Día de los Muertos: Café de Olla Recipe

  • Día De Los Muertos is one of my favorite times of the year. While most of the country knows about Halloween, Día De Los Muertos is a Mexican tradition celebrated the day after Halloween on All Saints Day. The day is meant for the living to pay homage to their loved ones that have passed—not in mourning, but to celebrate their lives. Families create beautiful oferendas (altars) and offer things that were loved by the deceased like food, liquor, beloved items, flowers, and more. Since many of the celebrations take place after dark, many of the living sip on hot beverages such as this coffee favorite, café de olla.

    Café De Olla Recipe

    Here's my take on the traditional Mexican coffee recipe to enjoy on the Day of the Dead.

    Prep Time:
    Cook time:
    Servings: 3-4 cups


    • whole bean dark coffee, ground: 4-5 tablespoons
    • piloncillo: 3 ounces
    • cinnamon sticks: 1-2 sticks
    • water: 4-5 cups


    Cafe De Olla 02

    Step 1: Grind your whole coffee beans, or if preferred, you can use ground coffee (not instant, though). I like whole beans because it releases a delicious aroma and the coffee's natural oils. Set aside.

    Step 2: In a medium pot, add water, cinnamon sticks (1 for a light cinnamon taste, 2 for heavy) and piloncillo. Simmer and stir on medium heat until the piloncillo (sugar cane) has dissolved completely, about 5-7 minutes. 

    Step 3: Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn heat off.

    Step 4: Add coffee to mixture and stir. Cover pot and let steep for about 5 minutes. 

    Step 5: Using a strainer, pour coffee into a carafe or cups.

    Step 6: Add creamer, if desired. Sugar is not necessary.

    Step 7: Sit and sip. 

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