Alba’s Cuban Coladas

Enjoy a Taste of Cuba on the Island by Visiting Alba's Cuban Coladas
Local Expert's Rating:
4.5 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Enjoy a true taste of Cuba from the authentic roadside coffee shop at Alba’s Cuban Coladas. You will experience the taste of Cuban coffee as well as some fabulous, filling fare. Start your day off right or give yourself a much-needed midday/afternoon pickup by visiting Alba’s and discovering the true taste of various Cuban delights and brews. Sit outside and enjoy the beautiful sites via the available seating, or take your offerings to go and get on with your day!

- The Local Expert Team

As the first shop to specialize in authentic Cuban coffee and cuisine, Alba’s Cuban Coladas located on Kiopaa Street in Makawao, HI, has brought the flavor of the Cuban culture to the island, delighting tourists and locals alike when it opened its doors in March 2016. Cuban coffee is well known globally as one of the strongest, and most unique coffees you will ever taste. In fact, due to its immense taste and sazon (flavor), Cuban coffee is often served in small portions, even as small as a thimble-sized shot. 

Alba’s Cuban Coladas was named after the owner’s grandmother who meant the world to her family. The company logo even features Alba’s original signature that was lifted from her an old Cuban postcard. Her family feels her recipes bring her to life once again, paying homage to her spirit through each dish and beverage that is served on site. Owner and operator Christian Sarasola, who is of Cuban heritage but from Miami, Florida explains how she still uses her beloved Grandmother’s recipes in Alba’s Cuban Coladas, serving guests daily:

“Before she (Alba) got Alzheimer’s, I worked with her on all of her recipes, and I still use these today.” 

The “Coladas” part of the name Alba’s Cuban Coladas means “to brew.” Coffee is served in small servings like the Cuban cultural demands. In addition, the scrumptious, flavorful recipes that make up the fare at Alba’s wow with offerings like arroz con pollo, which is chicken and rice cooked paella style complete with saffron, peas, peppers, and garlic, served with a side of sweet fried plantains. Alba’s empanadas, also called dough discs, stuffed with picadillo in a tomato-eye sofrito are also a guest favorite as is the best-selling Cortadito, featuring two shots of espresso combined with sweetened condensed milk. 

When visiting Alba’s Cuban Coladas, make sure to try the following specialty dishes that embody the flavor of Cuban right on the island, all of which are freshly prepared on-site utilizing locally sourced ingredients from Maui…

Known as the Cuban Hot Pocket, this fare is served with meat, chicken, or sweet guava and cheese.

Plantain Chips
Another Cuban favorite is the Cuban-style Plantain Chips and Tostones served with Cilantro sauce. 

Arroz Con Pollo
This signature Cuban dish is made up of children and rice, simmered in tomato sauce, complete with Cuban herbs and spices. This recipe has been passed down throughout the generations and is regularly available and a guest favorite at Alba’s. 

Cafe Con Leche
Obviously, a shop named Cuban Coladas is going to have some amazing coffee brews to offer. One of the favorites is the Cafe Con Leche, which is a hot Latin latte served with steamed milk and a shot of Cuban coffee. This drink is a morning staple of a good Cuban breakfast.

Served in a thimble-sized cup, this small but potent dose of Cuban espresso is twice as strong as its American counterpart and is super sweet. Feel free to either sip it or down it like a shot!

Loa Loca
This brew features six shots and is topped with steamed evaporated milk. 

The Cuban Cyn
Interestingly enough, Alba’s named this drink after the first customer they served. It includes two shots of Cuban espresso and is topped with condensed milk. 

This double shot of Cuban espresso is topped with steamed evaporated milk and cane sugar. 

Cuban Mocha
Inspired by the good old days at Albula’s house, this drink features a Cafe Con Leche paired with Nestle Quick. 

Insider Tips:
-Alba’s Cuban Coladas has been featured in the local press, praising its offerings and authenticity, bringing something truly unique to the area. The Maui News, Pride of Maui, mauitime, and Top 7 Travel have all covered this charming coffee shop on wheels. 
-Alba’s Cuban Coladas also caters for events regularly. Consequently, be sure to check hours before visiting.