Café de Olla
Hola! We've been having some pretty chill days here in Guadalajara, México, and my husband tells me it's even colder back in Los Angeles, adding to that some cloudy days and a bit of rain here and there, which for me means "blanket weather". I think is pretty self explanatory, but I'll elaborate anyway that this weather demands that I wear a blanket around myself pretty much all day long. Well, I'm not brave enough to go out sporting my blanket, but one day for sure. When I don't care about anything and anyone anymore; which doesn't seem too far actually. But that's telling too much about myself for today.
The "blanket weather" thing came up because in those days we all ache for warm drinks in cute mugs, to take tiny sips while cozied all up beneath a bunch of blankets. I'm more of a tea person than a coffee person, so there's few coffee drinks that I crave for, and one of them is the delicious and aromatic café de olla. The literal translation is "coffee from (the) pot", and you can usually find it in small towns and traditional restaurants. The coffee is sweet and earthy, and you can smell cinnamon mixed with the already wonderful aroma of ground coffee beans. As a traditional drink, and always considering Mexico is quite a large country, there are several recipes depending on the region and the way your abuela made it, but 3 basic ingredients prevail: ground coffee, cinnamon and piloncillo. Piloncillo (panela/raspadura/etc) can be substituted for brown sugar and a bit of honey, or any sweetener will work. I'll share a basic recipe that you are encouraged to modify and make your own.
CAFÉ DE OLLA
makes 4 cups
- 4 cups water
- 4 tbsp ground coffee*
- 1/3 cup piloncillo or brown sugar
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 tbsp orange zest
*COFFEE STRENGTH: you can use more or less coffee depending on how strong you want the flavor, or if you want a sweeter and milder (caffeine-wise) drink, add half coffee and half cocoa.
- In a pot over high heat, pour the water and add the cinnamon, orange zest and piloncillo. Once it boils turn the heat down to medium and mix well until the piloncillo is completely dissolved.
- Add the coffee and reduce the heat to low, let it steep for at least 5 minutes then remove from heat.
- Pour the hot coffee through a sieve as you serve into cups.
It's easy and done in about 10 minutes, and if you want to be an amazing host have a big pot of this coffee by the stove so your family or guests can warm it up and have a cup of goodness when they need a pick-me-up during the winter. Do try and mix it up with a bit of mexican hot chocolate powder, or a bit of coffee liquor, or a dash of your favorite aromatic spices like cardamon, cloves or anise. And please treat yourself and dunk some pan dulce or cookies in it. Have a wonderful week!