Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Best Coffee in Miami?

Lots of products on the shelves...

Orinoco Coffee...

Moises Bakery in North Beach has a lot going for it. A Venezuelan bakery run by Portuguese (very traditional in Venezuela for Portuguese people to own bakeries), they have all the fresh cachitos (chopped ham-filled baked dough), pan de jamón, hallacas (like super-sized tamales) for the holidays, arepas, and even the Venezuelan-style empanada (thicker than a traditional empanada) sometimes filled with perico, which is scrambled eggs with tomato. And of course tequeños, those long thin melting cheese-filled fingers, the perfect snack with a coffee in the afternoon.

And that brings me to my secret find-Moises is the only place in Miami (for now) where you can buy a bag of the incredible coffee from Orinoco Coffee & Tea, Ltd. Orinoco is a family-owned coffee importer and roaster, whose coffee is only available in certain cities at specialty gourmet stores like Dean & Deluca and Balducci's. In fact, I first met Juan Carlos Ramirez, president of Orinoco Coffee, when he was peddling his coffee by bicycle (pedaling?) on the streets of Washington, DC. This was many years ago, and he has since expanded his business, to the point where the Washington Post has called him "the Juan Valdez of Venezuela". I like to make coffee in a French press-you get the best results that way, as Juan Carlos himself will tell you. You should also buy whole beans, and grind them in the morning before you make your coffee (okay, maybe the night before-who needs that racket first thing in the morning?), for the freshest taste.

Juan Carlos's passion and expertise is the product of "four generations of experience in the coffee business as growers, exporters, importers, and roasters." He travels the world in search of the best coffee (he just got back from Ethiopia), and specializes in organic and fair trade coffees, from exotic locales including Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, and, of course, Venezuela. For more info on his amazing coffees, please go to , or stop by Moises and grab a bag before they are sold out. Sadly, the coffee that Moises sells by the cup is not Orinoco-but maybe with enough demand, they might change brands-I guess it would only make sense for a Venezuelan bakery to sell a Venezuelan's coffee, right? In any event, grab a few tequeños to go, too.

Arepas filled with reina pepiada (shredded chicken)

Fresh-baked cookies...
Moises Bakery
7310 Collins Ave
Miami, FL 33141