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Authentic Raf Coffee (Russian Coffee) Recipe

raf coffee frothy espresso with cookies

Creamy, rich, and frothy: this Russian coffee drink has a lot going on. It comes together in minutes and has an amazing texture. Did we mention the addition of vanilla sugar, which is exactly as delicious as it sounds?

Keep reading to learn all about Raf coffee, including how to make it, where it comes from, and a few brewing tips, too. Trust us: you’ll want to try this drink!

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What is Raf Coffee?

According to legend, this drink originated when a man named Rafael walked into a Russian cafe in search of something new. The barista whipped up a combination of espresso, vanilla sugar, and cream, named it after the customer, and the rest is history!

A Raf coffee, also called a Russian coffee, is a mixture of espresso, cream, and vanilla sugar combined using a steam wand. The result is a creamy, thick drink with a texture something like melting ice cream. It’s sweet, rich, and with just enough espresso flavor.

raf coffee frothy espresso with cookies

Creamy Raf Coffee (Russian Coffee)

Whether or not you like the taste of espresso, you’ll probably love Raf coffee! This creamy, sweet drink is also called Russian coffee, and it has an unusual, frothy texture that might remind you of ice cream. Get ready for a tasty, unusual treat!
5 star average
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Russian
Servings 1 drink(s)
Calories 170 kcal


  • Espresso machine
  • Steam wand
  • Steaming pitcher or small bowl


  • 1 shot espresso
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 4 ounces cream


  • Pull your shot of espresso using your espresso machine, portable espresso maker, or Moka pot.
  • In a pitcher or small bowl, combine the espresso, cream, and vanilla sugar.
  • Use your steam wand to blend the ingredients. Keep steaming until you have a thick, frothy texture.
  • Pour the Raf coffee into a cup and enjoy it! If you’d like, you can sprinkle it with a little more vanilla sugar.


Calories: 170kcal
Keyword Raf coffee, Russian coffee

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Raf Coffee Recipe Tips & Variations

Wondering what vanilla sugar is or how to choose the best cream? Here are our handy brewing tips and flavor suggestions!

Vanilla Sugar

Vanilla sugar is regular white sugar infused with whole vanilla beans. You can often find it in the baking aisle at your local grocery store, or you can look for vanilla sugar online. Another option is to make your vanilla sugar at home. Pour white sugar into a jar and add a whole vanilla bean, scraping the seeds out first. Close the jar and let it sit for one to two weeks. Then enjoy your vanilla-infused sugar!

whole vanilla beans
Image Credit: Jocelyn Morales, Unsplash


We like to use half-and-half for this recipe. Half milk and half heavy cream, this type of cream is around 15% fat, which blends nicely into the Raf coffee. But you can substitute heavy cream or milk if you’d like. Just keep in mind that the texture will change!

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Wrapping Up

That is all, folks! It’s time to enjoy your Raf Russian coffee. This drink is frothy, rich, and truly irresistible. It is fast to make and oh-so-delicious. So what are you waiting for? We hope you enjoy this unique recipe.


Featured Image Credit: Giovanni Del Curto, Shutterstock


Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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