Cafe De Olla Recipe

Cafe De Olla Recipe – How to Make This Spiced Mexican Coffee

Mexico is known for its vibrant culture, and when it comes to Mexican coffee, the country also has some rich offerings for the caffeine-loving crowd.

Aside from the Kahlua and the Mexican coffee cocktail, the Cafe De Olla or Mexican spiced coffee is also a must-try coffee drink when visiting Mexico.

But if you want to give this drink a try right now, it’s actually easy to brew in your own home, but there are some tricks that I’ll show you below.

What is Cafe De Olla?

Mexico’s Cafe de Olla is a caffeinated beverage composed of coffee, spices, and piloncillo or unrefined cane sugar. In Mexican kitchens, this drink is traditionally brewed using an earthen clay pot called olla de barro, which adds an earthy touch to the final concoction.

Cafe De Olla Recipe 1

Like the Americano, this recipe was invented during the war, specifically the Mexican Revolution where it warmed and perked up soldiers.

I first encountered the Cafe de Olla at a Mexican restaurant. I was craving my cup of coffee and they recommended their authentic Cafe de Olla. Since I also enjoy spices in my coffee, it was a pleasant experience. I then started replicating the flavorful brew at home.

Ingredients and Equipment for Making Cafe De Olla

Here are the things that you will need to make your Cafe De Olla:

  • Saucepan with lid: This serves as the brewer for the Cafe De Olla. You can also use an Olla De Barro, an Earthen clay pot traditionally used for making this coffee.
  • Strainer and cheesecloth: Used to remove the impurities from the final coffee drink.
  • 6 cups water: The water serves as the base for brewing the coffee.
  • 5 oz Piloncillo: Piloncillo is an unrefined cane sugar commonly used in Latin American cuisine. It sweetens the coffee while giving it a distinct taste. You can also use unrefined brown sugar.
  • 2 cinnamon sticks: Cinnamon adds warmth and spiciness to the coffee, complementing its flavor profile.
  • 2 whole cloves: Cloves contribute a subtle earthy and slightly sweet taste to the coffee.
  • 1 pc star anise: Star anise enhances the aroma and imparts a licorice-like flavor to the coffee.
  • 6 tablespoons medium-coarse ground coffee: Dark roasts work best for this recipe. You want to use as many tablespoons of coffee, as cups of water you’re adding.

Step-by-Step Guide on How to Make Cafe De Olla

Crafting a cup of Cafe De Olla is easy once you have everything you need. Follow the steps below to make your Mexican coffee at home:

1. Heat the water using a saucepan.

  • Place a pot or saucepan on the stove over medium-high heat.
  • Fill it with 6 cups of water.

2. Add the Piloncillo and spices.

  • Add an 8 oz Piloncillo to the pot. Adjust the size if you prefer less sweetness in your coffee.
  • Also add the cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, and star anise.

3. Stir occasionally until the Piloncillo dissolves.

  • As the water heats up, stir occasionally to help dissolve the Piloncillo and allow the spices to release their flavors into the water.
  • This should take about 15 minutes.

4. Bring to a low boil and add the coffee.

  • Once everything is well mixed and the piloncillo has fully dissolved, bring the mixture to a low boil.
  • Add your ground coffee to the boiling mixture. Give it a good stir before covering it with a lid.

5. Turn off the stove and let the mixture steep.

  • Once covered with the lid, turn off the heat from your stove.
  • With the lid on, let the mixture steep for about 5 minutes.

6. Strain into a cup when serving.

  • Put a cheesecloth over a fine mesh strainer.
  • Use this to strain the coffee as you pour it into your cup.

What kind of cup should I serve a Cafe De Olla in?

The colorful jarritos de barro is the perfect kind of mug for serving the Cafe De Olla.

Barista Tips for Making Cafe De Olla

Here are some extra tips for brewing Caffe De Olla:

  • Use brown sugar instead of Piloncillo: A Piloncillo may not be easy to find in your area. If this is the case, you can swap it with about 1/2 cup dark brown sugar and 1/2 tsp molasses.
  • Steep it longer for stronger flavors: Want to get more pronounced flavors from your cup? Steep it for about 8 minutes instead of 5 minutes. It makes a huge difference 🙂
  • Use Dark Mexican coffee: Make your Cafe De Olla truly authentic by using Dark Mexican coffee.
Cafe De Olla Recipe

Cafe De Olla Recipe – How to Make This Spiced Mexican Coffee

A Cafe De Olla is a traditional Mexican coffee drink infused with spices and the Piloncillo as a sweetener.
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Coffee Smarts
Servings 4 servings
Calories 60 kcal


  • 6 tbsp Ground coffee
  • 6 cups Water
  • 140 g Piloncillo
  • 2 pcs Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 pcs Whole cloves
  • 1 pc Star anise


  • Pour the water into a saucepan and place over medium-high heat.
  • Add the Piloncillo and spices, and stir occasionally for about 15 minutes.
  • Once the Piloncillo dissolves, bring to a low boil and add the coffee grounds.
  • Give the mixture a good stir and cover it with a lid.
  • Turn off the burner and let the coffee steep for about 5 minutes.
  • Strain with a strainer and cheesecloth before serving.



  • Instead of the Piloncillo, dark brown sugar and molasses can also be used.
  • Steep the mixture longer for about 8 minutes for stronger flavors.

Now go ahead, give this unique coffee a try, and let me know how it went in a comment.

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