It all dates back to one sunny day in April 2012. Miami resident JennyLee Molina was drinking a Cuban espresso at a Cuban restaurant in Miami Beach. It was a regular workday after-lunch break; it was nothing out of the ordinary—until she looked at the time. It was 3:05 pm, and then it dawned on her. The time was also the city’s area code. She then went on to set her realization in stone the way we do it in the modern age. She tweeted about it.
Molina grabbed her phone and snapped a photo of her cup of coffee and posted it on Twitter with the hashtag #305cafecito. The hashtag went viral, and soon, Miami locals were running a social media campaign to make 3:05 pm the official cafecito time in the city.
One year later, in April 2013, in an effort to honor the Cuban coffee culture in the Miami community, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado declared that 3:05 pm was to be Miami’s official cafecito-break time.
He acknowledged that the campaign “celebrates the iconic ventanita of a Cuban restaurant, honoring the little window for Cuban Coffee or Sugarcane Juice that is the original and historic gathering place for Cuban social networking. It is, therefore, just and appropriate that our local officials, on behalf of our citizens, pause in deliberations to honor the concept of unifying Miami’s Cuban coffee devotees daily at 3:05, now Miami’s official coffee-break time.”
Cuban exiles living in Miami have attempted to preserve a custom from their roots, even in a foreign land. The Cuban community is influential in Miami, with a population of 1.2 million strong. But it’s not only Cubans who enjoy the popular cafecito. Miamians of different cultural backgrounds are also patrons of the inimitable ventanita, the window bar where you can order coffee and croquetas at local Cuban restaurants. Stop by at any hour in Versailles, or La Juguera, and you can find a multi-cultural scene enjoying classic Cuban dishes and washing it all down with one powerful cortadito (a shot of Cuban espresso).
It may have been six years since the start of the hashtag, but you can still find locals posting photos of their coffee cups at 3:05 on the nose with the hashtag.