Café de Olla, traditional Mexican coffee recipe


Natalie Ramirez, a 17-year-old Starbucks barista in Carlsbad, Calif., says that making café de olla (literally, coffee of the cooking pot) for her family every morning is one of the best ways she can stay connected to her roots. “The majority of my family lives in Mexico, and I didn’t get a traditional Mexican childhood because I grew up in the U.S.,” says Ramirez, a senior in high school. “Keeping my culture alive in the U.S. is super important to me and one of the ways I do that is by making that traditional coffee every morning.”

Here’s her recipe. 

  1. Gather your ingredients: cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, ground coffee (Latin American coffees work best for this recipe) and piloncillo, a hard-packed cone of cane sugar found in Mexican grocery stores. You’ll also need an olla, a ceramic clay pot traditionally used to cook soups and stews in Mexican cuisine. If you don’t have one, you can use a saucepan.

2. Place the sugar, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and water in your container and cook until it boils and the sugar dissolves. If you don’t have any piloncillo, you can use hard-packed brown sugar.

3. Turn the heat off and spoon in your favorite Latin American ground coffee. Stir and cover. Steep for 5 minutes, longer if you want more flavor.

4. Ladle the coffee through a cheesecloth and a strainer. Serve.

Natalie's recipe

Ingredients

  • 9 cups of water
  • 9 tablespoons of coffee
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 3-4 cloves
  • ½ cone of piloncillo

Directions

Boil water, cinnamon, star anise, cloves and sugar in a container until it boils. You should have a spicy, fragrant tea. Turn off the heat and spoon in coffee. Stir, cover and steep for at least five minutes. Ladle the coffee through a cheesecloth and a strainer. Serve.

thumbnail for Starbucks new lavender drinks offer a taste of spring for everyone

Starbucks new lavender drinks offer a taste of spring for everyone