Food & Beverage Holiday Cook-off

Cafe de Olla

To me, being Mexican-American means eating complex meals on the holidays, surrounded by family, and talking about life and our favorite Mexico memories while we sip on a delicious mug full of Cafe de Olla.

This deliciously strong, sweet and cinnamon-y drink has been the center of countless conversations with my loved ones. I have sipped on it while my grandparents daydream with me about their childhood memories, their parents and how proud they would have been to have seen us build a life here in the States while still managing to hold onto the most special things Mexico has given us: family, love, memories, food and drinks. 

Making this drink is easier than many people think and the ingredient list is short so, if you would like to talk about life, love and memories with your loved ones this holiday season, this might be the perfect drink to warm up your palms and keep the conversation going.


  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Mexican whole stick cinnamon
  • Piloncillo (sugar will do but this is a block of cane sugar that is sure to give your Cafe de Olla a unique flavor profile)


  • Place however many cups of water you want in a pot and place a stick of Mexican cinnamon in it. Heat on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, depending on the amount of water you are choosing to boil.

  • Let the coffee, cinnamon and water come to its boiling point then add piloncillo or sugar to taste.

  • Once the piloncillo or sugar is in, leave on medium-high for 3-5 minutes. Once the time is up, lower the heat to medium/medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the 15-20 minutes are up, take your coffee off the heat and set aside to cool for a couple minutes.
  • Strain into a mug (or a taza de barro like me), and enjoy your delicious cup of coffee! 
    • If you need to add some creamer, add a bit of a hazelnut or original flavor creamer and drink up!

I hope this coffee warms you up like its warmed the hearts of my loved ones for generations and generations!

Please leave us a comment to let us know if you tried this classic Mexican Cafe de Olla.

Culture & Student Life

College: Education Is Not One Size Fits All

This episode has been published and can be heard everywhere your podcast is available.

In this episode of the VC Social podcast series we are discussing the American college experience, the options we have when it comes to school and what we think college should look like in 2021. This honest conversation amongst classmates will have you questioning… Is everything we’re doing really necessary in today’s professional landscape?

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Twitter: @vcsocialbrand 

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College: Education Is Not One Size Fits All VC Social

Culture & Student Life

We Probably Need to Destress

As college students, we are pulled in 50 different directions. We are either students, students/employees or possibly even students/employees/parents. The more you add to your plate, the less time you have to take a breather and relax.

So… when life gives you a break, what do you do with it? Do you stress yourself out about everything you have coming up? Do you take that break and use it to destress?

Stress is known for its negative effects on the body and the mind and yet here we are, as students, dealing with stress constantly. We weigh out the factors of taking or not taking that hour/two-hour break. We feel guilty if we don’t do something well enough and we beat ourselves up over how much, or how little, we get done. Should we be doing something else with the break we ruin with our stress?

If you resonate with the above, you probably need to destress. Here are five ways to “destress”:

  • Create and/ listen to a good playlist 
    • (Need a recommendation? Click here.)
  • Pick up a new hobby
    • Roller-skating
    • Painting
    • Cooking
  • Try out a local cafe or restaurant
    • (Check out some of our VC Social favorites here.)
  • Check out some of Ventura County’s attractions
  • Watch a new TV show