Café de Olla

Cinnamon and piloncillo tame the coffee’s bite in this traditional Mexican beverage.

  • Serves


  • Cook

    10 minutes


By Kate Hill

Updated on January 19, 2024

Intended for cooking beans and simmering stews, the Mexican earthenware pot known as an olla is said to distribute heat evenly and lend a unique earthy flavor to any preparation. Which, in this case, applies to coffee boiled with cinnamon and the raw sugar called piloncillo or panela. Notably, the drink does not contain milk.


  • ⅔ cup tightly packed piloncillo, or dark-brown sugar
  • ½ cup dark-roasted, medium-ground coffee
  • 2 small sticks cinnamon, preferably Ceylon


Step 1

In a small olla or medium pot over medium heat, add 8 cups cold water and the piloncillo, coffee, and cinnamon. Stir until the piloncillo has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes.

Step 2

Set a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter over a large, heatproof pitcher and strain the coffee. Serve hot.

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