Crimean Political Correctness Turns Caffe Americano Into Cafe Rossiano

Amid U.S. criticism of Moscow's meddling in Ukraine, some patriotic coffee vendors in Crimea have decided to rebrand the popular Americano coffee drink to the more politically appropriate Rossiano or Crimean.

One coffee shop in the Crimean capital of Simferopol put up a sign saying it would no longer be serving Caffe Americanos "in connection with the unstable geopolitical situation" and advised customers to instead ask for a "Krymsky" (Crimean) coffee, local news site 0652 reported.

Meanwhile, in the Black Sea resort of Koktebel, a coffee vending machine tag for Caffe Americano has been replaced with a handwritten label for "Rossiano," Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

An Americano — or now Rossiano, for those in Crimea — is espresso diluted with hot water, a style that aims accommodate the American preference for drip coffee.

The name changes prompted a series of jokes on Russia's social networks, with some Twitter users quipping that Johnnie Walker whiskey should be rebranded as "Ivan Runner" and that fast-food vendors should replace the Cyrillic transliteration of hot dog with a Russian phrase meaning "warmed-up mongrel."

Earlier this year, activists in the far eastern region of Amur sent a petition to the local administration saying they were "deeply angered" by the name of a recently opened New York Pizzeria. The restaurant has been forced to change its name to Amur Bistro, Russian media reported.

Initially, a full-scale food war appeared to be brewing, as a patriotic sushi bar in Ukraine's Odessa filled its menu last weekend with rolls named “Glory to Ukraine,” “Fried Titushki” (Ukrainian slang for pro-Russian street thugs) and “Separatist with Fried Salmon,” Ukrainian media reported.

But the bar's online menu was amended to offer only apolitically named dishes as of Monday. No explanation for the rollback was offered.

Read more