Clay pot coffee: How it is done

Home-brewed coffee, more popularly known as clay pot coffee, is a quick and straightforward way to make coffee at home. Different names recognise it in different regions (for example, café de olla in Mexico, or café de pota in North-West Spain and Portugal). Still, in the end, the way it is prepared is very similar in all cases.

The recipe for clay pot coffee is one of the oldest ways of preparing coffee and comes from many years ago when coffee pots were not such a standard tool in kitchens, and not everyone had one at hand. Back then, you had to use your imagination to make a homemade coffee, and that’s where the concept of homemade clay pot coffee comes from.

Let’s find out what the ingredients of clay pot coffee are and how it’s prepared.

Ingredients of clay pot coffee

  • One litre of water.
  • Seventy grams of freshly ground roasted coffee.
  • Sixty grams of sugar (optional). You can use brown or white sugar, as you wish.
  • A cloth sleeve or strainer to filter the coffee. If we don’t have a paper filter of the kind used in drip, coffee machines can be used.
  • Spices to taste (for example, a sprig of vanilla, cardamom, some cinnamon sticks, cloves)

As you can imagine, the quantities are optional and will depend on how much coffee you want to make. The important thing is that you respect the proportion: approximately 70 grams of coffee per litre of water, or 100 grams of coffee per litre and a half.

Another essential detail is the grinding of the coffee: it must be quite thick, so you don’t usually get the pre-ground coffee packages you can find in any supermarket. For this reason, the idea is that you buy the coffee beans that you like the most and grind them yourself at home with coarse grinding.

how is made clay pot coffee

How is the process to make clay pot coffee?

Before we start, we will need a large pot or a clay pot (which is where clay pot coffee gets its name). We pour in all the water and put it on to heat.

IMPORTANT: if you are going to use spices to flavour the coffee, or you prefer it to come out sweeter, you should pour the spices and sugar into the water at this point, when it is still cold.

As soon as the water starts to boil, we must take it away from the fire. Let a minute go by (so that it cools down a bit since coffee should never be served in boiling water), pour in all the ground coffee, stir the whole thing a bit, and then cover the pot. It is crucial not to forget this detail: the pot must be covered so that the coffee brews correctly.

When we have done this, we leave it to steep for between 2 and 3 minutes, there is no exact measure, and the result depends very much on how you like your coffee.

This is the infusion process, during which the water will take on the colour, aromas and flavours of the coffee beans. If this is the first time you are making clay pot coffee, we recommend that you leave it for two minutes and then adjust this time according to your palate.

Finally, after this time, it is time to filter or strain the coffee.

The coffee is abundant (it is assumed that in our recipe, we have prepared a litre of clay pot coffee), so we cannot pour it all at once over the filter. We must filter it little by little, using a ladle to serve it. In this step, the most important thing is to be careful not to stir the bottom of the pot (or casserole), as all the grounds will have settled there. Use the ladle as many times as necessary until all the coffee has been filtered.

Once prepared, you can drink the coffee immediately. Or, if you need it, you can reserve it and keep it warm in another pan over low heat (very important: do not heat it too much because it cannot boil!).

Do you still have any doubts? To clear up any doubts, we suggest you watch this video that explains graphically how to prepare clay pot coffee:

The resulting pot coffee will be a coffee with an intense, aromatic taste (if spices have been used) and with a low concentration of caffeine, mainly if a raw material of the Arabica variety has been used.

Related: How to prepare boiled coffee