How to Make RAF Coffee: A Rich Russian Coffee Recipe

I've always been fascinated by the rich variety of coffee recipes from around the world, and today, I'm thrilled to share a gem from Russia: RAF Coffee. This luxurious, creamy concoction is a must-try for any coffee enthusiast looking to elevate their home brewing experience.

Crafting RAF Coffee at home is simpler than you might think and offers a delightful alternative to your usual coffee shop visits. With just a few ingredients and a couple of steps, you'll be sipping on a velvety smooth coffee that's both comforting and sophisticated. Let's dive into how you can create this Russian delicacy in your own kitchen.

What is RAF Coffee?

Sometimes, stumbling upon a unique coffee recipe feels like discovering a hidden gem. That's exactly what RAF Coffee is to me. Originating from the bustling coffee scene of Russia, RAF Coffee is a true delight for anyone looking to spice up their coffee routine. It's not just a drink; it's an experience that combines the robust flavours of coffee with the creamy richness of textured cream, all sweetened to perfection.

What sets RAF Coffee apart is its luxurious texture and sophisticated taste. It involves steaming together cream, vanilla sugar, and espresso to create a velvety smooth concoction that's both comforting and indulgent. The process might sound a bit daunting at first, but trust me, it's easier to whip up than you'd think. Here's how I do it:

RAF Coffee Recipe


  1. Start by brewing your espresso. If you don’t have an espresso machine, a strong coffee will do just fine.
  2. In a saucepan, gently heat the heavy cream. Be careful not to boil it.
  3. Add the vanilla sugar to the cream and stir until fully dissolved.
  4. Combine the espresso and the sweetened cream in a steamer jug.
  5. Use a coffee machine steamer to steam the mixture until it's warm and frothy. This is where the magic happens – creating that signature RAF texture.
  6. Pour the frothy coffee mix into a pre-warmed cup.

Voilà! You've just made yourself a cup of luxurious RAF Coffee. Each sip brings out a smooth and creamy texture, with just the right balance of coffee and sweetness.

Origins of RAF Coffee

Discovering the roots of RAF Coffee took me on an intriguing journey back to the late 1990s in Moscow, Russia. It's fascinating how this luxurious beverage evolved from a mere experiment in a bustling Moscow cafe to a cherished recipe in the world of coffee enthusiasts.

This extraordinary coffee blend was named RAF Coffee after a regular customer at the Coffee Bean cafe. The story goes that this customer, akin to a gust of fresh air, would always request something unique with his coffee. The baristas, eager to please, started experimenting, leading to the birth of this creamy concoction.

The ingredients for RAF Coffee, namely espresso, cream, and vanilla sugar, were not randomly chosen. They represent the fusion of robust coffee and creamy sweetness, turning a simple drink into a moment of indulgence. It didn't take long for RAF Coffee to become a staple in the Russian coffee scene, eventually gaining popularity beyond its borders.

What sets RAF Coffee apart is not just its ingredients but the method of preparation. The key lies in how the cream, vanilla sugar, and espresso are blended together. Unlike traditional coffee drinks, RAF Coffee's preparation uses the steam wand of an espresso machine to create a perfectly heated and emulsified blend. This process ensures the coffee’s bold flavors meld seamlessly with the creamy sweetness, creating a velvety texture that's hard to replicate.

Understanding its origins has made me appreciate the innovation behind RAF Coffee even more. It's a testament to creativity and the endless possibilities within the world of coffee. Whether I'm sipping on this luxurious blend in the comfort of my home or exploring its roots in the bustling cafes of Moscow, RAF Coffee remains a delightful treat that transports me back to its rich Russian heritage.

Ingredients for RAF Coffee

After diving deep into the rich history and unique preparation method of RAF Coffee, it's clear why this Russian speciality has captured the hearts of coffee lovers worldwide. Now, I'm pretty excited to share how you can create this indulgent beverage in the comfort of your own kitchen. The secret to its luxurious texture and delightful taste lies in its simple, yet precise ingredients and how they're combined. So, let's break it down.

To craft your own RAF Coffee, you'll need the following ingredients:

  1. Prepare the Espresso: Start by brewing your 30 ml of espresso. Aim for a strong, rich shot to ensure that your coffee stands out.
  2. Heat and Froth the Cream: Pour the heavy cream into a frothing pitcher. Add the vanilla sugar. If you're using an espresso machine, use the steam wand to heat the mixture until it's hot and frothy. This shouldn't take more than a minute. For those without a steam wand, gently heating the mixture while whisking vigorously over a stovetop can achieve a similar frothy texture.
  3. Combine and Enjoy: Pour the frothy cream mixture into your freshly brewed espresso. Stir gently to blend the flavours.

The beauty of RAF Coffee lies in its simplicity and the harmony between the espresso, cream, and vanilla sugar. By following these steps, you'll be able to experience a bit of Moscow's coffee culture right in your cup. Plus, there's always room to tweak the recipe to your liking, whether it's adjusting the sweetness or experimenting with different types of cream.

Step-by-Step Guide to Make RAF Coffee

Creating RAF Coffee might seem like a delicate process, but I've broken it down into simple, easy-to-follow steps. Whether you're a seasoned barista or new to the coffee scene, you'll find making this Russian speciality both rewarding and straightforward. Let's dive in.


Before we start, ensure you have these ingredients ready:

Equipment Needed

You'll also need:

  1. Prepare Your Espresso
    Start by brewing a strong double shot of espresso. This will be the base of your RAF Coffee, providing a rich and robust flavour. Pour the espresso into your cup or glass, making sure it's large enough to accommodate the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Heat and Froth the Cream
    Next, pour the heavy cream into a small saucepan and add the vanilla sugar. Heat the mixture over a medium flame, stirring continuously until the sugar is fully dissolved and the cream is just about to simmer – don't let it boil. If you have a steam wand, you can froth the cream directly in a pitcher until it's warm and has a slight foam on top.
  3. Combine and Serve
    Slowly pour the heated, sweetened cream into the cup with the espresso. Use a spoon if needed to help guide the cream and create a smooth, uniform texture. The goal is for the cream to blend perfectly with the espresso, creating a velvety, rich beverage that's characteristic of RAF Coffee.
  4. Personalise Your Cup
    Here's where you can get creative. Some like their RAF Coffee sweeter, while others prefer it with a lighter cream. Adjust the vanilla sugar or the quantity of cream based on your preference. You can also experiment with flavored syrups or spices like cinnamon for a unique twist.

By following these steps, you'll craft a delightful cup of RAF Coffee that not only pays homage to its Moscow origins but also suits your individual taste. Remember, the beauty of making coffee at home is the freedom to tweak and personalise your brew until it’s just right for you.

Enjoying Your RAF Coffee

Once I've mastered making RAF coffee, I find that the real joy is in the sipping. Here's how I make each sip of this rich, creamy beverage a memorable experience.

First, I always ensure my RAF coffee is served at the perfect temperature. It should be hot, but not scorching, allowing the flavours of espresso mingled with vanilla to shine through without burning my tongue. The ideal serving temperature for RAF coffee, I've found, is around 60-65°C. This temperature range really helps in enhancing the overall experience by highlighting the creamy texture and robust espresso base.

To truly appreciate the nuances of RAF coffee, I take a moment to inhale its aroma before taking the first sip. The scent of freshly brewed espresso combined with the sweetness of vanilla and the richness of cream is intoxicating. It sets the stage for the delight that is about to follow.

Here's my method for creating that perfect cup:

  1. Brew a strong espresso - The base of RAF Coffee needs to be robust and full-bodied.
  2. Heat and froth the cream - Mix heavy cream with a teaspoon of vanilla sugar. Heat gently, then froth to soft peaks. This step is crucial for achieving the velvety texture that RAF coffee is famous for.
  3. Combine and stir - Gently pour the frothed cream into the espresso, stirring slowly to create a perfect blend.

Remember, personalising your RAF coffee is the key to maximum enjoyment. Don't be afraid to tweak the amount of vanilla sugar based on your sweetness preference. Some days I prefer mine a bit sweeter, and others, I let the espresso's natural bitterness take the lead. Experimenting with different brands and blends of espresso can also lead to delightful discoveries.

Lastly, I take my time when drinking RAF coffee. I don't rush this indulgence. I let each sip linger, appreciating the craft and ingredients that went into making this special beverage.


Crafting the perfect RAF coffee is more than just following a recipe; it's an art form that invites personalisation and creativity. I've shared the essence of making this luxurious beverage, highlighting the importance of temperature, aroma, and the joy of experimenting with flavours. Remember, the key to a sublime RAF coffee experience lies in taking the time to appreciate the nuances of taste and texture. So next time you're in the mood for a coffee that's a cut above the rest, give this recipe a go. Trust me, it's not just a drink; it's an indulgence that's well worth the effort.

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