Afrikaans is such a beautifully descriptive language. What does the word “boeretroos” mean? “Boere” means “farmers” and “troos” translates to “comfort”. “Farmers’ comfort” is the perfect classification for coffee, made the Afrikaans way. But what exactly is boeretroos koffie and what makes it so comforting?
Hot, strong, milky and sweet. That’s how it’s done. There’s nothing like the revitalising smell of farmhouse coffee to lift your spirits, and that’s exactly what boeretroos koffie does. It’s a double team pick-me-up consisting of caffeine with a sugar rush – all the sweetness in the cup is provided by a heavy sugar spoon hand or a generous dollop of condensed milk.
Boeretroos koffie is so much more than just a caffeinated drink. It’s the best way to soften up the brick-like rusks that are a staple in Afrikaans kitchens, and most South Africans have strong memories of the simple pleasures of dipping a rusk or five into hot coffee on a cold winter’s morning. And it’s not just biscuits that we dipped into our boeretroos koffie, this was the best way to get dry, slightly stale bread or toast down.
Enjoyed all over the globe
Throughout history, coffee has been more than a drink. It’s a bean that brings people together, as they gather to share a cup of coffee and exchange gossip and information.
These days, we’re rediscovering the heritage in the coffee bean, and the sudden proliferation of artisanal coffee brewing houses is proof of the fact that people enjoy variety in their coffee, as well as the reassuring tastes of traditional ways of serving coffee, like the Afrikaans with their boeretroos. The Irish spike their coffee with whiskey (hence “Irish coffee”) and in Italy they’re fond of tiny cups of coffee – the espresso, which Italians drink all day long.
Interesting facts to read while you sip your boeretroos