Colada Coffee: A Guide to Crafting This Cuban Espresso Delight - Twisted Goat Coffee Roasters

Colada Coffee: A Guide to Crafting This Cuban Espresso Delight

Jun 24, 2023Meagan Mason


If you love Cuban coffee, also known as café Cubano, and you have experienced and enjoyed colada coffee then you will be happy to know they are for the most part the same delicious coffee beverage.

The element that makes a delicious colada coffee very different from the renowned Cuban coffee is that the one comes from Cuba and the South Florida region.

Regular strong coffee, when made well and with good quality espresso, is the perfect way to kick start the day, but this Cuban version of espresso, the Colada coffee, takes the cake (so to speak).

From our experience, we will explain how to perfectly brew coffee whether with or without an espresso machine, and once you have the art of perfecting this Cuban coffee inspiration, you won't want anything else.

Delicious colada brewed coffee will be your morning go-to, and with just a few drops of espresso and a spoonful of sugar you will be well on your way.

Colada Coffee Snapshot;

  • Cuban coffee varieties and what they bring to the table

  • Colada Coffee recipes that are simple to make in your own home without the hefty coffee shop price tag

  • Is coffee a social drink in Cuban communities

  • Do Cuban eateries serve Cuban coffee with sugar

  • What is the big difference between regular coffee, espresso, Cuban coffee, or Colada coffee

What is Colada Coffee?

As mentioned, Colada coffee is the Cuban version of espresso. It is served with a decadently creamy foam, and is created by mixing about one tablespoon of brown sugar and a spoonful of espresso.

This sugary sweet foam mix collaborates with the dark roasted espresso for maximum flavor.

  • The sugar foam created is called espuma and was originally created to help deter the bitter taste coffee can have, and to replicate the more expensive crema textures of other coffee drinks.

  • Take the first few drops of espresso (ideally brewed using a moka pot) and whisk briskly to build a sugar foam.

In a nut-shell, Colada coffee is anywhere from 3-6 shots of Cuban-style brewed espresso, traditionally served in a demitasses.

Usually drunk in one shot it has been a staple in the workplace canteens of the Cuban communities throughout the US.

What is colada coffee made of?

Traditional Cuban coffee is made from a carefully curated blend of high-quality Robusta and Arabica beans. This sweetened espresso is essentially a shot of sugar foam to kick start your mornings.

It is usually made in a large batch and slowly pour into tiny cups as a social drink between friends and family

What better way to relax with loved ones than over a strong espresso with a sweet crema that looks like it came from a magazine.

While the drink is essentially inexpensive to make, it is rich in flavor. It is the perfect Cuban espresso drink to share amongst friends.

Delicious colada coffee is widely available and drunk in Cuban restaurants and all around Cuba and the communities, this delicious coffee beverage with authentic method and taste is one not to be missed.

Cuban Coffee Culture

Unfortunately, coffee grounds and beans are not as highly sought after and lucrative as they used to be, however, this does not go to say that café Cubano is not still an integral component of the Cuban culture.

The Cuban coffee community is well versed and accustomed to drinking café Cubano throughout the work day. In the morning, this strong Cuban coffee is served with traditional Cuban toasted bread, pan tostado.

Is colada coffee sweet?

In a simple answer, yes, colada coffee is sweet. You need to remember that this café Cubano is served in portions the size of a very small cup.

The espresso mixture is bitter to an extent, but quickly balanced out by the kick of sugar foam its topped with and which cuts right through any tart essences.

Different Ways To Make Colada Coffee

Just because you don't own a vintage Cuban coffee moka pot or a state of the art espresso machine does not mean you need to miss out on your newfound love of Cuban coffees.

We have curated a few options for you to play around with, trial, and experiment in the kitchen with till your hearts content.

So irrespective of the espresso maker you own, if you have coffee beans ready on hand, your kitchen will soon be filled with the velvety aroma of Cuban coffees for all the neighbors to wish they had a sip of.

Making Colada Coffee With An Espresso Maker


- Prepare your espresso machine, 2 espresso cups (small and large) and other Colada coffee ingredients you will need; brown sugar, spoons, a fork if you don't have a small whisk.

- If you want to get really authentic you can also find some traditional Colado coffee Styrofoam cups.

- We find by using a bigger cup it makes the mixing of the sugar foam easier until you get the hang of it. Once practiced then you can transfer it to your regular small cup. First, add about 2 spoons of brown sugar in to the bigger cup.

- Brew your espresso into the bigger cup up to about 15 ml and immediately swap to the smaller cup to catch the remaining espresso brew. Start stirring the brown sugar foam mix straight away while the espresso shot finish finishes.

- Don't stop stirring until you see the color begin to change and the texture thicken, you now have a sugar foam created.

Dollop a few spoons into the smaller cup and stir again as you watch the sugar foam fluff up creating a decadent crema.

Serve and enjoy.

Take note this drink is not served with hot milk, steamed milk, or any milk option for that matter (we are not making cafe con leche), BUT if it is alarmingly overpowering which it can be for beginners, a splash of hot milk to take the edge off won't hurt.

Making Colada Coffee With a Moka Pot


- Fill the upper chamber of your moka pot with your ground coffee. We like a espresso roast coffee as the beans do give your moka pot brew that distinctive strong coffee taste. 

- Tamp the coffee and fill the moka pot water chamber. Try not to tamp the ground coffee too much, we still want to maximize the extraction brewing process.

- Place the moka pot on a medium heat on the stove. This medium heat will regulate the pressure so the coffee flows freely.

- Prepare the sugar mixture with the first few drops of espresso from the moka pot, you can use granulated sugar if you like. Whisk the sugar mixture until it is dissolved fully in the few drops of espresso until it is light foam consistency with a caramel color.

- Once the coffee is brewed, slowly pour it over the granulated sugar mix until combined.

You should see a light foam form on the coffee surface. Pour the coffee into shot glasses or or a small espresso cup.

- Serve immediately, crema topped espresso waits for no one. And there you have it, making colada coffee is easier than you thought.

What Are The best Coffee Beans For Colada Coffee

It goes without saying that for a truly authentic Colada coffee experience and flavor profile you want dark roasted espresso beans.

Cuban style coffee beans offer a bold, rich flavor that is not only well-balanced but full-bodied.

Whether you make authentic Cuban coffee or an inspired Colada coffee version, this is one drink you want to try to find and use dark roasted coffee beans.

Our suggestion would be to try our Sugarloaf Espresso Beans for a bold, rich flavor.

Colada Coffee versus other Cuban coffees

Cuba has many delicious colada coffee variations, but the foundation is the same, espresso. Try these other coffee drinks to indulge in when you want to shake things up in the morning.

Cafe con leche

Cafe con leche means coffee with milk. You make café con leche using a shot of ready espresso and steamed milk. Café con leche is served in larger cups, there is no brown sugar and usually made for breakfast.

Cafe cubano or Cafecito

Small espresso cups are prepared with brown sugar, the same as Colada coffee with an airy foam texture.


In simple terms this sugar free beverage is a short version of a café con leche, an espresso shot with milk.

It is served in the complete opposite version of a large cup, but rather the smallest of serving vessels, a demitasse cup. It is heavily sweetened with sugar for a strong shot sure to give you the kick you are looking for to get the ball rolling in the morning.

Colada Coffee Magic 

When it comes to Colada coffee, the trick is to stir gently once you've created your brown sugar mixture, and see the texture come to life ready to be savored.

The magic coffee is forever mesmerizing and has been fueling civilizations for centuries, no matter which way they drink it. In this case, a few drops of espresso combined with sugar to create a sugary foam and you have yourself an iconic drink enjoyed throughout the world.

Wrap Up

Now Colada coffee can be treat to be made in your kitchen! Follow these easy steps and you can be sure you know how to make the best Colada coffee using a sugar topping for that added decadence.

These iconic and decades old recipes make for the perfect morning coffee drink, and you don't need to visit Miami to experience it or search for a Cuban restaurant where you live either.

You can enjoy this sweet foam topped espresso drink in the comfort of your kitchen, you have options of which espresso maker to utilize, so what have you got to lose?

More articles