Drink Coffee the Mexican Way: How to Make Café de Olla

Drink Coffee the Mexican Way

By 03/23/2016Coffee cademy, History

In Mexico, coffee is often brewed with cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon and sugar aren’t merely added to the coffee after brewing, but they’re incorporated right into the brewing technique. The result is a coffee that’s at the same time sweet and spicy. If you’d like to try drinking coffee the Mexican way, here’s a recipe to try inspired by the Food Network and Pati’s Mexican Table.

The Ingredients in Mexican Coffee

To make Mexican Coffee, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 8 cups of water
  • 5 ounces piloncillo (see below)
  • ⅔ cup of dark coffee, ground medium-coarse (between a flat bottom and French press grind)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 orange peel (optional)

Piloncillo is commonplace in Mexico, but it’s not always easy to find in the States. It’s unrefined sugar cane, often sold in small cones. You might find it at a Mexican grocery store or in the Latino section of a large supermarket. For the most authentic Café de Olla, use piloncillo. If you can’t find it, though, 1 cup of brown sugar will serve as a fine substitute.

The orange peel adds a sweet, citrus complexity to the finished beverage. Many people like it, but some recipes don’t call for it.

How to Brew Mexican Coffee

Once you have your ingredients gathered, it takes about 15 minutes to make Mexican coffee. Follow these steps:

  1. Bring the water to boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the piloncillo or brown sugar and stir so it dissolves.
  3. Add the coffee, cinnamon stick, and orange peel (if using).
  4. Turn off the heat and let steep while covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Strain out the cinnamon stick and orange peel. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to strain out the ingredients. If you don’t have these but have a French press, pull out the cinnamon stick and orange peel with a spoon, and then pour the brew into the press. You can easily filter out the grounds once the coffee is in the French press.

After everything’s filtered out, serve and enjoy! Garnish with extra cinnamon sticks or orange peels for added flair.

Get Dark-Roasted Coffee to Use

Many people have been enjoying this Mexican take on coffee for years. If you’d like to see why it’s so popular, get some good, dark-roasted coffee to use. Our current Bold Profile coffee has notes that will go well with the cinnamon, sweetness and citrus of this brewing method.

Author Scott

Scott is a professional writer for Driftaway Coffee. He worked as a barista for eight years, but today prefers to enjoy his beverages from the other side of the counter. When not drinking Driftaway Coffee, Scott usually has a mug of his own roasted coffee nearby.

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