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Café de olla: The traditional Mexican coffee that warms your soul

2023-10-15T14:00:45+00:00
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Traditional Mexican coffee (Photo: Shutterstock)
  • Everything you need to know about Mexican coffee.
  • Learn to make a delicious café de olla.
  • It’s the perfect winter pick-me-up.

When you think of comfort in liquid form, café de olla is a front-runner.

This Mexican culinary treasure captures the essence of hospitality, wrapped in rustic flavors that soothe your soul.

A blend of coffee, spices and a touch of sugar, it’s not just a drink; it’s an experience.

But before you continue reading, we invite you to listen to Sargento El Podcast by CLICKING HERE.

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Trace the origins of café de olla and you’ll land in the vibrant setting of the Mexican Revolution.

Soldiers and revolutionaries sipping on this elixir found respite from the rigors of war.

Comprising simple, locally-sourced ingredients, the beverage became more than a caffeine fix — it was an anchor to home and heritage.

Today, it’s not just a nostalgic relic but a thriving tradition in Mexican households.

What goes in the Mexican coffee pot

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Photo: Shutterstock

Creating café de olla is like summoning a spell of comfort and each ingredient plays a crucial role.

First, we have the coffee, ideally a medium to dark roast for that robust foundation.

Alongside, cinnamon sticks and cloves contribute aromatic depths, dancing in harmony with the bitterness of the coffee.

And let’s not forget the unrefined sugar, often in the form of piloncillo, which provides the signature sweetness that rounds it all out.

Why an earthen pot matters

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It’s called café de olla for a reason — the «olla,» or earthen clay pot, is the unsung hero in the preparation of this special brew.

The porous nature of the pot lends a unique earthiness to the coffee.

Steeped in the olla, the Mexican coffee absorbs subtle mineral nuances that a regular coffee pot simply can’t provide.

As the spices and coffee simmer together, they form a liquid tapestry of flavors, deeply enriched by the earthen vessel.

 Crafting your café de olla

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Creating your own café de olla is not just about mixing ingredients. It’s a small ceremony that calls for mindfulness.

Start by boiling water in the olla, then introduce the spices, allowing them to unfurl their aromatic essence.

As you add in the coarsely ground coffee, you’ll witness the water transform into a darker, more enigmatic liquid.

Lastly, melt in the piloncillo, stirring occasionally, until your kitchen is filled with the intoxicating aroma of spices and coffee.

The final flourish

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When it comes to serving Mexican coffee, tradition dictates a rustic approach.

Often poured into earthenware mugs, the presentation stays true to its roots, unpretentious yet deeply authentic.

The first sip is a revelation, a complex medley of tastes and aromas swirling together in each mouthful.

Paired with pan dulce or churros, the experience elevates into a delightful feast for the senses.

Café de olla’s versatility

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While this coffee is a quintessential comfort drink for colder seasons, don’t let the calendar dictate when you enjoy it.

Mexicans sip on café de olla year-round, finding its spiced sweetness perfectly fitting for any mood or occasion.

Whether savored on a sultry summer evening or as a morning pick-me-up, its soul-soothing properties remain constant.

It’s a drink that transcends seasons, connecting you with a piece of Mexico no matter where you are.

A Mexican coffee that nurtures and narrates

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Café de olla is more than a beverage; it’s a narrative, steeped in history and flavored with culture.

From its roots in the Mexican Revolution to its place in modern-day kitchens, it has stood the test of time as a beloved comfort drink.

Perfect for solitude or sharing, each cup tells a tale, one that warms not just your palate but your soul.

As you savor the final sips, remember that this is not just coffee; it’s a hug in a mug, a sip of history, and a celebration of Mexican culinary wisdom.

Drinks
Food
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