Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Things That Are Different About Miami: Vol. 1
Cuban Coffee

I’m a native New Yorker. I mean, born and bred. I’ve never lived outside its borders for an extended period of time. In fact, the longest I’ve ever spent away from home was a month at hockey camp in New Hampshire, which isn’t even a real state. Seriously, you dive across the border and it turns out you’re in Vermont. So I am earnest when I say that this is my first real foray into absorbing something different, and I’m excited about it. It’s like when the colonists came over from Europe and helped out the Native Americans with food and blankets. Food and blankets! What could go wrong?!

Needless to say, I’m eager to grow accustomed to Miami living. But after only two weeks here, I am sure of one thing: Some breasts grow to be HUGE.

OK, two things: It’s different here. Really different. From the weather (70 degrees feels cold) to the driving (which I haven’t done since high school) to the bizarre insistence of women to practically flaunt their vaginas in public, as though that’s something I want to see before I’ve had my morning coffee.

And that’s what this new section of the blog will be for: to create a user’s manual for anyone coming from New York to Miami. And if you’re not a New Yorker moving to Miami, it can also be used as a convenient coaster if you print it out on a piece of paper and fold it twice into a rectangle.

So, the first big difference? Cuban coffee.

Brooke and I discovered this on our second day here. We had heard rumors of its greatness, but didn’t know what it was. A different coffee bean? A different brewing style? I mean, Starbucks didn’t have it, so how cool could it be, right? Little did we know what we were in for.

We woke up early that day and Brooke ran out to get us some morning coffee. She ended up at this Cuban shack around the corner from our hotel. Brooke, being a true lover (read: addict) of coffee, came back with a glint in her eye.

Brooke: (handing me cup) “I don’t know what this is.”
Me: “What?”
Brooke: (talking fast) “I don’t know. I saw sugar. And some milk. And a shot of something. It was amazing. I’m confused.”
Me: “Slow down, are you OK?”

Flash forward to 3:00. Brooke and I come to after a nap by the pool. I sit up and groggily rub my eyes, not quite sure where I am. There are two overturned Styrofoam coffee cups between my and Brooke. I stumble into the hotel room, and what I see is the remnants of a war. I can’t quite remember what happened over the past few hours, but if this scene is any indication, then at least three of the following incidents occurred: a pillow fight, a fashion show, gymnastics, a game of kickball, some sort of brawl, and a large chicken feast.

Brooke stumbles in behind me, confused. “What happened in here?”

Me: “I’m not sure.”
Brooke: “Is there any more coffee?”
Me: “I don’t think so.”
Brooke: “But I need it. I need the coffee, Dan.”
Me: “Brooke, let it go. The coffee’s no good for you.”
Brooke: “You don’t understand. Just one sip, that’s all. Just to get me through the day.”
Me: (shaking her now) “Goddamnit Brooke I said no! I’m not gonna let you get sucked into this lifestyle. Yes, the coffee was delicious, but that’s not who we are. We can’t handle the Cuban coffee! Accept it!”
Brooke: “I miss it so much.”
Me: “I know. I know . . .”

Basically I’ve come to find out that the deliciousness that is Cuban coffee (or café con leche in this case) is a turbo-charged latte made up of steamed milk, loads of sugar and shots of Cuban coffee, which has more than twice the caffeine of normal coffee. It’s a concoction we haven’t dared jump back into for fear that friends and relatives may never hear from us again as we are sucked into a spiral of sweet, caffeinated doom.

So let’s categorize this under “Good/Bad Difference.” It was good while it lasted, though since then we have bought a coffee maker and brew our own, pedestrian coffee: For we always know that our next fix, the foamy brink of hyperactivity, is right around the corner.


Blogger Beach Bum said...

On that note, you might enjoy this "Miami Relocation Guide" -- it's pretty funny: http://www.miamibeach411.com/news/miami-relocation-guide.htm

March 18, 2008 at 4:23:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

not only is that guy dressed like a bunny, in a bar, but he's dressed like a bunny with a fanny pack

March 18, 2008 at 4:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger A Lil' Irish Lass said...

Thanks for the heads up regarding Cuban coffee. I will have to get strung out when I head back down to Miami in a few weeks. If you could point me in the direction of your dealer, that would be awesome.

March 18, 2008 at 4:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Lara said...

What's up with the truncated feeds? Does it have anything to do with moving to Miami? [Consider this my question for Friday Q&A.]

March 18, 2008 at 6:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger j said...

Yeah I don't like having to actually visit the blog, either.

I have nothing but good things to say about Cuban coffee. It is maybe the only thing I miss about South Florida.

March 18, 2008 at 6:55:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hollywood Sucker said...

You should probably just keep drinking the coffee. Maybe then your breasts will grow really big too.

Ok, that's bad advice. I'm just jealous because I want some of that coffee.

March 18, 2008 at 7:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Tom Clayton said...

Maybe you should try Colombian coffee? Its skyyy hiiigh brooo...

Check out my blog dude, it sucks.

March 18, 2008 at 9:37:00 PM EDT  
Blogger k. said...



March 19, 2008 at 12:34:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

REDACTED! -- I missed you- and as I dont even know you imagine how that makes me feel. -- I also just moved here but not from anywhere cool, and I love the crack they call Coffee as well. Nice post....

March 19, 2008 at 7:47:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous JamieLauren said...

I've lived here in South Florida my entire life. I've been drinking Cuban coffee every day for years and its effects have lessened considerably over time. So, that's the trick: Drink a lot of it and drink it often. It's is the proverbial "bomb."

March 19, 2008 at 10:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Nicole said...

Ah, the discovery of café con leche. You will always remember the day of discovery. Life will always be split as "before café con leche" and "after café con leche." The after is way better than the before.

I live in Richmond, Virginia and get my Cuban coffee fix at Kuba Kuba. I used to have to sit in the joint to drink it, until I discovered that you could get it to go! That was the second best day of my life (the first, of course, being the day I discovered the tasty beverage)!!!

March 19, 2008 at 11:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger White Dade said...

Gosh, Dan. Moving to Dade County and didn't even think of me? that first comment is a guide I wrote, BTW.

I'm sensing you may start stealing my schitick. Or amybe not. Maybe you actualyl have to live here for a while before you truly understand. At any rate, good luck. I'm back down about once a month. We should hang out.

March 19, 2008 at 3:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

You know ... addicts lie. I bet you that she's pawning your good china in order to buy her next fix of coffee. Keep your eye on her Dan.

March 20, 2008 at 1:58:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Airam said...

Cuban coffee is good stuff.

March 20, 2008 at 8:13:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dr. Kenneth Noisewater said...

I have to get my caffeine junkie hands on some of that Cuban shit. Maybe now that Castro's out of office we can get some more of that shit.

March 21, 2008 at 1:47:00 AM EDT  
Blogger WildbillthePirate said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 21, 2008 at 8:40:00 AM EDT  
Blogger James said...

Last time I saw you order a coffee it was a decaf venti skim latte from a starbucks in Queens. Oh how far you have come.

March 22, 2008 at 12:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hilda said...

Welcome to Miami! I've lived here since i was 5 (I'm 44 now) and I wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Regarding the coffee. After you've had cafe con leche a few more times and gotten used to it - you have to let go of the "leche" crutch and try just the cafecito! Order it "bien dulce" (very sweet) and then my friend, only then, will you have indeed tasted the elixir of the gods.

March 23, 2008 at 8:05:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous minikperi said...

Yeah I don't like having to actually visit the blog, either

March 25, 2008 at 2:45:00 PM EDT  

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