The Comprehensive Guide: How To Make Mexican Coffee

Mexican coffee, also known as café de olla, is a traditional and flavorful beverage with a rich history and cultural significance. This aromatic drink is highly beloved for its unique combination of coffee, spices, and sweetness, making it a popular choice for coffee enthusiasts around the world. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history of Mexican coffee, explore its various types, provide a detailed list of ingredients needed to make this delightful brew, and finally, walk you through a comprehensive step-by-step process to create your own delicious Mexican coffee at home.

Quick Answer: How To Make Mexican Coffee

To quickly summarize the process, making Mexican coffee involves preparing a special spiced syrup, which is then combined with freshly brewed coffee to create a rich and aromatic beverage. The key steps include boiling water with cinnamon and piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar), adding ground coffee to brew in the spiced water, and then straining the coffee into cups. For a more detailed guide, continue reading to discover the history, types, and specific instructions for making this beloved drink.

History Of Mexican Coffee

Mexico has a long and storied history with coffee, dating back to the 18th century when the first coffee plants were introduced to the region by Spanish colonists. The rich volcanic soil and ideal climate of southern Mexico provided perfect conditions for coffee cultivation, leading to the establishment of numerous coffee plantations across the country.

The traditional method of preparing Mexican coffee, known as café de olla, has its roots in indigenous and colonial influences. The name “café de olla” translates to “pot coffee,” reflecting the traditional way this beverage was brewed in clay pots over an open flame. This historical brewing method, combined with the addition of spices and sweeteners, has become a cornerstone of Mexican coffee culture.

Types Of Mexican Coffee

When it comes to types of Mexican coffee, there are several notable varieties that showcase the diverse flavors and characteristics of the regions where they are grown. Some of the most prominent types include:

  1. Oaxacan Coffee: Hailing from the southern state of Oaxaca, this coffee is renowned for its rich, chocolatey flavor with subtle hints of spice and fruitiness. Oaxacan coffee is often grown at high altitudes, contributing to its exceptional quality and distinct taste.
  2. Chiapas Coffee: Grown in the southernmost state of Chiapas, this coffee is known for its bright acidity, medium body, and notes of citrus and stone fruit. Chiapas coffee is prized for its well-balanced flavors and is often considered one of the finest coffees in Mexico.
  3. Veracruz Coffee: Coming from the northeastern region of Veracruz, this coffee is characterized by its full-bodied richness, low acidity, and nutty undertones. The tropical climate and fertile soil of Veracruz contribute to the unique profile of this coffee.
  4. Coatepec Coffee: Specifically from the town of Coatepec in Veracruz, this coffee is celebrated for its medium body, vibrant acidity, and complex flavor profile with notes of caramel, floral tones, and a hint of spice.

These distinct varieties reflect the diverse terroir and meticulous cultivation practices that define Mexican coffee, offering a wide spectrum of flavors for coffee connoisseurs to explore.

Ingredients Needed For Mexican Coffee

To make authentic Mexican coffee, you will need the following ingredients:

For The Spiced Syrup

  • Piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar): This unrefined cane sugar has a rich, molasses-like flavor that is essential for imparting the characteristic sweetness of Mexican coffee.
  • Cinnamon Sticks: Whole cinnamon sticks are used to infuse the spiced syrup with warm, aromatic notes that complement the coffee’s flavor profile.

For Brewing The Coffee

  • Ground Coffee: A medium to dark roast, finely ground coffee is ideal for brewing Mexican coffee. Look for a high-quality, fresh coffee to ensure the best flavor.
  • Water: Fresh, filtered water for brewing the coffee.

Optional Additions

  • Orange Peel: Some variations of Mexican coffee include the addition of orange peel, which adds a subtle citrusy aroma and flavor to the beverage.
  • Anise: In certain recipes, a touch of anise is used to introduce a delicate, licorice-like essence to the coffee.

With these ingredients in hand, you’ll be well-equipped to create a delightful batch of Mexican coffee in your own kitchen.

Step-By-Step Guide: How To Make Mexican Coffee

Now that you have a solid understanding of the history, types, and ingredients of Mexican coffee, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of creating this exquisite beverage at home.

Step 1: Prepare The Spiced Syrup

  1. In a saucepan, combine 4 cups of water, 1 piloncillo cone (about 8 ounces), and 2 to 3 cinnamon sticks.
  2. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the piloncillo is completely dissolved and the syrup comes to a gentle boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat and let the syrup simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors of the cinnamon and piloncillo to infuse the liquid thoroughly.
  4. After simmering, remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside. If you’re opting to include orange peel or anise to your spiced syrup, this is the time to add them for additional flavor complexity.

Step 2: Brew The Coffee

  1. While the spiced syrup is simmering, it’s time to brew the coffee. For every 2 cups of water used in the spiced syrup, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of finely ground coffee to a heatproof container or French press.
  2. Once the spiced syrup is ready, carefully pour it over the ground coffee, ensuring that all the coffee grounds are thoroughly saturated.
  3. Let the coffee steep in the spiced syrup for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld and the coffee to infuse with the aromatic notes of the cinnamon and piloncillo.

Step 3: Strain And Serve

  1. After the coffee has steeped, it’s time to strain the brew to remove the coffee grounds and any larger particles. You can use a fine-mesh sieve, a coffee filter, or a traditional Mexican coffee strainer (“molinillo”) for this step.
  2. Once strained, pour the freshly brewed Mexican coffee into individual cups or mugs, and savor the rich aroma and complex flavors of this delightful beverage.
  3. For an extra touch, garnish your Mexican coffee with a cinnamon stick or a twist of orange peel for a visually appealing and aromatic presentation.

Mexican coffee holds a special place in the world of coffee due to its vibrant history, diverse varieties, and unique flavor profile. By incorporating a blend of spices, sweetness, and high-quality coffee, Mexican coffee offers a truly sensory experience that is both satisfying and comforting. Whether you’re indulging in a cup of Oaxacan coffee with its chocolatey richness or savoring the bright acidity of Chiapas coffee, the allure of Mexican coffee is undeniable. With the comprehensive guide provided, you now have the knowledge and insights to embark on your own journey to master the art of making authentic Mexican coffee at home. Embrace the tradition, savor the flavors, and delight in the cultural richness that this beloved beverage embodies.


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Tips For Choosing The Best Mexican Coffee Beans

When selecting Mexican coffee beans, there are a few factors to consider to ensure you get the best quality and flavor. Here are some tips to help you choose the best Mexican coffee beans:

  1. Origin: Look for beans that are specifically labeled as Mexican coffee or from specific regions in Mexico known for coffee production such as Veracruz, Chiapas, or Oaxaca. These regions are known for producing high-quality coffee beans with unique flavor profiles.
  2. Roast Level: Mexican coffee is typically medium to dark roasted to bring out its full-bodied flavors. Opt for a roast level that aligns with your taste preferences. Medium roast will have a balance of acidity and bitterness, while dark roast will be more intense and bold.
  3. Certifications: Look for beans that are certified as organic or Fairtrade if these factors are important to you. These certifications ensure that the beans are grown using sustainable and ethical practices.
  4. Sourcing: If possible, choose beans from reputable roasters or companies that have direct relationships with the coffee farmers. This ensures that the coffee beans are sourced ethically and supports the livelihoods of the farmers.
  5. Flavor Notes: Read the flavor descriptions provided for the coffee beans. Mexican coffee is known for its rich and chocolatey flavors with hints of nuttiness and caramel. Look for beans that have these flavor profiles.
  6. Freshness: Check the roast date of the beans. Freshly roasted beans will produce the best flavors. Aim to use the beans within 2 to 4 weeks of the roast date.

How To Properly Grind Mexican Coffee Beans

Grinding coffee beans just before brewing is crucial to capturing the full flavor potential of Mexican coffee. Here are the steps to properly grind Mexican coffee beans:

  1. Choose the Right Grinder: Invest in a good quality burr grinder, if possible. Burr grinders provide a more consistent grind size compared to blade grinders, which can lead to uneven extraction and a less flavorful cup of coffee.
  2. Adjust the Coarseness: For Mexican coffee, a medium to coarse grind works best. Adjust the grinder settings to achieve the desired grind size. The grind should resemble coarse sand, similar to kosher salt.
  3. Grind in Batches: It is best to grind the coffee beans in small batches to ensure freshness and consistent grind size. Grind only the amount of coffee you plan to use immediately.
  4. Grind Just Before Brewing: To preserve the freshness and flavor of the coffee, it is recommended to grind the beans just before brewing. Grinding exposes the coffee to oxygen, which can lead to flavor degradation over time.
  5. Store Properly: Store the whole coffee beans in an airtight container in a cool and dark place. Avoid storing them in the freezer or refrigerator as moisture can affect the flavor of the beans.

Traditional Mexican Coffee Brewing Methods

Traditional Mexican coffee brewing methods offer a unique way to experience the flavors and cultural heritage of Mexican coffee. Here are two traditional methods for brewing Mexican coffee:

1. Cafetera (Mexican Stovetop Pot)

The cafetera, also known as a moka pot, is a stovetop coffee maker commonly used in Mexican homes. It offers a simple and practical way to brew strong and flavorful coffee. Here’s how to use a cafetera:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Mexican coffee beans (medium grind)
  • Filtered water
  • Cafetera (stovetop pot)
  • Coffee mug or cup


  1. Unscrew the cafetera and remove the filter basket.
  2. Fill the bottom chamber of the cafetera with cold, filtered water up to the safety valve. Do not fill beyond the valve.
  3. Insert the filter basket and fill it with the desired amount of medium ground Mexican coffee. Do not tamp the coffee.
  4. Screw the top chamber firmly onto the bottom chamber, ensuring a tight seal.
  5. Place the cafetera on a stovetop burner set to low to medium heat.
  6. As the water heats up, it will start to boil and create pressure, pushing the hot water through the coffee grounds and into the top chamber.
  7. Once you hear a gurgling sound, remove the cafetera from the heat source. This indicates that all the water has been forced through the coffee grounds.
  8. Pour the freshly brewed Mexican coffee into your cup or mug and enjoy.

2. Jarrito De Barro (Mexican Clay Pot)

The jarrito de barro, or clay pot, is a traditional Mexican brewing method that allows for slow and gentle extraction of flavors. Here’s how to brew Mexican coffee using a clay pot:

Ingredients and Equipment:

  • Mexican coffee beans (medium grind)
  • Filtered water
  • Jarrito de barro (clay pot)
  • Coffee mug or cup


  1. Heat filtered water to the appropriate temperature (195°F to 205°F or 90°C to 96°C).
  2. Place the medium ground Mexican coffee into the clay pot. Use about 1 heaping tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces (180 ml) of water.
  3. Slowly pour the hot water over the coffee grounds, ensuring they are fully saturated.
  4. Place the clay pot on a heat source set to low heat. It could be a stove, a hot plate, or even an open flame.
  5. Allow the coffee to brew slowly for about 10 to 15 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level and add more hot water as needed to maintain the desired strength.
  6. Once the coffee has finished brewing, carefully pour it into your cup, using a fine mesh strainer if necessary to remove any coffee grounds.
  7. Enjoy the authentic flavors of Mexican coffee in a traditional clay pot.

Making delicious and authentic Mexican coffee at home is a rewarding experience. By selecting high-quality Mexican coffee beans, properly grinding them, and using traditional brewing methods, you can enjoy a rich and full-bodied cup of coffee with unique flavors. Experiment with different brewing methods and flavor add-ons like cinnamon or chocolate to customize your cup of Mexican coffee. Whether you prefer the boldness of a French press or the slow extraction of a clay pot, Mexican coffee is sure to delight your taste buds with its rich and robust flavors. So, go ahead and indulge in the flavors of Mexico with a steaming cup of Mexican coffee.

Adding Flavors To Your Mexican Coffee

Mexican coffee is known for its bold flavors and aromatic qualities. It has gained popularity worldwide due to its unique brewing techniques and vibrant taste. Mexican coffee is characterized by its rich and full-bodied flavor profile, often with notes of chocolate, cinnamon, and nutty undertones. If you are a coffee lover who enjoys exploring different flavors and cultural experiences, learning how to make Mexican coffee is a must-try!

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Making Mexican coffee involves a few key components, including the right coffee beans, special brewing methods, and the addition of traditional flavors.

One of the defining features of Mexican coffee is the addition of flavors that complement its rich taste. Here are a few commonly used ingredients to enhance the flavor of your Mexican coffee:

1. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is an essential ingredient in Mexican coffee, adding warmth and depth to the flavor profile. To incorporate cinnamon into your coffee, you can either sprinkle ground cinnamon on top of your coffee grounds before brewing or add a cinnamon stick to your brewed coffee. The latter method infuses the flavor slowly, giving your coffee a more pronounced cinnamon taste.

2. Chocolate

Chocolate and coffee are a match made in heaven, and Mexican coffee often incorporates this delightful combination. You can use cocoa powder, chocolate syrup, or even grated Mexican chocolate to add a touch of richness to your coffee. Mix the chocolate with the coffee grinds before brewing for a more even distribution, or simply add it to your brewed coffee and stir until fully incorporated.

3. Vanilla

Adding a hint of vanilla to your Mexican coffee can elevate the flavor profile and provide a smooth and sweet undertone. You can achieve this by using vanilla extract or by scraping the seeds from a vanilla bean and infusing them into your coffee. Simply add a small amount of vanilla extract or the scraped seeds to your brewed coffee and stir well.

4. Almonds Or Hazelnuts

For an added nutty flavor, you can incorporate crushed almonds or hazelnuts into your Mexican coffee. To do this, grind the nuts to a coarse consistency and mix them with your coffee grounds before brewing. This method allows the natural oils from the nuts to infuse into the coffee, resulting in a delicious nutty taste.

5. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is a common sweetener used in Mexican cuisine and can be an excellent alternative to traditional sugar when sweetening your coffee. It has a lower glycemic index and imparts a unique flavor that complements Mexican coffee. Add a small amount of agave syrup to your brewed coffee and adjust the sweetness to your preference.

Experimenting with different flavor combinations can take your Mexican coffee to new heights. Feel free to mix and match these ingredients or even explore other flavors that pique your interest.

Serving And Storing Mexican Coffee

To fully appreciate the flavors of Mexican coffee, it is essential to serve it correctly and store it properly. Here are some tips to ensure that your Mexican coffee stays at its freshest and tastiest:

1. Use Preheated Cups

Before pouring your brewed Mexican coffee, make sure to preheat your cups. Coffee cools down quickly when it comes into contact with a cold surface, such as a cold cup. Simply fill your cups with hot water and let them sit for a few minutes to warm them up. Then, discard the hot water and pour your fresh coffee into the preheated cups.

2. Serve With A Side Of Traditional Accompaniments

Mexican coffee is often enjoyed with traditional accompaniments that complement its flavors. A common pairing is a small piece of Mexican sweet bread called “pan dulce” or a cinnamon-flavored cookie. These treats provide a delightful contrast to the strong coffee flavors and create a well-rounded experience.

3. Store Coffee Beans Properly

To maintain the freshness and flavor of your Mexican coffee beans, proper storage is crucial. Coffee beans should be kept in an airtight container to prevent exposure to light, air, and moisture, all of which can degrade the quality of the beans. Store the container in a cool, dark, and dry place, such as a pantry or cupboard, away from direct sunlight and heat sources. Avoid storing them in the refrigerator or freezer, as the beans can absorb odors and flavors from other foods.

4. Grind Before Brewing

For the best flavor and aroma, it is recommended to grind your Mexican coffee beans just before brewing. This ensures maximum freshness and extraction of flavors. Use a burr grinder for a consistent grind size, as different brewing methods require different grind sizes. A coarse grind is generally suitable for brewing Mexican coffee using methods like French press or boiling.

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Mexican Coffee Variations And Recipes

Mexican coffee offers a range of variations and recipes to suit different preferences and brewing methods. Here are a few popular variations to try:

1. Cafe De Olla

Cafe de Olla is a traditional Mexican coffee made using a clay pot called an “olla.” To make this aromatic beverage, combine water, coffee grounds, cinnamon sticks, and piloncillo (Mexican cane sugar) in the olla and bring the mixture to a boil. Once the coffee has brewed, pour it through a fine-mesh strainer to remove the grounds and cinnamon sticks. Serve the Cafe de Olla hot and enjoy the unique flavors imparted by the clay pot.

2. Mexican Iced Coffee

For a refreshing twist on traditional Mexican coffee, try making a Mexican iced coffee. Start by brewing a strong cup of Mexican coffee using any brewing method of your choice. Let the coffee cool to room temperature, then pour it into a glass filled with ice cubes. Add a splash of milk or cream, a drizzle of chocolate syrup, and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Stir well and enjoy a delicious and cooling summer beverage.

3. Horchata Coffee

Horchata is a popular Mexican rice milk drink with a creamy texture and a hint of cinnamon. To create a delightful fusion of flavors, combine horchata and Mexican coffee. Fill a glass with ice, add equal parts horchata and brewed Mexican coffee, and stir gently. The result is a creamy and smooth coffee beverage with a touch of cinnamon goodness.

4. Mexican Mocha

A Mexican mocha combines the richness of chocolate with the bold flavors of Mexican coffee. Start by brewing a strong cup of Mexican coffee, then add a tablespoon of cocoa powder, a teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon to the brewed coffee and stir well. Finally, add a splash of milk or cream to achieve the desired level of creaminess. This indulgent beverage is perfect for cozying up on a chilly day.

Feel free to experiment with these variations or create your own by incorporating different flavors and techniques. The versatility of Mexican coffee allows for endless possibilities.

The Health Benefits Of Mexican Coffee

In addition to its incredible taste and diverse flavor profile, Mexican coffee also offers several health benefits. Here are some of the ways that Mexican coffee can positively contribute to your well-being:

1. Antioxidant-Rich

Coffee, including Mexican coffee, is a significant source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

2. Boosts Cognitive Function

The caffeine present in Mexican coffee helps stimulate the central nervous system, leading to increased alertness and improved cognitive function. It can enhance focus, concentration, and overall mental performance.

3. Physical Performance Enhancement

Mexican coffee has been shown to improve physical performance due to its caffeine content, which aids in the release of adrenaline and the improvement of muscle contractions. It can help enhance endurance, reduce fatigue, and improve overall athletic performance.

4. Weight Management

Caffeine, when consumed in moderation, can help boost metabolism and promote fat burning. It can also act as an appetite suppressant, aiding in weight management efforts.

It is important to note that individual tolerance to caffeine varies, and excessive consumption can lead to adverse effects such as insomnia, jitters, or anxiety. It is advisable to consume Mexican coffee in moderation and consider personal health conditions or caffeine sensitivity.


Making Mexican coffee is an intriguing and rewarding process that allows you to explore new flavors and cultural experiences. By incorporating traditional ingredients such as cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla, you can create a rich and indulgent cup of coffee. Properly serving and storing Mexican coffee ensures that you enjoy its full flavor and freshness. Experimenting with variations and recipes adds an exciting element to your coffee-drinking routine.

In addition to its delightful taste, Mexican coffee offers health benefits such as antioxidant properties, cognitive enhancement, physical performance improvement, and potential weight management support. When enjoyed responsibly, Mexican coffee not only satisfies the taste buds but also contributes positively to overall well-being. So, grab your favorite Mexican coffee beans, discover your preferred flavors, and embark on a journey of rich aromas and delicious tastes!

FAQS On How To Make Mexican Coffee

What Is Mexican Coffee?

Mexican coffee is a type of coffee originating from Mexico. It is known for its bold and rich flavors, often incorporating spices and other unique ingredients.

What Are The Traditional Ingredients Used To Make Mexican Coffee?

The traditional ingredients used to make Mexican coffee include ground coffee beans, cinnamon, chocolate or cocoa, and sometimes even a hint of chili powder.

How Is Mexican Coffee Different From Regular Coffee?

Mexican coffee is different from regular coffee in terms of its distinct flavor profile. It is often stronger and more flavorful due to the addition of spices and other ingredients.

Can I Make Mexican Coffee At Home?

Yes, you can make Mexican coffee at home with the right ingredients and recipe. It may require a few extra steps and ingredients compared to regular coffee, but the end result is worth it.

Are There Any Health Benefits Associated With Drinking Mexican Coffee?

Mexican coffee may have some health benefits due to the addition of spices like cinnamon, which has anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is still important to consume in moderation and consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.