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Agua Panela con Queso Fresco at La Puerta Falsa (5617496209).jpg
A cup of Aguapanela with pandebono
Country of originAmericas
ColorBrown or chestnut
Usually a half block of a panela is added to water and boiled until it dissolves.

Aguapanela, agua de panela or agüepanela is a drink commonly found throughout South America and a few parts of Central America and Caribbean. Its literal translation means "panela water" as it is an infusion made from panela which is derived from hardened sugar cane juice.[1][2]

Though recipe variations exist throughout South America, it is most popular in Colombia, Venezuela and parts of Brazil where it is consumed as a tea as an alternative to coffee. Ecuador, Chile and Peru also offer slight variations. In Colombia, it is commonly drunk with a hint of lemon, much the way tea is consumed.


Aguapanela is made by adding pieces of panela to water and stirring until the pieces are entirely dissolved. The drink may be served hot or cold, with lemon or lime often being added.[3] In the hot form, sometimes milk or a chunk of cheese is added in place of fruit juice.

In Colombia, black coffee is often prepared with aguapanela instead of water and sugar.

In Costa Rica, panela is combined with hot water or milk to make agua dulce ("sweet water"), a common breakfast drink.[4][5]


Many claims have been made about the beneficial effects of aguapanela, based on beliefs such as having more vitamin C than orange juice or as many rehydrating minerals as Gatorade. Popular belief also considers it a helpful drink for the treatment of colds. Today, aguapanela has gone from being a blue-collar drink to one that can be found in upscale café boutiques in Colombia as a tea.

Canelazo is an alcoholic version of aguapanela with cinnamon and aguardiente added to it. Sugar is rubbed on the edges of the glass when served.


  1. ^ Ordóñez, Carlos (24 June 2006). "La aguapanela" (in Spanish). Semana.
  2. ^ Begg, Kirsten (12 March 2009). "Aguapanela: The Truth". Colombia Reports.
  3. ^ Aguapanela con limón
  4. ^ Stevens, Ashlie (2016-02-18). "6 Hot Breakfast Drinks From Around The World". Eater. Retrieved 2019-11-25.
  5. ^ D'Avanzo, Carolyn (2008). Mosby's Pocket Guide to Cultural Health Assessment - E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences. ISBN 978-0323086042. Retrieved 25 July 2018.