So I basically think that coffee is the elixir of life. If my stomach would allow it, I would start drinking coffee when I wake up and drink it throughout the day, ignoring lesser beverages. At about 5 I would switch to wine. More blogs about wine in Israel to come, because there is a lot to talk about on that topic.
But coffee in Israel can be a tricky thing. See, Americans drink drip coffee, which is ground beans that hot water has been filtered through. Think of the ubiquitous 7/11 carafe. In Israel, they don’t know what this is.
So you wake up your first morning in Israel and go to wherever you happen to be having breakfast, which weirdly enough, includes a salad. And you order coffee - only to be served something not coffee. Coffee in Israel means “turkish coffee” which is actually ground coffee in hot water that is unfiltered. So it’s coffee with a bunch of grinds floating around in it. People will tell you that the grinds sink to the bottom, but they lie.
So next you try to order a drip coffee and you describe what you want. And even if you can speak Hebrew, there is a communication breakdown that happens here. Because they will bring you instant coffee. Instant coffee is not really fit for humans to drink. So now you want to get your day started and still haven’t had a cup of coffee.
There is only one way out and it’s called a latte. Despite the fact that Lattes are something that I only drink occasionally at home, in Israel, I’m pounding 3 a day. Here is how to order it in Israel:
“Cafe Hafuch” This is a latte. “Hafuch” means “upside down” or “opposite” in Hebrew. A latte is called this because it’s all milk and a little shot of coffee instead of a little milk in the coffee.
“Dal Shuman” This means “non fat”. Don’t worry if they mock you. In Israel, much like in Europe, people don’t really go in for low-fat or non-fat. And not every coffee shop will even have non fat milk. for real. But the bigger ones that cater to tourists will.
“Lakachat” This is how you order your coffee “to-go”. You don’t see people running down the street in Israel with paper coffee cups like you do in America. Israelis will sit with a friend over coffee and a little “aruchat eser” (10 o’clock snack break). But it’s a busy day and there’s lots to see and do so and I need the coffee to do it.
Forget about Iced Coffee. That’s another tale of woe entirely.