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Vampire Coffee: What to drink when you're reading about blood drinkers

Updated: Jan 18

(Relax, it's not blood)



As I researched this post, I knew I had to choose literary vampires. This is a reading culture digest, not the Youtubes or wherever the kids get their trailers these days.

And while some of the best vampires have been adapted for the screen, some originated for the screen and later became comic books. Lucky for you, I've decide that comic books loosely count as literature. (If my kid says there's too much reading, it's a book. Period.)


I hear you asking:


You: But Christian, with thousands of vampire books out there, can't you just pick from those?


Me: No.


So, here we are! I've selected my favorite 'literary' vamps, and painstakingly researched the multitude of coffee drinks available at the finest craft coffee joints to provide you this connoisseur's pairing menu. And if you disagree, pretend this is a five-star restaurant and keep it to yourself.


Now, in no particular order:

Oh, and heads up. I'm not technically allowed to use photos from books or the films without dropping half a grand each, but you'll get to enjoy all my lovely coffee artwork, for free. Hear that, Getty Images? FREE.

1. Bill Compton, The Americano
  • 1 shot of espresso

  • 3 oz. of hot water

  • 1 copy of Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Nothing more American than Louisiana good boy, Bill Compton. Well, maybe he's not a good boy, but he's definitely the Captain America of this list. With so much diversity in the vampire trope, Bill's creator, Charlaine Harris, has created a truly American legacy with her 13-novel series, Dead Until Dark, the inspiration for HBO's True Blood. And just like watered down espresso, that Compton southern charm enhances the flavor without sacrificing the punch. Congrats, Bill.


2. Dracula, The Cappuccino
  • 1-2 shots of espresso

  • 2 oz. of steamed milk

  • 2 oz. of foamed milk

  • sprinkle of chocolate powder

  • 1 copy of Dracula by Bram Stoker

Maybe Bram Stoker's Dracula wasn't the first fictional vampire to deliver unto us these intoxicating immortals, but much like the cappuccino, he's arguably the most imfamous, the original head baller and shot caller. One of the few cases where the film does it as well as the book, I almost don't care how you experience the father of all vamps as long as you do it! And while most people don't think about the chocolate dusting on Dracula's white, foamy head, it's still bittersweet and beautiful all the way to the end. Go ahead, take a sip. Fall in love for eternity.


3. Spike, The Cafe au Lait
  • 5 oz. of French press coffee

  • 5 oz. of scalded milk

  • 1 copy of Spike and Dru by Peter David

While Spike's presence in the Buffy novels is never quite as powerful as his presence on screen (at least not for me), this is a vampire with body and complexity. From a one-dimensional big bad to the comic relief to a truly tortured antihero, Spike might be one of my favorite vampires of all time. At first he has all the appearance of large cappuccino. You think you know what you're getting, but there's something underneath that just begs you to ask... what's going on here? Soon, you want more and more and more. And like Buffy, you know he's bad for you, but you just can't help yourself.


4. Damon Salvatore, The Irish Coffee
  • 1 shot of espresso

  • Scotch to the rim (or 1 shot, you do you)

  • 1 copy of The Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith

Any fan of The Vampire Diaries saw this coming. If you could drop thousand dollar scotch in your joe without a single repercussion, you'd probably do it. A lot. (And even if you regularly drunk dial the doppelganger of your greatest love leading to a serious amount of emotional regret, you'd probably still do it). Good for when you're feeling cranky and up for a fight, pretty much all the stereotypes line up on this one. Can't remember if Damon actually drank coffee in the books. Admittedly that seems more like his brother's territory... but if he did, it was definitely Irish.


5. Eli, The Flat White
  • 1 shot of espresso

  • 4 oz. of steamed milk

  • 1 copy of Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Of all our pairings, this one is the most self-serving. My favorite vampire novel for my favorite coffee. If you loved Let the Right One In, the movie (Swedish version only!), because it was creepy and weird and totally arthouse, then definitely read the book. It is far more complex than you can imagine, and I argue considerably more vivid. The character of both changes drastically when you change a single detail. Change the bean to light roast, and you become 'aware' of the coffee. Change Eli to a castrated boy vamp, and you get uber introspective, uber fast. Vampire stories are often extremely existential, but Eli's story deals with the cruelty of the real world, of love, friendship, and obsession. And if you read at night - definitely have your flat white with you. You'll want to stay awake to the finish.


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6. Akasha, The Iced Coffee
  • 2 oz. of drip coffee or shot of espresso

  • 4 oz. of ice

  • 4-6 oz. of milk

  • 1 copy of The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice

Old world meet new with this seductively powerful vampire who is cold as ice. Mother of all vampires, pure as the days when I read it as a teenager (read into that all you want), I'll admit The Queen of the Damned doesn't have as much in common with iced coffee as I'd like for this post. But the marble smooth consistency does feel good on a hot day. But like many of our winners, Akasha should be enjoyed in moderation. She's so seductively easy, you won't realize you're in trouble until it's too late.


7. Carmilla, The Macchiato
  • 2 oz. of drip coffee or shot of espresso

  • 4 oz. of ice

  • 4-6 oz. of milk

  • 1 copy of Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Once again, women don't get the credit they deserve. Carmilla predated old Count Vlad by 26 years. Although written by a man (eye roll), Carmilla is identified by many as the first lesbian vampire, though in the book, this distinction is subtle. Like the difference between a macchiato and a cappuccino. Until you try it, and realize the former is considerably stronger than the latter. Nothing to be mad at here. But let's not let this vampire's romantic leanings to overshadow her presence as a powerful predator and progenitor.


8. Edward Cullen, The Affogato
  • 1-2 shots of espresso

  • 1 scoop of gelato

  • 1 copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

I think you can do the math on this one. For the record, I'm hilarious.



9. Lestat De Lioncourt, The Breve
  • 1 shot of espresso

  • 3 oz. of steamed half-and-half

  • 1 oz. of steamed milk

  • 1 cm of foam

  • 1 copy of The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

No drip for this guy. When you've got a vampire that redefines himself with every age, he's got to pair with a real character-builder. A minor noble, a rock star, a perpetual seeker of knowledge and the meaning of it all, The Vampire Lestat, more than any other Anne Rice novel, slots in as THE to-be-beaten modern twist on the classic trope. This variant is creamy, smooth, and dangerously addictive.


10. Blade, The Black Eye
  • 2 shots of espresso

  • 6 oz. of drip coffee

  • 1 copy of The Tomb of Dracula #10 (1973) by Marc Wolfman

This is a match made in a very dark kind of heaven, right here. When you pair the baddest ass of all vamps with the strongest cup of coffee on the planet, you have a day walker's power brew. You can stay awake for five days on one cup, and Blade definitely has. When you've got all of a vampire's powers and almost none of their weaknesses, you need to stay alert. And if all you get from the experience is a black eye, consider yourself lucky.


Hey, no matter what you think of coffee, make sure you check out the books on this list. These are top-notch titles and definitely worth your time. (Mostly). Not much point of talking about books if we're not going to read them.


And remember to drink responsibly. (Damon Salvatore, I'm looking at you).

Christian Andreo is an author of Young Adult novels spanning contemporary fiction, science fiction, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. You can find his books on Amazon.


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