My biggest challenge when it comes to coffee is keeping it as a weekends-only or special occasion treat. I feel so much better without caffeine but man do I love coffee. The smell, the taste, the buzz. But I’m pretty particular about what I drink- I blame it on my summer jobs as a barista long before people used the word barista.
This Mexican coffee, or café de olla, definitely passes my coffee snob taste test- and with flying colors. I had my doubts about coffee spiked with cinnamon, cloves and star anise… but it works. It’s great with just a bit of cream, but if you’d like to get all fancy pants (and boozy), chocolate syrup and coffee liquor are other fine additions.
As an aside, have any of you tried Trung Nguyen Coffee before? It’s really really great Vietnamese Coffee. So much better than Starbucks. Their inexpensive blends are excellent; their higher priced Legendee is awesome. They sell online but it’s also available through Amazon if any of you want to give it a shot. If you have an Asian Grocery nearby or live near a city with a Chinatown you might also be able to find it there. One Vietnamese coffee with Trung Nguyen and you’ll never ever go back to the Cafe du Monde brand.
Yield: 1 Mexican Iced Coffee. 4 servings cafe de olla
Iced Mexican Coffee:
* 1 Tablespoon chocolate syrup (I always make it from scratch using this recipe)
* ice cubes
* 1 shot coffee liqueur
* 1/2 cup cold café de olla (recipe below)
* 1 Tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half
* pinch cinnamon
Café De Olla:
* 5 cups water
* 4 large cinnamon sticks
* 6 whole cloves
* 4 star anise
* 1/4 cup white sugar, unrefined if you can find it ( I use Zulka Mexican Cane Sugar)
* 1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
* 3/4 cup ground dark roast coffee beans, regular or decaf
To make the Mexican iced coffee drizzle some chocolate syrup on the bottom of a glass. Add ice cubes, the shot of coffee liquor and café de olla. If you’d like to create a floating layer or cream, carefully pour the cream over the back of a spoon on top of the drink (otherwise just go nuts and pour on top to mix it all together). Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.
To Make the Cafe de Olla combine the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, and white and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil and the reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat and add the ground coffee. Stir and cover; let steep for 5 minutes.
Pour through a sieve lined with a coffee filter, or just do as I did and use your coffee maker… pour directly over your lined coffee grinds basket (obviously you want to make sure that your coffee pot is below). Serve hot or bring to room temperature and the refrigerate.
Iced Mexican Coffee adapted from Amor y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margaritas, and Antojitos
Café De Olla recipe adapted from Amor y Tacos: Modern Mexican Tacos, Margaritas, and Antojitos