The combination of coffee and cheese is called kaffeost, and according to Coffee or Die Magazine, the drink originated with the Sami people, the indigenous people of Arctic Europe, also known as Lapland. When coffee made its way to the region in the late 1700s, the Sámi, like the people of the South, fell in love with it. Since the Sami people were reindeer herders, cheese came to be used.
Koffeeost is made with juustoleipä, or bread cheese, originally made using reindeer milk. Because wheat was not a viable crop in the Arctic tundra and giustreipa had a consistency very similar to bread (because it was baked rather than aged), the Sámi made semi-soft cheese, a common ingredient in many cultures. I used it the same way I use bread, that is, as a container. Butter or honey, hence the name. Because no salt is added, Giustolepa cheese does not have the saltiness of cheddar. Instead, it’s a sweeter cheese, which can come as a surprise to first-time coffee drinkers, according to Coffee Affection.
So cheese and coffee crazy? of course not! I’m not putting moldy blue cheese in my coffee. Rather, Giustolepa is like adding marshmallows to his hot chocolate. According to Atlas Obscura, juustoleipä absorbs strong coffee without melting it, adds a layer of richness to the brewed coffee, and provides the drinker with a gooey mass of slightly sweet cheese. Today’s giustrepa is made from cow’s or goat’s milk, but the Cafe Osto experience remains a true Scandinavian ritual, successfully combining indigenous ingredients and strong coffee.