Café de Olla

There is a traditional way to make coffee in Mexico. The coffee is made in a clay pot, thus the name, pot coffee, café de olla. The drink is made with ground coffee, cinnamon and unrefined whole cane sugar called piloncillo in Mexico and panela in most of the rest of Latin America. The preparation is reminiscent of making Turkish coffee in that the ingredients are all cooked together. Our decided preference is to make this with healthy organic coffee.


Café de Olla

Café de Olla


How to Make Café de Olla

Traditionally you use a ceramic pot for this drink but for starters a sauce pan will do just fine

4 cups of water
3 ounces of panela or piloncillo
half a stick of cinnamon, preferable Mexican
4 tablespoonsful of ground coffee

Make café de olla in a sauce pan or ceramic pot on the stove top. Grind your coffee just before you start. Add water, cinnamon and panela to the sauce pan and simmer until the panela is dissolved. This takes just a few minutes. Bring the water to a boil. Add the coffee. Turn off the heat. Stir briefly and then put a cover on the sauce pan. Wait five minutes and pour the coffee through a filter or strainer into cups to serve.

Café de Olla de Liqueur and More

Café de olla can be a nice base for a liqueur coffee. Use Kahlua. In addition this is a traditional drink made in all parts of Mexico and there are lots of local variations including the addition of anise or cloves. Feel free to experiment once you get the basic recipe correct.

What to Eat with Café de Olla

If you are going to do it right you should drink café de olla with a Mexican meal. Mican cooking is a mixture of European (Spanish) and Central American. The basics are corn, beans and chili peppers from the Aztec side and beef, pork, chicken, goat, dairy products and European herbs and spices from the Conquistadores. If you are just looking to drink a little café de olla with a touch of dessert there are lots of dishes to choose from. Here is the list.

Arroz con leche, rice with milk and sugar
Bionico, a type of fruit salad with cream
Carlota de limón
Chongos zamoranos
Dulce de leche
Jarritos (spicy tamarindo candy in a tiny pot)
Leche Quemada
Pastel de queso, cheesecake
Pastel de tres leches (Three Milk Cake)
Rosca de reyes
Gorditas de azúcar
Tacuarines, Biscochos, or Coricos

The point being that there are lots of good things to eat with a cup of café de olla. Make sure to look or organic ingredients along the way. As with all coffee based drinks the quality starts with the best coffee so look for organic. Grind just before you make the coffee and store your coffee in a cool and dry place.

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