December 12, 2008

café de olla

I first read this recipe while standing in my mom's little shop in San Antonio, flipping through a book she had called Mexicocina. It reminded me of how my dad would say my grandma would make coffee; just boil the water in a pot and add the ground coffee and let them seperate for a few minutes, and then pour the coffee off the top.
Café de olla is apparently traditionally made in a particular kind of pot (olla), but I have no idea what they were talking about so I just used a normal saucepan kind of deal. The recipe calls for piloncillo (a cone shaped unrefined sugar), which is probably available at a Hispanic grocery, but I used brown sugar the first time and it was still delish.
Even though this is described as a 'sweet, spiced mexican coffee', its more of an adult taste, not sweet like a mocha or something. Everyone in my house liked it except Pete...
Anyway, here's the recipe.

2 quarts water
3 ounces piloncillo, or 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 four-inch cinnamon sticks
1 cup ground coffee (probably coarsely ground)

+In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring to a boil, then add the ground coffee, stir, and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes or so.

+Remove from heat, let sit for 2 minutes, and strain the coffee into warmed cups.

A few notes of mine:
1 This will actually make a lot of coffee. For me, at least. It says 'serves 8'.
2 When it was ready to serve, I did as I thought my grandma would have done: I ladled the liquid off the top, also because I didn't have anything to strain it with...
3 When you add the coffee and stir, it makes the most beautiful, beautiful crema I have ever seen.
4 Making this makes me feel like a real mexican grandma. :]

And, for Kate, a mini-Spanish lesson!
Olla : the cooking pot traditionally used to make this
Canela : cinnamon
Abuela, or Abuelita : Grandma, or.. little grandma! (the 'ito' means little)
Copa : cup
Azucar : sugar

Yay! I am glad to share this with you all in my first post.

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