Want to know what Raf coffee is?
We will tell you all about this drink that came from Russia.
You will learn not only how this Russian coffee was invented but also how you can prepare it at home without an espresso machine.
Let's take a look.
What Is Raf Coffee?
Raf coffee is made from 3 main ingredients: espresso, cream, and vanilla sugar.
All three ingredients are whipped together in an espresso steaming pitcher. The result is a warm, sweet, creamy drink with a porous, soft texture.
Many coffee shops serve variations of this drink.
Baristas sometimes use syrups to add flavors like citrus, lavender, crème brûlée, salted caramel, and more.
How Russian Coffee Appeared
There are several stories about how Raf coffee came to be. We'll tell you one story.
In the late 1990s, there was a coffee shop in Moscow called Coffee Bean.
A group of friends went there regularly.
One young man was very difficult to please. He didn't like the coffee they made there.
His name was Rafael, or Raf for short.
The coffee shop employees tried to come up with a drink Raf would like.
The tried blending drip coffee, cream, and vanilla sugar. At some point, they added espresso instead of drip coffee.
When cream is added to a large cup of hot drip coffee, the temperature doesn't change much. But when cream is added to espresso, it cools the drink down, so the creation had to be warmed back up.
The employees decided to warm it with the espresso machine's steam wand. They also realized they could use a mix of regular and vanilla sugar instead of just vanilla sugar.
When Raf came in one day, the baristas at the Coffee Bean were preparing this new drink for him.
He loved it, and so did his friends. They started asking for a coffee "like for Raf" every time they came in.
Eventually, one of the baristas added the drink to the menu and called it Raf coffee.
No one could have thought that in 20 years Raf coffee would be one of the most popular Russian coffee drinks.
What's the Difference between Raf Coffee, a Cappuccino, and a Latte?
Two things distinguish Raf coffee from classic lattes and cappuccinos.
Milk is used to make a latte or cappuccino, but cream is used to make Raf coffee. The fat content of the cream should not be over 15%.
Also, milk is steamed and frothed separately from espresso and is then added to espresso to make lattes and cappuccinos; all the ingredients are steamed and frothed at the same time to make Raf coffee.
Because cream has a higher fat content than milk, the calorie content of Raf coffee is much higher.
How to Make Raf Coffee
You will need:
- One shot of espresso — 1 fl oz (30 ml)
- Cream (10-11% fat) — 7.5 fl oz (220 ml)
- Vanilla sugar — 1 teaspoon
- Cane sugar — 1 teaspoon
If two teaspoons of sugar is too much for you, add just half a teaspoon of each of the two types of sugar.
Next, steam and froth all the ingredients in a pitcher until smooth. The mix should be similar in texture to melted ice cream.
Pour into a cup and enjoy!
You can even top the drink with a pinch of cocoa.
How to Make Raf Coffee without an Espresso Machine
If you don't have an espresso machine at hand, here's how you can prepare this Russian coffee:
- Brew strong, concentrated coffee in a Turkish cezve, an AeroPress, or a Moka pot.
- Mix cream and sugar in a pot or other container and heat to 140-150°F (60-65°C). It should be hot, but not too hot that you can't touch the container.
- Combine the coffee and the cream-sugar mixture and whisk. It's great to do this in a French press because you can use the plunger.