Kaffe is a non-alcoholic drink, prepared from the leaf-seeds of the kaffe vine, an equatorial Thessian plant which has been transplanted to many asari worlds. Although the plant is relatively hardy, the environmental conditions in which it grows have a significant effect on the flavour of the kaffe produced from it. Certain favoured blends of kaffe can fetch high prices on galactic markets, although the particular flavours considered desirable can change radically over time, as various blends come in and out of fashion; blends originating in the Thessian city state of Dassus, however, are reliably considered among the best, regardless of whatever other trends may be in force.
The drink is traditionally served hot, in shallow sipping bowls - it is characteristic of kaffe prepared in the traditional manner that it will hold its heat long enough to be drunk leisurely in such a fashion, whereas modern mass-produced blends, or mechanically prepared kaffe, struggles to duplicate this property, and is often drunk out of mugs instead.
Although not an element of any asari rituals of particular spiritual importance, kaffe has long held a key place in casual social rituals, especially in Tescani. Offering kaffe is a widely used gesture of welcome when an asari has guests in her home, while sharing a single bowl is a common expression of friendship. By virtue of being non-alcoholic, kaffe is often the drink of choice in workplaces, where it is shared in both work-related meetings and social encounters.
In recent times kaffe has gained a small following among human coffee drinkers, although the reverse has not occurred - although not unpleasant, the difference between the species' senses of taste tends to render coffee, even strong blends, quite bland to asari drinkers. Humans tend to describe kaffe as a mix of coffee and drinking chocolate.
- Despite in-character protestations to the contrary, kaffe is simply asari-fied coffee in its uses and place in social rituals; "kaffe" translates to coffee in both Danish and Swedish.
- Page image of bowl by Greg Daly, Bemboka Gallery .