Posted in Kafevend Blog
You might expect to go to
Mexico and be met with tequila at every turn, but there's plenty of
non-alcoholic alternatives with coffee, chocolate and tea on the
drinks menu too. Coffee is grown in many regions of Mexico, but the
finest grade is 'Altura', which means high grown. The state of
Chiapas in the Sierra Madre Mountains, with its optimum climactic
conditions, is where the very best is produced. The high grown
coffees of Chiapas are renowned for their good acidity and deep milk
The best Mexican coffee is
invariably reserved for export and Mexicans themselves are far more
likely to drink instant. However,when Mexicans do decide to brew a
pot of coffee a popular addition is cinnamon, which creates a
distinctive flavour and helps to lower acidity into the bargain.
The name for this cinnamon
coffee is café de olla which
translates as coffee of the pot. Water, piloncillo (a raw,
brown Mexican sugar), cinnamon sticks and freshly ground coffee are
combined in a large pot and brought to the boil, then occasionally
stirred while simmering. The brew is then strained through a sieve
and can be served with warm milk or cream.
Tea has traditionally played
a more medicinal than thirst quenching role in Mexican culture, with
various tisanes or herbal brews being drunk to alleviate minor
ailments or simply to promote good health. Indigenous herbs have been
brewed for centuries to this end.
With Mesoamerica being the
cradle of the cocoa bean, you'd expect hot chocolate to play a part
in the national culture and you'd be right. Mexicans make
champurrado, which is a chocolate atole made with corn flour, Mexican
chocolate, piloncillo (that Mexican sugar again), water/milk and
cinnamon. It combines to create a thick chocolatey drink which is
often served up at breakfast with churros, as in Spain.