the enthralling, creamy café cubano? La Carreta itself is a part of Miami’s heritage as it was established in the year 1953. After the Cuban Revolution, café cubano became one of its signatures.

Indeed, Cubans brought their special ways of brewing and making coffee along with them, but socialization was ultimately what changed coffee culture in Miami. 

For those living under Castro’s rule, coffee was a way of meeting new people and an opportunity to socialize. Incorporating this beautiful concept into the fabric of Miami’s culture was a defining moment. Now, it’s not only the mesmerizing taste of café cubano, but rather it is all about chit-chat, politics, peals of laughter, and the high fives we give to our loved ones while sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee.

Indeed, it is history as rich as the café cubano itself.


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