The price of Cuban coffee, Miami-Dade County’s drug of choice, has skyrocketed, doubling in some storefronts ventanitas. A Miami Herald article by food writer Carlos Frías alerted us all.
Blame inflation for the portfolio jolt. The average price of a colada, a polystyrene cup with four ounces of liquid fuel meant for sharing, now costs $2.06. The cost of a single cup is up about 50 cents.
It is, as one person replied when Miami Herald reporter Doug Hanks tweeted about the price increases, “escandalosa!”
Back in the pre-COVID world of 2019, you could count on a colada costing around $1 at popular places like Sergio’s Restaurant in Kendall and others ventanitas, the small walk-in windows dispensing the thick, sweet black brew. In Miami, ventanitas are ubiquitous, a place to discuss the topic of the day take a quick cafecito. The Miami Herald even has a weekly Miami Herald food podcast called La Ventanita, hosted by Frías.
So, has the higher price of Cuban coffee sparked outrage from Little Havana to Homestead? And have the ventatines dumped on the extra dollar customers have to pay?
No chance. At a popular cafe, Chico’s Restaurant in Hialeah, featured in the Herald article, business is more buoyant than ever. That’s according to Barbara, who helps run the restaurant’s silver coffee machine. ventilation.
“A Social Thing”
“Nothing has changed; the same people are still coming in,” she told the editorial board. She knows why customers haven’t backed down.
“Drinking Cuban coffee here is a social thing,” she said.
Benefiting from a cafecito is not just on coffee. It’s about the art of socializing and connecting with other human beings – regular customers on the same ritualized caffeine journey or complete strangers.
As they stand and sip then order a croquette or a guava pastry, many customers ventanitas — often men of a certain age — talk politics, reminisce, exchange news of their children and grandchildren. the cafecito ritual is timeless.
“Humans are fundamentally social creatures,” Asia A. Eaton, a social psychologist and associate professor at Florida International University, told the editorial board. “The need to belong, to socialize with others is very strong.”
In other words, the ventanitas could probably get away with charging even more. People would still come. Two bucks a cup? For the ability to sip and connect, it’s a bargain.
Go ahead and raise the price of Cuban coffee. The Miamians will always surrender. In this town, a colada – and everything that goes with it – is priceless.