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Café de Olla (Mexican Spiced Coffee)

Mexican spiced coffee, better known as Café de Olla, is made with Mexican ground coffee, cinnamon, and raw dark sugar that we call "Piloncillo". This is a traditional Mexican drink recipe that has been enjoyed by many generations!

What does "Café de Olla" mean?

Café de Olla literally means "pot coffee" or "coffee from a pot". This is because it was traditionally made in a large clay pot or an enamel pot. It is still made that way in some areas.

You can find this popular drink in Mexico in places like roadside eateries, small mom & pop diners, as well as in restaurants that sell Traditional Mexican food. People also make it at home, especially during wintertime. It is also served at the Christmas Celebrations.

What does "Café de Olla" taste like?

Mexican spiced coffee is actually sweet, with a hint of spice from the cinnamon. The primary ingredients added to the coffee are cinnamon and piloncillo (a dark sugar with a taste that resembles molasses). Less commonly, some people might also add orange peel and star anise.

Coffee from Mexico typically has the strength of a medium to dark roast. The two most popular varieties of coffee in Mexico are the Planchuela and Caracolillo varieties. When using these types of coffee to make Café de Olla, the addition of cinnamon and piloncillo will help to balance out the flavors.


  • 4 cups of water

  • 3 oz. Piloncillo/Panela or dark brown sugar about ⅓ cup

  • 1/2 a stick of Mexican Cinnamon

  • 4 Tablespoons of ground coffee. Dark roast Mexican Coffee if possible


  1. In a Medium saucepan, place the water, cinnamon, and Piloncillo (or brown sugar). Turn heat and simmer until the piloncillo is dissolved. About7 minutes

  2. When the water starts boiling, add the coffee, turn the heat off and stir

  3. Cover the pot and let steep for 5 minutes. Pour through a strainer to serve


*This is the most common version of Café de Olla, sometimes you will find it with the addition of cloves or anise seeds.

* When buying piloncillo/Panela, make sure to look for the pure version, like in the picture above. There is a look-alike version in some stores that are just plain sugar in a cone shape lacking the flavor and nutrients of the real Piloncillo. To easily cut the piloncillo, warm it up first. This will soften the piloncillo.

This is an easy traditional Mexican coffee recipe that will make you feel like you're in old time Mexico!

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