Café de Olla

2019 Food March 2019

By Manzanillo Sun Writer  the March 2019 Edition

An olla is a tall, ceramic pot used in Mexico for simmering stews and beans. It is also the preferred vessel for brewing this traditional sweet coffee beverage. This method uses fewer beans than other brewing methods to produce a less concentrated extraction. Boiling the grinds enhances the beans’ bitterness and acidity, so piloncillo (a dark Mexican cane sugar with molasses-like flavors) and cinnamon are used to tame the coffee’s bite.

What You’ll Need

✓ Medium pot
✓ Coffee filter
✓ Pitcher

Note: Serves 4, prep time 10 minutes
Preparing coffee and piloncillo, an unrefined sugar with caramel flavors, for café de olla.
Christina Holmes


✓ 2 1/2 oz. (packed 1/3 cup) piloncillo, or substitute dark brown sugar
✓ 1/4 cup (3/4 oz.) dark roasted ground coffee, medium ground
✓ 1 small stick canela (Mexican cinnamon)
✓ 4 cups of cold water


1. In a small olla or medium pot, add 4 cups cold water and the piloncillo, coffee, and cinnamon.

2. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring until the piloncillo has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.

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