One day an African and an Ukrainian walked into a cafe and asked the local barista for one African coffee and one Ukrainian coffee. The barista said “What ?…”. Got ya ! OK ! this isn’t a story about an African and a Ukrainian drinking coffee at a cafe, but just my catchy title for two coffee recipes for you try.
First up, for the African coffee, I am assuming that you know how to make good French Press coffee, that should be fairly strong, made ideally with African arabica coffee beans like from Kenyan Peaberry, Tanzanian Mocca or Ethiopian Sidamo. Second, I am assuming that you know what evaporated milk is – for those of you who don’t know, then you haven’t been to Africa then. Basically, because traditionally it is hard to store what we in Europe or America call fresh milk in refrigerated conditions, evaporated milk or “tinned milk” is what you will find easily in Africa. It is a concoction devised from boiling about 1 litre of milk until it reduces by half until a thick yellow, syrupy and creamy texture exists. This milk is a bit similar to double cream but is richer and much sweeter. However, it is lovely with coffee or tea and in most of Africa the joke is “are you having coffee or tea with your milk” because people tend to pour quite a bit of it into their coffee. Ironically, this milk, which comes in a small tin (160ml), is made primarily in two Western countries, the Netherlands, who make Peak evaporated milk and the USA, who make Carnation evaporated milk, so it won’t be hard for you to find it in your regular supermarket, as sometimes it can be used to make toffee. So, with the absence of milk frothing devices and thick fresh double cream and you still want milky coffee in the morning, this is it if you are in Africa and I must say up front, it is more popular in West Africa.
It produces a rich taste, but try it when you want to spoil yourself as it is quite rich.
For the Ukrainian coffee, I cannot take credit for this concoction as one of my colleagues, who is from Ukraine told me about this recipe, which apparently is drunk very regularly in Ukraine. A word of warning, it is quite strong and perhaps after I tasted it for the first time, I can understand why they might drink this type of coffee in a cold environment. It’s actually very simple and probably falls into an idea rather than a recipe. Again, just make good French Press coffee, but before pouring the coffee in, place one bit of slighty broken minty chocolate at the bottom of the cup like “After Eight”. You may need to break it gently, so that the white minty bit inside the dark chocolate sheet just oozes out.
After that just pour the coffee inside and enjoy. It is quite strong and a small cup might suffice.