MIAMI (CBS SF/CBSMiami) — If there is one thing many San Francisco Bay Area residents enjoy to start their day, it’s a good cup of coffee. Miami takes it to a whole new level.

Coffee is a true Miami staple whether it is served in the morning or for a daily afternoon pick up. As most Miami residents already know, ordering coffee is not as easy as asking for a regular cup of joe.

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There is a right way to order coffee in Miami with a Latin finesse that won’t earn you a strange look.

So here are a few important things you need to know before placing your order at a Ventanita.

Stop right there! What is a Ventanita?

It is an open window where you walk right up and order your Cuban Coffee also known as café cubano.

Okay so here is where things get tricky. You don’t just order a café Cubano, or Cuban coffee. There are four types.

Cafecito, Colada, Cortadito and Café con leche.

Now they all have Cuban coffee so you have to know which one you are ordering.

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Let’s start with the strongest.

The Cafecito: Keep in mind there is a right way and a wrong way to order. Be polite, smile and say “Hola un cafecito por favor” which means, “Hi, a Cafecito Please, Thank you.”

Cafecito is the Cuban version of an espresso but do not ask for an espresso. A Cafecito is a single serving of Cuban coffee, which is hot, sweet and very strong and covered with espumita.

Espumita is a few spoonfuls of sugar mixed with the first drip of coffee.

It is a rush of caffeine and it will keep you up for hours. It is perfect before the big game or maybe you will need it the morning after.

The Colada: It is like the dad of the Cafecito. It comes in a foam cup with little thimble sized plastic cups to share with friends. When you show up with a Cafecito, your friends will come running. You drink the small plastic cup like a shot. Do not drink the bigger foam cup by yourself.

The Cortadito: It is half milk and half Cuban coffee, but the sugar is already added. It is served in a medium sized cup, just the perfect size. You can ask for clarito or oscurito, light or dark, depending on how much coffee you want to darken you drink. You can also order it mediano for right in the middle.


The Café con Leche:
This is the Cuban version of the latte. Most people drink it in the morning. It is mostly milk with a shot of Cuban coffee or maybe two. Café con Leche’s are often ordered with a side of tostadas Cubana or Cuban toast and you dunk the bread in the coffee.

Que rico….so good!

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Remember drinking a café cubano is a social activity so head to the closest Ventanita and enjoy a taste of Miami while making some local friends along the way.