An African and an Ukrainian

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.

Enjoy !


A Coffee Recipe – New Age Cappy

I haven’t really ventured into sharing any type of recipe on this blog yet, because I assume that all those visiting have read through the main website (wishful thinking) or are pros. So in order to stop embarrassing myself and having a barrage of criticism, which would be good for raising the profile of my blog, I’ve avoided this, of course until now, so I’m taking the plunge from this day forth…. wish me luck.

In most cafes, whenever you get served a cappuccino there is always a tendency to sprinkle chocolate powder on top of an exaggerated dense air foam. However, in the top cafes, where they know what they are doing, they avoid these type of gimmicks and just give you the real stuff, espresso and well frothed milk, without heaps of foam. So one day I was thinking, if I had a cafe (one of my dreams) and wanted my customers to still get their kick of chocolate sprinkled cappuccino, how would I serve it. This may not be original, but then I thought, “I wonder if I sprinkle some chocolate powder on top of my espresso before I poured my micro-foam frothed milk on top” and so that is exactly what I did last Sunday, so here is what I call “New Age Cappy“.

New Age Cappy
New Age Cappy

New Age because it relates to serving coffee well and Cappy, well as a short trendy name for Cappuccino of course.

Step One: Make sure you extract a thick crema espresso, because when you sprinkle the hot chocolate powder on top, it will have to sit quite comfortable on top without a threat of falling through the crema cloud to the bottom of the cup.

Step Two: Froth your milk properly so that you have micro-foam qualities if not as soon as you pour the frothed milk on top, it will just move the chocolate powder away to the side of the cup with no real design to impress your friends…. hmmm ! Again, I am assuming that you have been practising milk frothing techniques for over two years like me or are a trained pro.

Step Three: Pour the frothed milk into the cup, tilting the cup slightly and making sure the beginning of the pour goes below the crema cloud, before finishing off over the top. I can’t show a picture of this, as I only have two hands and didn’t trust my daughter with my $750 camera, but I plan to do a short video on this God willing sometime in the future. What you should get in any case at the end, is nicely poured cappuccino but with the chocolate sprinkles sitting on top, meshed into the coffee and the frothed milk, so that every sip will end up being unique no less. The final version should look like the picture at the top, but just to give  you a closer look, see this one up close and personal.


New Age Cappy Close
New Age Cappy Close

You see, it wasn’t that difficult after all. I don’t have a patent on this, but if you try this after reading my blog, think of me and tell your customers about my blog – that will do.

Ciao and have nice weekend.

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