Best Coffee Orange County 2012 - Café de Olla at Café Calacas
324 W. Fourth St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701
An earthy dark-roasted coffee is spiced with cinnamon and sweetened with piloncillo, which is what gives café de olla its signature sweetness—oh, and the actual olla, an earthenware pot that lends a rich, smooth flavor to this elixir. But Café Calacas owners Jackie and Rudy Cordova use an espresso blend to brew this café de olla, imparting the traditional full-body flavor of this drink, a refreshing switch from your local, watered-down cup of coffee. The coffee grounds are typically steeped in boiling water, allowing the brew to retain all of its natural flavors. The sweetened cinnamon aroma depletes any need for cream or milk to remove the bitterness customary to regular coffee, which might explain why café de olla is typically served strong and black in Mexico. Milk and sugar may be added, but they're certainly not needed.