MOSCOW – Russia is definitely not famous for being a coffee country. Most coffee terms come from Italy, like latte or cappuccino. Japan is known for inventing pour-over brewing. And so on. Nevertheless, there is a drink based on coffee that actually was invented in Russia – raf coffee.
It was created around 1996-1997 in Coffee Bean, the first coffee shop in Moscow. Coffee Bean started as a store that sold coffee beans and offered its customers an opportunity to try coffee they were going to buy.
Once a regular customer asked the baristas to make something special for him. They created a coffee drink with cream and vanilla sugar. The customer’s name was Rafael, so the drink was named after him.
The main feature of raf coffee is that cream is whipped together with espresso and sugar, so the drink becomes thick and tender. Extra ingredients include syrups, milk, brandy, caramel, chocolate, etc. Raf coffee is usually served in cappuccino or latte cups.
Raf coffee is one of the ambivalent and disputable drinks. On the one hand, it does not support the philosophy of coffee as a berry and is more like a dessert. On the other hand, it develops the idea of a coffee shop that is cosy, welcoming and ready to be individual.