Directions and notes From Clementine on how to make Cafe De Olla:
What is this coffee?
Cafe de Olla is a traditional recipe for coffee that’s often made in Mexico. It uses fewer beans than other brewing methods to produce a less concentrated extraction. Boiling the grinds enhances the beans’ bitterness and acidity, so piloncillo (a dark Mexican cane sugar with molasses-like flavors) and cinnamon are used to tame the coffee’s bite.
Canella & Piloncillo.
Canella: is a tree native to the Caribbean. Its bark is used as a spice similar to cinnamon, giving rise to the common names like “cinnamon bark”, “wild cinnamon”, and “white cinnamon”.
Piloncillo: Unrefined, it is commonly used in Mexico, where it has been around for at least 500 years. Made from crushed sugar cane, the juice is collected, boiled and poured into molds, where it hardens into blocks. It’s basically a solid form of sucrose derived from the boiling and evaporation of sugarcane juice. The name piloncillo means little loaf, cuz it kinda looks like a loaf after it hardens. It’s known to have far more flavor than brown sugar, which is generally just white sugar with a small amount of molasses added back to it.
Substitutes: Cinnamon & brown sugar. But it’ll taste different.
In order to make this coffee, you’re gonna need to have…
Medium Pot & Heat Source; ideally an “Olla” which is a traditional earthen clay pot that maintains a special flavor in the coffee. This pot is also a source from which this coffee gets its name – so if you don’t have an Olla just know that you’re cheating.
French Press/ Coffee Filter
-2.5 oz. packed ⅓ cup of piloncillo / aka panela (or substitute brown sugar)
-¾-oz. or ¼ cup of dark roasted ground coffee, medium grind
-1 small stick of canela (Mexican cinnamon)
Brewing the Coffee:
So come on along with me here now as we brew up our first batch of Cafe de Olla coffee!
In a small olla or medium pot, add 4 cups cold water and the piloncillo, coffee, and cinnamon. Set over medium heat and cook, stirring until the piloncillo has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes. Set a fine mesh strainer or coffee filter over a pitcher and strain the coffee. Pour into mugs, and serve hot.
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