Miami's Best Coffee Houses: Ten Places to Rev Your Caffeine Engine
Miami is famous (or infamous) for its beaches, toned bodies, and hot nights filled with music. But dancing until dawn, then trying to make it through the day requires massive doses of caffeine. Thankfully, the Magic City is home to some wonderful coffee houses.
From the little walk-up windows of downtown and Calle Ocho serving up dark and sweet cafecitos to cafes where men and women clad in designer duds with designer dogs sip lattes and espressos, Miami has its fair share of coffee houses. There's even a growing group of boutique houses that roast, grind, and brew beautiful beans for a cup of java that will knock your socks off. Nube Coffee won our Best of Miami award for 2011. Here are ten more to try.
10.; Roho Cuban Coffee
downtown Miami bustles as workers, students, and lawyers scurry to their
respective appointments with a computer, a class, or a judge. Inside,
you've just walked into a movie set for a film based in Havana circa
1958. Wood blinds that keep the hot sun out? Check! Potted palm trees?
Check! Bamboo furnishings in the muted colors of a tropical rainforest?
Check! As with any nod to Cuba, the proof is in the colada
($1.25/1.95). Served hot, dark, and sweet, it pairs well with a
pastelito ($3.85) or some flan. Turn off the iPad for a moment, savor
the coffee and the moment.
9. Nespresso Cafe
it a cafe or a shop selling high-end celebrity-endorsed espresso
machines? Yes to both. In the front of this futuristic rainbow-colored
shop, espresso and coffee drinks are served, along with a limited and
expensive light fare menu (grilled cheese sandwich for $16, anyone?). Skip the
food and go straight for the coffee. Choose from
16 different crus with notes like spicy, floral, woody, malt, cereal,
and honey. You'd almost think you were perusing a wine list with all
the talk of terroir, blends, and origins, but the folks at Nespresso
want you to become pod people -- literally. The entire cafe seems like a
way to get you to buy one of their Euro-styled machines which brew a
perfect cup of espresso from exclusive pods. Espressos are around $3.50,
cappuccinos and lattes range from $4.50 - $6.50.The machines run from
$250 - $2,000.
8. Europa Car Wash & Cafe
not sure when the trend of combining gas stations and car washes with
restaurants and bistros started, but we're down with the program.
Instead of staring at your car while it's being washed, step into
Europa's welcoming lounge-like cafe and order a perfectly steaming
cappuccino, topped with caramel and whipped cream ($4.00), while your
car is hand-washed (starting at $20). Free WiFi and fresh sandwiches
like the Andy, smoked salmon on pumpernickel with cream cheese ($6.99)
make this a great place to multi-task while still getting your caffeine
Fort Lauderdale Event Seeker
7. La Olas Cafe
little cafe tucked away on a non-touristy side street in South Beach
offers some of the best cafe con leche this side of Havana ($1.50).
Small, clean, and welcoming, locals flock for their morning colada
($2) and pastelito ($2.50), before heading out to work or the beach.
WallyG via Flickr
6. Versailles Bakery
back in time to a place where men in guayaberas talk politics over a
cortadito. Evaporated milk is added to the extra strong coffee for
sweetness and depth ($1.75). Famous for being the place where people
gather at every rumor of Fidel Castro's death, Versailles is as close to
Havana as most will get for a while.
5. Segafredo L'Originale
place to see and be seen on Lincoln Road, this coffee house/bar is
perfect for watching the world go by with a latte. Beautiful people and
their beautiful dogs sit on red velvet couches, sipping on espresso
macchiatos ($2.50) by day, and espresso shakerados (espresso spiked with
booze) at night ($6).
new midtown coffee house offers a welcome vibe in which to escape the
Miami sun with a carefully crafted coffee drink. Coffees and teas are
served in over sized ceramic mugs to your liking at prices cheaper than
the chain around the corner. Order a breve, a cappuccino made with
steamed half & half ($2.75/$3.25) or a New Orleans-inspired cafe au
lait made with a chicory-blended coffee ($2.25/$2.95/$3.55), sit on one
of the lounge chairs or at the coffee bar and enjoy as you surf the net
on their free wifi. Soy and almond milk can be substituted in any drink,
making this a good choice for the lactose-intolerant who still want their
Alaska Coffee Roasting
3. Alaska Coffee Roasting Company
Michael Gesser started the Alaska Coffee Roasting Company in (where
else) Fairbanks, Alaska in 1993. The coffeehouse, which finishes its own
fresh beans in a Sivitz small batch roaster, opened a second location as
far away as possible from the flagship store -- in North Miami. Though
this new location is as far away as possible geographically, the
philosophy remains the same. Coffee beans from the far corners of the
earth -- Kenya, Tanzania, Ethopia, Sumatra, and Nicaragua to name a few
-- are hand selected and roasted on premises. What results is a
beautiful cup of coffee at a fair price. Coffees start at $1.50 for a
small brew blend.
2. Panther Coffee
Joel and Leticia Pollock talk about their coffees like they were their
children. Each one has its own story, most starting with "Once upon a
time at a little farm in Brazil or Peru, a coffee plant was born...."
The Pollocks hand select the beans on buying trips and roast
them in their Wynwood location. Panther coffee is sold to discerning
restaurateurs around Miami, as well as in-house. A 12-ounce, fresh-pressed coffee is $2.50 and a cold brew is $3.50. Coffees by
the pound average around $19.
you love coffee, you owe it to yourself to attend one of
Eternity Coffee Roasters' Sunday morning cuppings. Think of it as a
wine tasting for coffee, complete with note taking, sniffing, and sipping. Coffee lovers and collectors of knowledge love
the fact that the beans they're drinking come with dossiers and
pedigrees from small farms in Colombia, Kenya, and Ethiopia. Free WiFi
and a selection of sandwiches make you want to linger longer. Coffees
by the cup range from $2.50 - $4.50.
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