What Is Colada Coffee & How to Make It?

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Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean. White sandy beaches, endless sunshine, and strong coffee. If you visit Miami, Havanna, or any Cuban café in the US, you will find that most customers are drinking coffee colada.

But what is colada coffee, and how to make colada at home?

Colada coffee is a small espresso drink with an airy and sweet foam that is famous in Cuba and South Florida.

This article explains what Colada coffee is, how it is prepared, and how it differs from other Cuban coffees.

What Is Colada Coffee?

Colada coffee is the Cuban version of espresso. It has a foam layer on top, created by combining a spoonful of espresso with a bit of sugar. Brewed coffee, however, is much more than just espresso and sugar.

It’s made in large quantities and shared with multiple people, making it an ideal beverage for relaxed conversation.

What Is Cuban Coffee?

Cuban coffee is a robust and dark-roasted espresso. Therefore, it must be sweetened with a form of sugar called espumita con azúcar with the first drops of brewed espresso.

You can make a delicious colada coffee using an espresso machine or a Moka pot. We prefer the Moka pot for an authentic Cuban experience.

A high-quality Italian-designed Moka pot such as the Bialetti starts at $30, depending on the size of the pot. In comparison, a low-end consumer espresso machine starts at $500 and can easily cost four or even five figures for the better Italian brands.

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How to Make Colada Coffee

Preparation Time: 4 minutes

Servings: 2



Making Colada coffee at home is really simple and requires only three to four minutes and two ingredients: espresso and brown sugar.

Here’s how to make delicious Colada coffee with your Moka pot:

1. Fill the upper coffee chamber with tablespoons of ground coffee. Cuban coffee is best, as it is commonly used by locals. Cuban coffee is usually dark roasted, which gives Colada coffee its distinctive strong flavor.

2. Lightly tamp the coffee and fill the water chamber. Lightly tamp the coffee grounds to extract the maximum flavor. However, do not tighten it too much.

3. Place the Moka pot on medium heat. The stove’s medium heat will keep the coffee flowing freely and help regulate the pressure in the pot. If you are in a hurry, you can use hot water instead of cold.

4. Prepare the mixture of brown sugar with the first drops of espresso in the Moka pot. Whisk the sugar mixture until it dissolves in the coffee, continuing until it has a light brown color and a thick foamy consistency.

5. Once the coffee is brewed, pour it over the sugar mixture and stir gently until well combined. A light foam should form on the surface.

6. Pour the coffee into colada cups. You can now serve your brewed colada coffee in small espresso cups or glasses.

This Colada coffee is the perfect Cuban espresso drink for family or friends. It only takes a few minutes to prepare and tastes delicious.

Colada Coffee Compared to Other Cuban Coffees

Cuba has a number of popular coffee drinks, and first, it might be hard to figure out which one is which. The main ingredient of all these different types of Cuban coffee is espresso.

Here are the differences between Colada coffee and other popular Cuban coffees:

Colada Coffee vs Café Con Leche

The direct translation of Café Con Leche is “coffee with milk.” Cafe Con Leche is prepared a shot of sweetened espresso mixed with steamed milk, similar to a Coffee Latte.

Unlike café colado, café con Leche is served in larger cups and resembles café con Leche. It does not contain sugar and is a popular breakfast drink in Cuba.

Colada Coffee vs Café Cubano

Café Cubano or cafecito, is a small Cuban espresso drink with brown sugar. It is prepared the same way as Colada coffee and has the same light, sweet foam.

However, instead of preparing the espresso in batches, only one serving is prepared.

Colada Coffee Recipe


1. First, place the brown sugar in a large bowl to hold the espresso.

2. Next, prepare two double espressos using your espresso machine or an equivalent amount of espresso using your Moka pot.

3. While the espresso is brewing, add about a tablespoon of espresso to the bowl with the brown sugar.

4. Using a spoon or small whisk, stir and froth the mixture of espresso and brown sugar.

5. Once the brown sugar and espresso mixture is frothy, slowly pour the remaining espresso into the bowl and stir well.

6. Take your small espresso cups and slowly pour the colada coffee into them.

7. Serve the colada coffee once it is prepared, and enjoy!


Colada coffee is a social drink widely used on the island of Cuba and in Cuban communities in the US. The authentic method for making Colada coffee is using dark-roasted Cuban coffee beans and a Moka pot.

You need to make a mixture of sugar and foam by mixing a few drops of espresso with sugar. You will surely love this simple, inexpensive, yet delicious Cuban coffee drink. So don’t wait any longer. Get yourself a Bialetti and brew up some Mayorga Cubano Roast today!


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