The great Toronto coffee drink challenge: Miami Vice
We crave variety, and sometimes just a little change will add new possibilities to our routine. And let's be honest - our morning, or afternoon (or morning and afternoon) coffee is a routine that most of us are long past changing. With this in mind, Red Rocket has come up with a new wrinkle on the long espresso drink that make caffeine delivery a bit less brisk.
As Michael Scott, manager of Red Rocket's Wellesley Street location puts it, their Miami Vice came about when they decided to put a Cubano and an Americano together. Cuba + America = Miami. So far, so clever.
Making the Miami Vice couldn't be more straightforward. You can argue all you want about the perfect way to make a Cubano; home brewers insist that you add a few drops of espresso to the sugar and stir till you have a spoonful of coffee syrup, then add the rest of your shot. The authentic Cuban method involves a pinch of salt and a dab of butter, but that would be a pretty hard sell almost anywhere else.
Most coffee shops do it the simplest way. and so Scott adds a packet of demerara brown sugar to the portafilter of their espresso machine and runs a shot. Cubano aficionados swear that the sugar takes the bitter edge out of espresso, which is great unless you're one of those people (like me) that actually likes espresso that makes you shudder and shake your head.
Scott swears that the sugar changes the texture and colour of the crema on the espresso, and he may be right - the shot he pulls me is darker, lacking the "perfect" crema's creamy finish.
The rest of the Miami Vice couldn't be simpler - the Cubano is poured into a tall glass of hot water (the Americano) and the drink is finished.
Selling for $2.60 for a small, $3.10 for the medium and $3.60 for the large, the Miami Vice is an austere, uncomplicated drink, like an Americano that's saved you from even worrying about adding sugar. Think of it as a coffee for people who don't like to make too many unnecessary decisions. Whatever arguments you might want to make about putting the sugar up front in the brewing, it certainly does go down smoothly, and there's even an iced version (the Vice on Ice, natch, at the same prices) to go with the regular.
TOTAL SCORE: 22/30
Thanks to the New Listerine UltraClean for sponsoring our coffee-fueled adventures.
See all posts in this series via our Toronto Coffee Drinks Challenge Pinterest board
Have a suggestion for a unique coffee drink that should be part of this challenge? Send your tips to editors [at] blogto [dotcom]
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