You got a steaming cup of black and choosing your cream-to-sugar ratio was about as creative as things got. Today, coffee comes in endless iterations. You can get it cold-brewed, steamed with a variety of nut milks — even made with lemonade.
In honor of National Coffee Day, which lands on Wednesday, September 29, here's an alphabetical list of seven local coffee purveyors whose creations go beyond the latte.
Bebito's Cafe1504 Bay Rd., Miami Beach
The idea of sipping on a cloud sounds magical; and while you're not actually sipping on a cumulus nimbus at Bebito's, the "Cloud Latte" ($5) still lives up to the fantasy. The fluffy, espresso-based drink is festooned with cold foam and finished with a garnish of cocoa powder.
Brewing Buddha Cafe8219 SW 124th St., Miami
At first glance, you might think the baristas at Brewing Buddha are performing alchemy behind the counter with burning wood and flames. But that's how every hand-smoked, vanilla-hemp latte ($10) is created. Each sip transports you to a cozy cabin in the woods with notes of fragrant burnt oak and mouthwatering vanilla bean. Other outrageous flavors include midnight coconut ($6.50), a raven-hued blend of coconut sugar and activated charcoal; and the Cap'n Crunch latte ($7), wherein coffee meets your childhood favorite breakfast cereal.
Cafe Grumpy2516 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Coral Gables
Head to Brooklyn-based Cafe Grumpy for a luxurious cardamom and rose latte ($6). Concocted with espresso, your choice of milk, honey, and a dash of cardamom, this beautiful beverage brings a mild sweetness with unassuming floral notes.
Cortadito Coffee House1656 Meridian Ave., Miami Beach
Living in Miami means you've developed a taste for tres leches, so it only makes sense that Cortadito Coffee House would turn the beloved dessert into a latte. The espresso-based drink is a creamy, caffeinated treat that mimics its namesake confection's flavor and silky texture. Grab yours hot, iced, or even frozen. Prices range from $4.75 to $6.25 depending on size.
Imperial Moto Cafe7299 NW Second Ave., Miami
Motorcycle culture meets coffee at this eclectic hangout in Miami's Little River neighborhood. Snag yourself a cup of Imperial's turmeric latte and make it dirty — for coffee newbies that means add an espresso shot ($5). The golden drink touts a piquant punch sure to rev your engines. For those who prefer a traditional caffeine hit, Imperial recently launched its own "Cafe Racer" coffee blend, which boasts hints of rum, blackberry, and chocolate.
Sabal Coffee140 NE 39th St., Miami
Lemonade and coffee may seem like an unlikely combination, but at Sabal Coffee in the Design District, it's a match made in heaven. Crafted with house-made lemonade and Sabal's nitro-cold brew, this oddly satisfying combination marries the bitterness of coffee and the sweetness of lemonade for one delectable sip ($6.25).
Vice City Bean1657 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Vice City Bean is crafting the "Spro and Tonic" ($4.50): a double shot of espresso topped with East Imperial Burma tonic and served over ice with a citrus peel. The vibrant citrus and coffee flavors dance around your taste buds by way of the crisp tonic — an unexpected caffeinated delight that's liable to get you ordering another.