Mexican Coffee Recipe

cafe de olla mexico
how to make mexican coffee

What kind of coffee is served in Mexico?

We get this question very often. Some spices and sweetness add a unique touch to this traditional coffee drink in Mexico. If you have tried Cafe de Olla is almost pretty sure you liked it.

First things first: What is cafe de olla?

It is the most popular Mexican hot coffee recipe; the grandmothers prepared it in a clay pot and served it in mugs of the same material. It has a light touch of spices, and here we will teach you how to prepare it.


  • six tablespoons of medium-ground coffee
  • two cinnamon sticks, this is the main ingredient!
  • two cloves
  • 1/2 orange peel without the white part (optional)
  • 1 piloncillo cone of 45 g also called panela
  • 1.5 liters of water

piloncillo cone from mexico

Piloncillo, you can get it at any Latino store.


  1. Add the water to a clay pot or saucepan with the piloncillo, cinnamon, orange peel, and cloves over medium heat.
  2. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat, add the coffee, and brew for four minutes.
  3. Pass through a filter and serve in your mug.

Note: Don't brew the coffee for more than four minutes to avoid undesired flavors like bitterness or spices taking over the coffee flavor.

A little history of Cafe de Olla from Mexico:

It is said that it was during the Mexican Revolution that this Mexican coffee drink, "Cafe de Olla," emerged, thanks to the adelitas (soldiers' wives) who added piloncillo and cinnamon to the essential preparation of coffee and prepared it every night to give energy to all the warriors who were in the fight.

It was named Cafe de Olla because, from the beginning, it was prepared in clay pots (“Olla” means pot in Spanish), and later, according to tradition, it should be offered in cups of this same material.

You might find some coffee bags labeled as "Mexican coffee," which can mean two things: either it is already ground with cinnamon and spices ready to prepare cafe de olla, or Mexican Coffee is the origin of coffee.


  • This is the most common version of Cafe de Olla, although sometimes you find it with a bit of anise.
  • When you buy piloncillo, ensure it is the refined version, as today, many brands offer cone-shaped sugar but do not have the flavor or nutrients of piloncillo. If you cannot find it around your area, replace it with brown sugar.
  • To break the piloncillo easily, heat it a little first, either by placing it near the stove or the oven; this causes the piloncillo to soften.
  • Optional ingredient: If you want to add some liqueur, Kahlúa is a perfect option for tequila, so why not!

Enjoy this hot Mexican coffee drink, Salud!