Iced Café Guarulo

I was first introduced to spiced coffee at HOJA, one of my favorite restaurants in Denver. They serve a Mexican iced coffee called café de olla. I usually drink coffee black, but this drink is the right amount of sweet and is perfectly complimented by a splash of almond milk.

I decided to research this drink and learn more about it so I could recreate it at home. The James Beard Award winning author Maricel Presilla explains in her book Gran Cocina Latina that variations of spiced coffee exist throughout Latin regions. She shares a recipe for the Colombian version of spiced coffee, café guarulo. While this recipe is true to the traditions, it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I tweaked the ratios and found something that’s exactly what I wanted.

One note about this recipe is that I use decaf coffee because I think this drink is best consumed later in the afternoon.


33gDark Brown Sugar
1 2 in.Cinnamon Stick
40gCoffee Grounds


  1. Add the water, sugar, and cinnamon stick to a pot. Bring water to a boil to dissolve sugar.
  2. Once, the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat. Add the coffee grounds and let steep for 4 minutes.
  3. Filter the coffee. I use a Chemex with a Coffee Sock. However, this step is all about preference. Feel free to use any coffee filtering method available.
  4. Chill coffee in refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve over ice with a splash of milk or milk alternative of your choice.

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