Mar 7, 2024 - Food and Drink

Colada Shop CEO shares drink trends and Cuban coffee tips

A woman with long wavy hair wearing a dress and suit jacked stands in front of a mural, smiling.

Photo: Courtesy of Daniella Senior

We caught up with Daniella Senior, founder and CEO of Colada Shop, to hear about what drink trends the Cuban-style cafe is seeing.

If you go: Colada Shop has cafe locations at The Wharf, Dupont Circle and in Potomac, Maryland. They also have smaller cafecitos at 14th Street in Fairfax's Mosaic District. Another location is planned for Clarendon.

What's your most popular drink?

  • The piña colada and the carajillo cocktails (coffee-based drinks) reign as the most popular drinks at Colada Shop.

What iced coffee trends have you seen?

  • We've definitely noticed the rise in popularity of iced coffee year-round ... In response, we've crafted our new spring menu to cater to this growing demand. One standout trend we've observed is the appreciation for unique flavor combinations and refreshing twists on traditional favorites. That's why we're excited to introduce our mojito cold brew with Cuban crema, mint and lime this spring.

What other shifts in customer tastes have you observed?

  • Guests are really digging low-alcohol and alcohol-free cocktails. It's awesome to see folks opting for lighter sips that still pack a punch in flavor. Like our pineapple tamarind cooler, with pineapple, tamarind, lime and a hint of sweetness. Then there's the Centinella, made with cafecito, Angostura bitters and ginger beer ... We're excited to keep mixing up drinks that match our guests' evolving tastes.

Any cherry blossom-related menu items we can expect this spring?

  • Our Spring Mariposa Matcha Matcha features nance — a type of cherry found in Latin America — and flowers. It's our twist to celebrate the occasion.

Do you have any tips for making Cuban coffee at home?

  • The flavor of your Cuban coffee relies heavily on the quality of the beans you use, so be sure to invest in a good batch, like our Havana Blend. We recommend brewing in a moka pot at home to get the right texture. Lastly, whip some demerara sugar to sweeten it for an extra kick.

What's something about running a cafe that people might not appreciate? 

  • The meticulous roasting process. Crafting the perfect sip of coffee requires extensive dedication and expertise. From selecting premium beans to precise temperature control, every step is a labor of love. It's a delicate balance of science and artistry, ensuring each batch reaches its full potential. So next time you enjoy a cup of coffee, remember the care and craftsmanship behind every flavorful sip.

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