Café Vaquero


This is what you get when a Mexican and a hipster foodie go camping together. The Mexican brings cinnamon and piloncillo, a dark unrefined sugar, for café de olla. The hipster brings fancy coffee and carefully monitors the temperature of the water. No filter necessary.

Prep Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
20 mins
4 servings


  • 3 cups filtered water

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2-4 tablespoons piloncillo (see Tip) or brown sugar

  • 6 tablespoons coarsely ground coffee


  1. Preheat a gas grill to medium-high, build a fire in a charcoal grill or build a campfire and let it burn down to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F). (This recipe was developed for outdoor cooking but, alternatively, you can put your saucepan over medium-high heat on the stovetop in the next step.)

  2. Combine water, cinnamon sticks and sugar to taste in a medium saucepan with a heatproof handle. Bring to simmer on the grill (or over medium-high heat on the stovetop) and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let the water cool until an instant-read thermometer registers 200 degrees F, about 2 minutes. Add coffee and stir gently to combine. Let steep for 2 minutes. Gently stir the coffee grounds back into the coffee and let stand another 4 minutes until they settle to the bottom on their own. To serve, pour the coffee gently off the top.


Tip: Piloncillo is a dark, cone-shaped block sugar that can be found at most Latin or Mexican markets.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

26 Calories
7g Carbs
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2/3 cup
Calories 26
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 7g 2%
Total Sugars 7g
Added Sugars 7g 14%
Folate 1mcg 0%
Sodium 8mg 0%
Calcium 12mg 1%
Iron 0mg 1%
Magnesium 3mg 1%
Potassium 22mg 0%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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