Mexico seems to be getting famous each day for their coffee varieties. As varied as they can be, Mexican coffee beans are still processed in the old-fashioned way. From Chiapas to Veracruz to Oaxaca, the best beans are ripened and dried along Mexico’s roadways.
They roast these prime beans slightly darker and they make a pleasant, medium roasted coffee with a kick. They also roast the second-class beans until they reach a mahogany-black color with a shining coat.
One of the most popular beverages in Mexico is Cafe de Olla. It’s a coffee brewed in earthenware. It’s brewed with the famous molassy piloncillo and cinnamon. Most of the traditional restaurants in the city now regularly offer this dark, delectable drink. They serve it at the end of each meal in earthenware mugs.
Cafe De Olla – A Short History
Cafe de Olla is a traditional Mexican drink, finding its origins in the early 1900s. They offered this coffee to soldiers by soldaderas during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Soldaderas were cooks and cleaners who set up camp with the soldiers. It was here that cafe de Olla first came out. It was a hot coffee drink peppered with cinnamon and piloncillo.
Sometimes, they are even added with different spices or chocolate, all are roasted in a clay pot. It certainly was a satisfying drink. It boosted the soldier’s energy for the whole day. Perhaps the biggest fan of cafe de olla was Emilio Zapata himself. He was the leading figure in the Mexican Revolution.
Coffee was first brought to Mexico by French immigrants from Cuba in the 1700’s. Coffee was first introduced in Veracruz and from there, it spread throughout Mexico. The first coffee plantations in Chiapas was put up by German immigrants.
Chiapas is well-known for its cafeterias and its history. It was here where the struggle for autonomy by indigenous people started. This resulted in an uprising in 1994. The fight to preserve indigenous customs still exists in these modern days, as well as the Cafe de Ola.
A traditional Cafe De Olla Recipe
Cafe de olla is a unique Mexican drink. It’s brewed in clay pots and usually flavored with a cane sugar derivative known as piloncillo and cinnamon.
For this recipe, it’s customary to use Viennese-type beans which are dark-roasted. Brewed beans of this type produce a medium-bodied coffee with an extra kick. Aside from that, its rich base will give the added spices a special accent.
You can make your cafe de olla using French presses, saucepans, and other pots. But the best way to go is using a clay pot known as “olla de barrio.” These pots are tan in color and possess a specific smell that can only be distinctly described as “earthy”.
Such property of the pot imparts into the coffee its unique homemade flavor. Other Mexican dishes like stews and beans also use these clay pots.
To complete the experience of a genuine cafe de olla, give an additional effort to get the authentic ingredients from your local Mexican grocer. If unavailable, improvise and still savor this popular drink from south of the border. Pre-ground beans tend to lose flavors very quickly so you can buy the best manual coffee grinder to enjoy rich flavors of coffee.
- For this recipe, you’ll need an olla de barrio or any pot in its absence
- Also, prepare a ladle, a fine mesh wire strainer, and some mugs
- 2 1/2 cups of warm water
- 1.75 oz of piloncillo (grated)
- 1/2 big cinnamon stick
- 3 tbsp Viennese-roast coffee (ground coarsely)
Steps to follow
- Pour the warm water into the pot.
- Add cinnamon stick and piloncillo to water.
- Bring to a boil slowly, until all of the piloncillo has melted from the pot’s bottom. Still occasionally.
- Turn the heat off and mix coffee grounds into the hot water. Cover it up and let steep for about five minutes.
- Strain the liquid using a fine mesh wire strainer. You may also use a coffee filter to do the job but it will take longer.
- Enjoy the brew with cakes and good friends!
Cafe De Olla with more ingredients
After the basic cafe de olla recipe, innovate by adding some other ingredients to your brew. You will be pleasantly surprised what you can concoct. Coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo will still be basic in this next recipe.
- Prepare an olla de barrio or any pot in its absence
- Also, have a ladle, fine sieve, and some cups ready.
- 3-4 oz piloncillo (grated)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 tsp anise seeds
- 1/2 cup of Viennese-roast coffee (ground, coarse or medium)
- 1 cup of low-fat milk
Steps to follow
- Combine the water with the piloncillo and other spices in a non-reactive pan.
- Allow it to boil slowly over a medium heat, while continuously stirring. Do this to melt or dissolve the piloncillo.
- Mix in the coffee, take off the stove, cover and let it steep for five minutes.
- Using a smaller saucepan, heat up the milk. Use medium-high heat, whisking the milk until frothy. Make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and into your cups. Serve it right away with the frothed milk.
Cafe De Olla with a citrus flavor
How about a cafe de olla with a hint of orange flavor? It may seem unusual for a cup of coffee. But the citrus taste will certainly give this recipe a refreshing and different flavor.
- For this recipe, prepare a coffee maker
- Also, have a ladle and coffee mugs ready.
- 1/4 cup ground coffee
- 1/2 tbsp Mexican cinnamon (freshly ground)
- 1.75 oz piloncillo (finely chopped)
- 3 cups of water
- x4 pcs. orange zest (cut into thin strips)
Steps to follow
- Mix all the ingredients together
- Place coffee and cinnamon in brew basket of coffee maker.
- Place piloncillo in empty pot of coffee maker.
- Add water to coffee maker and then brew.
- When you’re done brewing, stir until well blended.
- Place a strip of orange peel in each filled mug of hot coffee.
- Enjoy with some sweet bread!