A Touch of Old Mexico

Que Fantastico!

Buenos Dias!  I've studied the Spanish language and the many cultures of the Spanish speaking world, but I did not know of "café de olla" until this morning!  Author Maura Wall Hernandez shares a past memory of her first experience with this tasty beverage of cinnamon and coffee... I'll have to give this a try today with breakfast and get back to you all on my findings... :)

I vividly remember the first time I really tasted café de olla. It was a sunny summer morning in Mexico City’s upscale Polanco district and I was eating brunch with my then-boyfriend and his parents at a well-known restaurant... (M.W. Hernandez) [1]

The recipe I have on hand calls for semi-sweet chocolate, for which Mrs. Hernandez offers her feedback on her blog:  "I did a bit of research and there are even some weirdos who put semi-sweet chocolate in their café de olla—guacala. (A Spanish expression reserved for a supreme form of icky.)" Ick.  Melted chocolate in coffee?  Sounds pretty awful if you ask me too.

Cafe de Olla
Ah, que rico! café de olla! Photo by: Natalie[2] from San Juan, Puerto Rico

You'll have to check out the variation of the recipe from my link, though it is pretty much the same.  I've chosen my recipe because it substitutes dark brown sugar for molasses (which I do not have on hand this morning.).  Traditionally, the coffee drink is served in a large clay pot/pitcher which is glazed or coated on the inside but decorated colorfully on the outside with traditional folk-culture designs.

From my limited research, it appears that around the world that there are many "imitations" to this popular beverage... as you can see from the recipe list below, this cafe is much more than just "cinnamon and coffee".

A Recipe for Café de Olla

This one is from my own recipe collection.  Didn't know I had it until today...

2 sm cinnamon sticks
3 Whole cloves
4 oz Dark brown sugar
(I'm omitting the semi-sweet chocolate)
Ground coffee

Play around with the proportions to make it work for you.  Be sure to share in the comments if you met with success and the right way to set up your mix.  Enjoy your caffeinated elixir this morning, and have a wonderful day everyone!

[1]: The Other Side of the Tortilla: http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2009/08/cafe-de-olla/
      Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
[2]: Photo Credit: http://diariodeunautoexilio.com/2014/02/13/restaurante-taqueria-el-ranchero/
      Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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