Café de olla is still traditionally brewed in a clay pot, known as olla de barro in Spanish (for The New York Times). Some believe that the earthy pot improves the flavor of the coffee, as noted Big cup of coffee. However, today’s kitchens are more likely to contain metal pans. The New York Times recommends using freshly ground coffee beans and authentic cane sugar known as piloncillo. Readily available in Mexico, the unrefined sugar packs hints of caramel and is molded into a distinct cone shape for easy stirring (via Isabelle eats). However, dark brown sugar and a teaspoon of molasses are a suitable substitute.

Typical spices, which are first heated on the stove with sugar and water, include cinnamon sticks, cloves and star anise. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the ground coffee and a few orange peels. Steep to taste, usually no more than eight minutes, then strain into a serving jar. You can also use a French press for soaking, then remove the cinnamon sticks and strain with the filter press, for The love of coffee. Some recipes call for the addition of cocoa, chocolate squares or even alcohol, as noted Parade.

With a little time and a healthy dose of affection, anyone can enjoy the special custom of café de olla with friends, family or during a free time session.


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