Today, we want to take you on a trip around Latin America and show you the different ways Latinos drink their coffee.

Coffee is a huge part of Latin America’s culture with most of the world’s coffee production coming from the region. There is no doubt that Latinos know a thing or two about the humble bean.

The coffee bean arrived in South America in the early 1700’s, landing in Dutch Guyana first, making its way to Brazil a few years later. The territory of Santo Domingo (now Hispaniola, comprising Haiti and the Dominican Republic) saw coffee cultivated from 1734, and by 1788 it supplied half the world’s coffee.

Coffee had a major influence on the geography of Latin America. The French colonial plantations relied heavily on African slave laborers. However, the dreadful conditions that the slaves worked in on coffee plantations were a factor in the soon-to-follow Haitian Revolution. The coffee industry never fully recovered there. In 1784 missionaries brought the first seeds to Venezuela from Brazil while the Colombian seeds came via the French Antilles.

Here are some ways Latinos Drink Coffee:

Cortadito (Cuba)

A cortado is an espresso cut with a small amount of warm milk. The word cortado is the past participle of the Spanish verb cortar (to cut). In Spanish-speaking countries, a cortado is similar to the Italian caffè macchiato, where a small amount of warm milk is added to “cut” the espresso. In the United States, the ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 and 1:2, and the milk is added after the espresso.

Café Olla (Mexico)

Café de olla (lit. pot coffee) is a traditional way to prepare coffee in Mexico. This drink is traditionally prepared in earthen clay pots, some made by artisans. The distinct flavor of Café de olla is derived from cinnamon and piloncillo. This type of coffee is principally consumed in cold climates and in rural areas.

Tinto (Colombia)

Colombian coffee is known for its quality and distinct flavor. Though much of the world’s quality coffee beans come from Colombia, many Colombians commonly drink instant coffee rather than brewed. It is popularly consumed as a “tinto”, meaning black with sugar or panela on the side, or as café con leche, which is a preparation of half coffee and half heated milk.

Café con Leche (Latin America)

Café con leche (Spanish: “coffee with milk”) is a Spanish white coffee beverage. It is somewhat more similar to the Italian cafe latte (or the Anglo version, latte) than to the French café au lait. A latte, however, is made with espresso. Café con leche is a coffee beverage consisting of strong or bold coffee (such as OG Gourmet Black Coffee) mixed with scalded milk in approximately a 1:1 ratio. Sugar or sweetener is added according to taste. The beverage is extremely common in Spain, in many Latin American countries, the Philippines and communities around the world.

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