This article discusses how to make a cup of café de olla, and tells a short story about its historical origins.
Café de olla is a drink steeped in Mexican history. During the early days of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, soldaderas, also known as adelitas, supported soldiers by cooking, cleaning, and setting up camp. They prepared café de olla with cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, coffee, and chocolate roasted in a clay pot, to serve as a filling drink that would help boost the soldiers’ energy throughout the day.
Cafe de olla is made with piloncillo, or unrefined cane sugar. This sweetener still has molasses in it. Enzymes in the drink calm the stomach. When you include cacao, which is rich in vitamins, the concoction becomes a virtual “super drink.”
Cafe De Olla
8 c Water
2 sm Cinnamon sticks
3 Whole cloves
4 oz Dark brown sugar
1 Square semisweet chocolate or Mexican chocolate
4 oz Ground coffee
Bring the water to a boil, then add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar, and chocolate. When the liquid comes to a boil again, skim off any foam. Reduce the heat to low and make sure the liquid does not boil. Add the coffee, and let it steep for 5 minutes. Serve the coffee in an earthenware pot with a ladle.
Read on for a little more backstory and a newsy piece on the American neighborhoods where coffee shops strive to preserve the historical significance and celebrate the beverage’s cultural origins and others like it. Be sure to read the full article.