Cafe de Olla

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Cafe de olla is life. You may think that is an exaggeration, but you probably haven’t seen me in the morning. we are a coffee household. We have an old fashioned drip coffee maker, an espresso machine when we’re feeling fancy, a French press for lazy weekends, and a (gasp) Keurig for instant coffee when we’re running late because it’s hella convenient.

And then we have cafe de olla. It’s not a “special occasion” coffee, but it does take longer than pressing a button on a machine. But for me, the ritual of making coffee also gives me life. That first aroma of coffee as you open the canister of whole beans, concentrated but still light. Then intoxicating perfume as you grind the whole beans. you take this earthiness, and accent it with fragrant spices and bright orange peel. Damn.

Now you may look at this and say, ” How can I drink 8 cups of cafe de olla?” I just gently reheat. No fuss. This is cafe de olla for a crowd, but if it is too much, just cut the water in half and maybe think about reducing the piloncillo.

Better yet, have your usual 3-4 cups of cafe de olla and save the rest to make iced coffee. Make paletas or ice cream. Braise something. make Flan, pudding, mousse, cheesecake and even cocktails.

Yield: about 8 cups

Cafe de Olla

Cafe de Olla
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Steeping Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cone of piloncillo
  • peel of one orange
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 cup ground coffee


  1. Over medium-high heat, boil the water, piloncillo, orange peel, cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in a large pot.
  2. Once the piloncillo has dissolved, add the coffee and stir to combine, then turn off the heat. Cover and let steep for 7-10 minutes.
  3. As the coffee steeps, the grounds will settle and you can ladle the coffee carefully, or strain the coffee through a fine sieve/layers or cheese cloth/nut milk bag.


The nut milk bag is my preferred method to strain the mixture.

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