Café de la Olla is a traditional Mexican coffee drink made with whole cinnamon and piloncillo. It is a yummy way to start any morning. Hope you enjoy!
I’m slightly addicted to coffee. Forget crack. It’s got nothing on coffee. Every morning, I must have a cup. If not, it ain’t pretty.
My mother never gave us coffee as a kid. She’s never been a coffee drinker. It would stunt our growth, she said. (No wonder I’m not 7 feet tall).
My grandmother, on the other hand, was a big time coffee drinker – a veritable coffee connoisseur. Maybe that’s where I get it from?
In my teens, I visited my aunt in Mexico City. It was the first time I ever had Café de la Olla. It was just a little sip, but it was enough to get me hooked on this delicious drink.
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Unless you’re on the fast path to diabetes, you won’t need to add more sugar to your cup of Café de la Olla.
How to Make Cafe de la Olla
To make it, you need yummy Mexican piloncillo.
If you can’t find it, you can use packed brown sugar.
(FYI, that’s $30 pesos, not $30 American dollars). To soften it, you can warm it up. One cup of this coffee is very sweet. Kinda like a caffeinated liquid dessert.
Cafe de la Olla vs. Cafe de la Hoya?
I had someone ask me if Cafe de la Olla was made with some kind of herb. They thought that “hoya” was an herb.
No, they are the exact same thing. Just different spellings. Olla is the correct spelling for “cooking pot.” Where the word Hoya is not correct, but some people will misspell words.
“Cafe de Olla” and “Cafe de la Olla” are the same thing too. If you’re studying Spanish, I’ve very sorry to confuse things for you.
You know how in English we like to misspell words or make them shorter. Example: 2gether or ‘cuz or G’morning.
We do the same thing in Spanish.
Not everyone uses cloves but whole cinnamon is a must for this Cafe de la Olla recipe.
Stick with the stick. None of that powdered cinnamon stuff. I’ve seen recipes with powdered cinnamon. This is not traditional, but I get it.
I can usually get a long, long stick of cinnamon at the grocery store or Mexican mercado. Very cool!
When you need your coffee fix, you’ll take anything even coffee from a shady vending machine at a low-end car dealership. My friends, you don’t know where that machine has been…
Some people will also add other spices like star of anise or whole cloves. If you have some on hand, they make a great addition to this Cafe de la Olla recipe.
Instant Coffee or Real Coffee?
I know that Mexicans are obsessed with instant coffee. I’m probably the only Mexican who does not like instant coffee by itself. For me, it needs a lot of milk.
For this Cafe de la Olla recipe, you need the real deal coffee. Like the kind that goes in a coffee maker.
How to make Iced Cafe de la Olla
Let the coffee cool completely.
Add ice to a glass.
Pour coffee over the ice.
Add more ice if necessary.
You can also add milk to the iced coffee if you like. Or as is.
Typically, this drink is served hot and without milk, but to each their own.
My grandmother loved milk in her coffee. Lots and lots of milk.
Café de la Olla is a traditional coffee drink from Mexico. There are places that will only serve this type of coffee.
I’m telling you this just in case you sit down and expect regular coffee and get a super sweet coffee instead. Be sure to ask before ordering.
It goes perfectly with Conchas (or Mexican Sweet Bread) and a great way to start the day, or a pick-me-up at any part of the day.
Warning: This stuff is almost as addictive as binge watching your favorite Netflix show… minus the eye strain.
Hope you enjoy this authentic Cafe de la Olla Recipe.
- 8 cups of water
- 1 cup ground coffee (about 2½ ounces)
- 1 5-ounce piloncillo cone (or 1 cup brown sugar)
- 1 whole cinnamon stick
- 3-4 whole cloves (optional)
- Combine all the ingredients in a stockpot.
- Bring to boil over high heat, breaking up the piloncillo to help dissolve.
- Remove from heat.
- Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Strain through a fine strainer.
- Pour the coffee into cups.