I haven’t decided which is more entertaining; walking the beaches of Naples in the evening or walking down 5th Avenue and taking in the sights. Last night I was having a craving for a Cafe Cubano, and since I keep forgetting to bring a Mokka pot to the condo so I can make my own, this left me with only one option; take a walk down 5th to one of the cafes. I asked for a Cubano and right away I was disappointed. The first question was: “Do you want it in a to go cup?” Now, you might be asking yourself what is wrong with that. After all, she was just doing her job, making sure I wasn’t taking my drink on the run. Here is the problem; certain things are not meant to be enjoyed “on the run.” I hate it when I order an espresso and see some barista pull out a 12oz paper cup! Please, this is not coffee to go, this is espresso. It should always be served in a demitasse, with a saucer. Call me pretentious, call me whatever you want, but coffee is not just a shot of caffeine to me. It is an experience. It is no different that a fine wine or a craft beer. I want to enjoy the experience and part of that enjoyment is the proper glass.
A Cafe Cubano is basically espresso with a lot of sugar…I mean, a lot of sugar. You don’t want a very large dose. If you want an idea of its impact, just go to YouTube and check out what Ralphie May has to say about them. The dozage was the second mistake. Once I told the barista that I intended to enjoy the drink on site, she then pulled out a 8 oz cup. Wrong again. Her idea of a double was about 4 oz of espresso. That is about twice too much in my book. The final flaw was the espresso itself. It was very bitter. The only redeeming value in the drink was that she got the sugar right!
If you want a Cafe Cubano done right, just head down to South Beach and check out The News Cafe. They know how its done.
In retrospect, I probably should have chose the beach. On the other hand, I did get to see 11 Ferraris all lined up along the “Avenue” with a Bentley convertible bookend. Also, the “Housewives of Collier County” were out in full force, which is always entertaining to a poor country boy like me!