'Russiano' coffee joke sparks online humour

Dmitry Medvedev drinking from a coffee cup Image copyright SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption "Fancy a politically charged, patriotically named beverage?"

A light-hearted suggestion by Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev that Americano coffee should be renamed has sparked a comical response online.

Mr Medvedev was attending an intergovernmental meeting in Moscow when he remarked that someone else at the table had asked for an Americano, adding: "Actually, this is not politically correct at all. Let's rename Americano." A member of the Armenian delegation then piped up with a chuckle: "Russiano".

Some reports didn't make clear the jokey nature of the exchange, and the RIA Novosti news agency said Mr Medvedev himself had suggested the name Russiano. The TJournal website later shared a video of the meeting which clarified who said what, and that it didn't appear to be a serious suggestion.

Nevertheless, social media users didn't miss an opportunity to poke fun at the idea. "A simple recipe for the Russiano coffee - 250g of vodka," reads one tweet.

Another user reimagines how the conversation went: "'Given the futility of existence and the difficulty of the current situation, I suggest renaming espresso as depresso,' Dmitry Medvedev said - and then burst into tears."

Some ponder how US President-elect Donald Trump would react. "Make Americano Great Again!" one tweet reads alongside a photo of Mr Trump with a coffee. There's also a suggestion that a cappuccino could become a "caputtino" in honour of the Russian president.

A cafe in Moscow took the idea and ran with it, offering a Caffe Russiano for 39 roubles, less than half the cost of an Americano, the Lenta news website says.

In 2014, some Crimean coffee shops decided to rebrand the Americano after US criticism of Russia's annexation of the peninsula. And French fries were famously renamed "freedom fries" by some in the US after France opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Cafeterias in the US House of Representatives served up non-French fries for three years, and also renamed French toast as "freedom toast".

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