What Is Colada Coffee and How to Make It at Home? (5 Min Recipe)

Cubans enjoy their coffee. If you visit Miami, you will notice that many people order una coladas and are served a Styrofoam cup filled with hot sweet coffee and smaller cups shaped like shot glasses. This Cuban tradition combines history, great coffee, and enjoyable social gatherings.

If you’re visiting Cuba or South Florida, you must try colada coffee. Every culture has an iconic coffee ritual, and in many Cuban communities, this social beverage is a mainstay.

Although the drink is creamy and energising, the social context in which it is frequently served is truly unique. It’s not often that art and science collide, let alone friendship. And this is one of those uncommon occurrences.

what is Colada Coffee

We’ll look at what colada is, how it differs from other types of Cuban coffee, and how to make it at home in this post.

What is a Colada Coffee?

Colada coffee is a small, sweet espresso shot popular in Cuba and Miami. It’s made with a Moka pot or an espresso machine and has a light, sweet foam on top created by mixing brown sugar with the first drops of espresso. Colada coffee is usually made in bulk and shared with friends or family.

Let’s learn a little more about this unique beverage before we get started on how to make it.

Reason You’ll Love it

If you enjoy learning about coffee’s cultural traditions, a cup of colada is a must-try ritual. Most people consider Italy, France, and (occasionally) Spain to be the leaders of coffee culture. However, few things rival coffee in Cuban communities. Here are a few reasons why you should drink colada.

  • This drink packs a punch! Despite its small size, each cup is loaded with caffeine and sugar. It will pick you up quickly.
  • The flavour isn’t too strong. Despite the strength of a colada, espumita softens the intensity of the Cuban coffee and makes each sip go down easily.
  • It’s only for friends. Family is also important. Even when consumed in a crowd, coffee is frequently a one-person experience. But not with a pina colada. Combine good conversation with chess, checkers, or dominoes. If possible, go outside.
  • Espumita is a creative act. I guarantee that making the espumita will give you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. It’s type-2 fun, which means you have to work for the reward. It’s not difficult, but it does require some effort. The whole process is strangely gratifying!
why you love colada coffee

Other Types of Cuban Coffee?

Colorado coffee, which is what we’re making today, is Cuban coffee and there are more types of Cuban coffee as below

  • Cafe Cubano This is a pina colada served individually rather than in a family-style setting. When ordered at a restaurant or walk-up cafe window, the drink is frequently consumed in this manner, using small plastic cups.
  • Cortadito: A cortadito is a steamed milk shot of unsweetened Cuban espresso. It’s essentially a smaller version of a cafe con leche that has been sweetened to taste with sugar.
  • Cafe con leche: Unsweetened Cuban espresso is served with hot steamed whole milk in a cafe con leche. Cafe con leche is typically served with buttered Cuban toast, which most of us dip in our café. Yum!

Different Traditional Ways of Making Colada Coffee

Colada coffee is the Cuban equivalent of espresso. It’s a large cup of sweet, strong coffee served in smaller, thimble-sized cups to share.

On top is a layer of foam (or “crema”) made by combining a tablespoon of espresso with a bit of sugar.

However, colada coffee is much more than just espresso and sugar. It’s made in large batches and then shared with a group of people, making it the ideal beverage for sharing and relaxing with.

You might be tempted to make some Colada coffee for yourself now that you have a better understanding of what it is.

An espresso machine or a Moka pot can be used to make delicious Colada coffee. I’ll show you how to make approximately six servings using both of these methods below:

With a Moka Pot:

The most popular method is to make Colada coffee in a Moka pot, which takes less than five minutes and requires only two ingredients:

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

  • Pour four tablespoons of coffee grounds into the coffee chamber. Cuban coffee works best because it is what the locals drink. Cuban coffee is typically dark-roasted, which gives Colada coffee its distinct strong flavour.
  • Fill the water chamber by lightly tamping the coffee. Lightly tamping down the coffee grounds ensures that the most flavour is extracted. However, do not press too hard.
  • Place the Moka pot over medium heat on the stove. Medium stovetop heat ensures that the coffee flows freely and that the pressure in the pot is managed. If you’re in a hurry, use hot water instead of cold.
  • While the Moka pot is heating up, make the sugary mixture in a jug. Prepare the surgery mix while your Moka pot is heating up by combining two tablespoons of brown sugar with the first few drops of coffee from the Moka pot. Continue to beat the sugar mixture until it has dissolved into the coffee and has formed a beige colour with a foamy consistency.
  • Pour in the brewed coffee and sugar mixture. When your coffee is ready, pour it over the sugary mixture and gently stir until well combined. On top, there should be a light foam (or “crema”).
  • Six Colada coffee cups should be used to serve the coffee. You can now serve prepared Colada coffee in six small cups. If you don’t have traditional “tacitas” (small cups in Spanish), you can substitute espresso cups or shot glasses.

With an Espresso Machine

If you don’t have a Moka pot, an espresso machine will suffice to make strong Colada coffee.

Here’s how to make the best Colada coffee with an espresso machine:

  • Fill the coffee chamber with fine coffee grounds and pack them in tightly. The stronger the coffee, the better the Colada, so use as many coffee grounds as possible. The sugar content helps to balance out the bitter and robust coffee flavour.
  • In a separate jug, prepare the sugary mixture. In a jug, combine two heaping tablespoons of brown sugar. If you don’t have brown sugar (which has a subtle caramel flavour that goes well with Colada coffee), white sugar will suffice.
  • Fill your espresso machine with water, turn it on, and place the jug underneath it. When the espresso machine starts up, pour the first few drops into the sugar jug. After that, replace the jug with your coffee cup.
  • Create the sugary, foamy “crema.” Stir the espresso and sugar mixture vigorously with a teaspoon or small whisk until it forms a beige-coloured, foamy substance.
  • Pour the espresso into the jug with the sugar foam. When the espresso is ready, pour it into the jug containing your sugary foam. Stir it gently to ensure the sugar dissolves completely, and you can see a light foam on top.
  • Serve your Colada coffee. Now you can serve your Colada coffee in six tiny cups and enjoy.
making colada coffee with espresso

Easy Colada Coffee Recipe

Colada coffee with beans

This Cuban espresso drink is ideal for sharing with family or friends. It takes only a few minutes to prepare and has a delicious flavour.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes


  • 4 oz (120 ml) of espresso coffee
  • 2 tbsp (30 grams) of brown sugar


    1. Begin by combining the brown sugar and espresso coffee in a large mixing bowl.
    2. Then, with your espresso machine, prepare two doppio espressos or an equivalent amount of espresso-like coffee with your Moka pot.
    3. While the espresso is brewing, take about a tablespoon of it and place it in the brown sugar-filled bowl.
    4. Begin by vigorously stirring the espresso and brown sugar mixture with a tablespoon or a small whisk.
    5. When the brown sugar and espresso mixture is foamy, slowly pour in the remaining espresso coffee and mix well.
    6. Take your small espresso glasses and slowly pour in the Colada coffee.
    7. After making the coffee, serve it and enjoy!


Depending on the sugar you have on hand, you can substitute light brown sugar or white sugar for the brown sugar.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 19Sodium: 2gmmgCarbohydrates: 4.78gmgSugar: 4.81gmg

The Best Coffee Beans for Making Colada Coffee

Colada coffee is best made with the same coffee grounds that are used to make espresso.

The best coffee beans for making Colada coffee are listed below:

1. Naviera Cuban Style Dark Roasted Coffee

Dark roasted coffee beans provide a bold, full-bodied, and rich flavour profile that is ideal for making Colada coffee.

Naviera’s Cuban Dark Roasted Coffee (available on Amazon.com) is an excellent choice for preparing Colada coffee.

Its robust chicory flavour profile, with earthy and slightly woody flavour notes, pairs well with Colada coffee’s added sugar.

Naviera Cuban Style Dark Roasted Coffee
  • Rich smooth flavour and American-made – roasting every day in our new larger facility In Tampa

If you are caffeine sensitive, consider this coffee brand because it contains less caffeine than other dark-roasted coffee.

You should also reconsider using this coffee bean if you dislike the taste of chicory, which is earthy and slightly nutty.

2. Chock Full o’Nuts Cuban Roast Ground Coffee

If you prefer your coffee to have a lot of sweet flavour notes and a floral aroma, Chock Full o’Nuts Cuban Ground Coffee (available on Amazon.com) might be a good choice for making Colada coffee.

With a bold, bitter, and slightly sour finish, the sweet cocoa and flowery notes are well-balanced.

Chock Full o’Nuts Cuban Roast Ground Coffee

Chock Full o’Nuts Cuban Roast Ground Coffee
  • Chock Full o’Nuts ground coffee contains a rich blend of 100% premium coffee beans that have been roasted to perfection

3. Cafe Pilon Espresso Ground Coffee

Cafe Pilon Espresso Coffee (Amazon.com) is extremely bold and smoky, with slightly earthy flavour notes.

If you’re not used to drinking strong espresso, the dark-roasted beans will provide a strong coffee flavour that may be too much for you.

The intense aroma and slight bitterness, on the other hand, are ideal for making Colada coffee because the sugar content slightly tempers it.

Cafe Pilon Espresso Ground Coffee

Cafe Pilon Espresso Ground Coffee
  • A unique blend of choice coffee beans

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Colada coffee is a popular social drink in Cuba and Miami. A Moka pot is the most common method for making Colada coffee, but an espresso machine also works well.

To begin, combine a few drops of espresso and sugar to make a sugar and foam mixture.

Dark-roasted Cuban coffee beans are ideal for making Colada coffee.

Many Cuban coffee varieties are similar, but Colada coffee is distinct because it is served in tiny cups, prepared in large batches, and contains sugar but no milk.

If you enjoy making espresso drinks like this Colada coffee at home, you might want to try some of the other espresso-based drinks listed below:

More recipes to try for Coffee

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