What Is Coffee Cheese (Kaffeost)?
Photo: Edith Zimmerman
I’m the use of the Wall Street Journal’s contemporary tale on butter espresso — often referred to as Bulletproof espresso, which has been widespread since 2012 — as an excuse to put in writing about some other carbohydrate-free espresso–dairy aggregate I’ve been fascinated by: kaffeost, or espresso cheese.
It’s espresso, with cheese. I got here throughout it previous this week in an understated, undated put up on Atlas Obscura.
A northern Scandinavian custom, kaffeost is a drink/meal during which cubes of cheese are launched right into a cup of espresso. They soak up it “like rich, moist cheese sponges,” in step with Atlas Obscura, and preferably it’s all served in a good looking mug carved out of a birch burl (a knobby tree expansion).
The cheese a part of kaffeost is known as leipäjuusto (or bread cheese) in Finland, and “Finnish Squeaky Cheese” within the United States — even supposing you’ll be able to additionally simply name it “bread cheese.” It’s strictly cheese (there is not any bread), however the thought is that it’s robust and soaks issues up in a breadlike manner. And whilst Scandinavian bread cheese is historically produced from reindeer milk, I discovered a cow’s-milk selection from Wisconsin, at Murray’s Cheese, a couple of blocks from the place of job. (Although you’ll be able to make bread cheese at house, too.)
The bread cheese I discovered — Carr Valley Bread Cheese — got here in a plastic-sealed brick, rather lower than a pound, and I peeled away the wrapper, bring to a halt a slice, and chopped it into cubes. It was once dense however gentle — halloumi-esque.
First I microwaved those cubes to check out the cheese by itself with out espresso (and since that’s what the packaging really helpful), and it was once unbelievable — like mozzarella blended with cheddar, however springier and sweeter. Then, for the true kaffeost, I sliced extra unmelted cubes off the block and into the ground of a mug, which I crowned with sizzling espresso. The cubes didn’t glide to the skin like I’d observed in some photos, but if I fished them out a minute later with a fork, they’d softened and had picked up a smoky, scrumptious espresso taste, whilst the espresso had in flip picked up a spherical, nutty, buttery taste. It was once like sizzling chocolate with marshmallows, except for with sizzling espresso and cheese.
I loved the entire enjoy and might be urgent kaffeost on my buddies sooner or later. I consider this cheese would make a just right vacation present: tasty, with a amusing and atypical ritual hooked up, which individuals can do in combination.