In DS9, Trials and Tribble-ations, Odo says that raktajino is a 'Klingon coffee'.

My question is: is raktajino made from a Klingon native plant species or substance that is similar but not related to to the Earth fruit we call coffee (and also contains caffeine: see What gives Raktajino its kick?) or did Klingons take, as they did with Shakespeare, the Earth plant Coffea arabica (or similar) and adapt it to make their own variety of the beverage we know as coffee?

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    Everyone knows that that Earth version of ratkajino, "coffee", is just a ripoff perpetrated by envious, weak, pathetic Terrans.
    – Spencer
    Jun 3 at 15:07
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    It's a combination of the Earth drink coffee with a Klingon drink called "rak'taj". The Klingons invented it, so technically it's a Klingon drink.
    – Omegacron
    Jun 3 at 15:42

1 Answer 1


This is answered in Klingon for the Galactic Traveler by Marc Okrand. (Marc invented modern Klingon.)

Though not native to the Empire, Klingons have developed a way to make coffee (qa'vIn) (caffiene?) particularly strong, both in flavor and in its effect as a stimulant, and it is a very popular beverage.

As a rule, coffee is consumed plain---that is, black---but some Klingons prefer to mix other ingredients in with the coffee. If some kind of HIq (liquor) is added to the coffee, the drink is called ra’taj. It is said that the drink was originally nicknamed ra’wI’ taj (commander's knife, suggestive of its potency), and that the name was shortened over time. This often repeated story cannot be confirmed. In any event, ra’taj became one of the few Klingon foods to become popular outside of the Empire, though in an altered form. Instead of containing liquor, as does the genuine Klingon ra’taj, the "export" version (which came to be pronounced raktaj in Federation Standard) consists of strong Klingon coffee plus a nutlike flavoring. Eventually, a new fashion developed---adding cream to the raktaj---and with this innovation came yet another name, raktajino, modeled after the name of another popular coffee drink, cappuccino. Raktajino is now served hot or iced, with or without extra cream, and with or without the rind of some fruit to add even more flavor. Though it is sometimes called Klingon coffee, it is quite different from both plain qa’vIn and the alcoholic ra’taj.

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    So, the Klingons imported Earth coffee, mixed it with alcohol, then re-exported a non-alcoholic version of it called "raktaj" that got mixed with milk to make the "raktajino"?
    – nick012000
    Jun 4 at 4:06

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