How To Make Café De Olla: 5 Easy Steps

Café de Olla is an age-old Mexican spiced coffee drink that has been passed down the generations through the hands of ever-loving grandmas. It’s made with Mexican ground coffee, cinnamon, and piloncillo. Piloncillo is a form of raw dark sugar.

Traditionally, this coffee is served in large enamel blue pots, no matter the season of the year. This is why this preparation is called “Café de Olla”, meaning “pot coffee” or “coffee from the pot”. The coffee is actually sweet, with a kick of cinnamon. You can find this drink in places like roadside eateries, mom-and-pop diners, and traditional Mexican restaurants across Mexico. It’s also served at Christmas festivals (Posadas) and even at some funerals.

The Recipe Specifications

  • Time required: 15 minutes
  • Drink size: 6–8 oz. (per serving)
  • Additives: orange peel and star anise (optional)


  • A medium-sized pot with a lid
  • A strainer


  • 4 tablespoons of medium to dark-roasted Mexican ground coffee
  • 3 oz. piloncillo (dark brown sugar)
  • Half a stick of Mexican cinnamon
  • 4 cups of cold, fresh water

Step-By-Step Instructions

Step 1

Place the pot on the stovetop. In the pot, pour in the freshwater, cinnamon stick, and all the piloncillo

Step 2

Turn the heat up and simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved. It can take 5–7 minutes

Step 3

When the water is boiling, add the coffee grounds. Turn the heat off and slowly stir the mixture

Step 4

Finally, cover the pot with its lid and let the brew steep for 5 minutes

Step 5

Now simply pour through a strainer into a teapot. It’s time to serve and enjoy!

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