What’s the Deal with Coffee in Israel? Travel & a Twitter Discussion Fuel a Wordfilled Wednesday

Tuesday morning came and I published one of the blog posts I had worked up about my trip to Israel. It wasn’t too much longer before I got this tweet from my friend Katie Pinke (of Pinke Post fame):

And I replied with:

What followed was a rather funny series of tweets from several of us mentioned in that tweet, as well as others. Then @DadStreet tweeted the link to a blog post he had written about his quest for coffee in Israel. Seeing my assertion that while I’m not a coffee person, several of my friends found coffee during our trip elicited a question:

Here’s part of the blog post Josh wrote:

I am a coffee drinker. In fact, I might even say I have a problem. I’m drinking it the moment I wake up, some point during the day and then again at night. This is why what I’m about to tell you is so shocking and just plain ol’ wrong!

Are you sitting down? Do you have some coffee?

Go get some and come back…

Okay, are you ready?

PEOPLE, THERE IS NO COFFEE IN ISRAEL!!

Holy What The What?

via DadStreet — DadStreet Goes to Israel Part 3

Factors to Consider

As I looked at the difference in our perceptions, I had to wonder like Josh did whether we were in the same place. A few questions later, I found out he was visiting family whereas I was on a tour arranged for tourists/pilgrims. Granted a couple of hotels had in-room coffee machines, but that didn’t seem to be the explanation that really counted. So I think we should consider a few other things:

Vocabulary

Given the proclamation there was no coffee in Israel and my assertion that there was coffee, a few of our tweeps were surely confused. But reading a bit more of Josh’s post, I began to understand. “The closest they have to coffee is instant coffee sold in grocery stores. Yes, the have cappucino and espresso and those types of drinks but I’m talking good old fashioned coffee.” His definition of coffee and mine are different. He means a cup’o’joe and when I talk of coffee I mean it is something to drink that springs from coffee beans. Let me point out, I’m not saying I’m right (certainly not saying Josh is LOL) but with the travel I’ve been lucky enough to take, I have gotten used to people calling what diners in the US serve as “American Coffee” or “cafe Americano” or something similar.

Geography

I remember the first time I was served coffee that springs from the Middle East. It was in Turkey at an office where I was a guest. The coffee there was so strong, it almost knocked me out! I soon came to understand that really strong coffee is the way it was made in many countries. The beverage has its roots in Ethiopia and the Middle East, it seems that the way they serve it is really strong and in small amounts. Lunch our first day touring was in Jaffa and at the end of the meal, the coffee guy came out to pour for us. Cups are small with only a little coffee in it. Quite a few of our folks drank it & enjoyed it. BUT for those who are accustomed to US coffee only, it’s a rude awakening.

No Starbucks Coffee shop in Bethlehem

Our tour guide was quick to point out that despite the global presence of Starbucks, we should know that we wouldn’t be finding any franchises in Israel. Having seen Starbucks all over Beijjing, Kuala Lumpur, Italy, etc, I found that hard to believe. But he said the brand attempted to open stores in the country and they simply failed as people in this region prefer a different type of coffee. I have to admit to busting out laughing when we saw this little Stars & Bucks Cafe in Palestian territory! We didn’t stop for a drink of coffee though. We did go to an Elvis coffee shop where our tour guide said there would be awesome coffee. It seemed most of our group thought the licensed image of Elvis on a cup that said Jerusalem was the draw.

Best Cup of Coffee in Israel

Since I’m not a coffee drinker, you shouldn’t take my word for where to find the best cup of coffee in Israel. However, I was traveling with my friend Geeta who is a coffee connoisseur. She’s the person who brings coffee back from a trip to Costa Rica. The kind of person who knows different brewing equipment, etc. And since she’s originally from India and loves to travel as much as I do, she has a global view. She proclaimed a cup of coffee we had just outside the Holy Sepulcher (just a few doors down from the German Lutheran Church) the best of the trip. She bragged about it for a day or two to the folks who weren’t with us! Since it was a tiny roadside stand, I can’t tell you the name, but it was the first cafe on the right when you walk from the German church just outside the Holy Sepulcher.

What kind of coffee do you prefer? Please leave your opinions in the comments section!

You may enjoy Wordless or Wordfilled Wednesday efforts on other blogs (maybe they won’t be so wordy!).

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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19 Responses to What’s the Deal with Coffee in Israel? Travel & a Twitter Discussion Fuel a Wordfilled Wednesday

  1. verenasschoenewelt June 15, 2011 at 7:29 am #

    Thanks for linking up! I would love to go to Israel one day. My husband has been there a few times.
    Coffee..??? I don´t drink coffee and never will. But I would prefer the delicious looking mint tea! :o)

    Have a happy WW!

    Verena

  2. Nicole Morgan June 15, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    Interesting and just LOVE the Star and Bucks! LOL

  3. DadStreet June 15, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    Excellent post! lol DIdn’t realize a post (not even all about coffee) and some tweets could have fueled this. BUT, what a well written one! Yes, you are absolutely right. Our definitions of coffee were different. I have a daddy blog and the reference I made to coffee was only in the first few paragraphs so I didn’t go out of my way to get too descriptive about it. However, you did a great job and apparently have the chops for this type of stuff.

    I’m also glad to hear that I wasn’t the only one not drinking “coffee” (brewed like in the States) but yes they did have great cappuccinos which was my replacement drink of choice!

    I lived in Israel and I have family there now, including my sister, whom we went to see get married. Coffee or not I highly recommend anyone visiting!

  4. Linda June 15, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    This is a humorous and painful reminder that I left my coffee in the car this morning. Also, love the Stars & Bucks Cafe.

    • JPlovesCOTTON June 15, 2011 at 10:22 am #

      Ooops! Guess you are moving a bit slower than normal! Good luck with your day!

  5. Krista June 15, 2011 at 9:50 am #

    After traveling in Vienna Austria, I came home and declared there was no coffee in the United States! That stuff was amazing.
    Fun post!

    • JPlovesCOTTON June 15, 2011 at 10:20 am #

      I love it! Its amazing what a global view does for a person!

  6. Joyce Pinson @friendsdriftinn June 15, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    It’s funny how we all look at things a little differenty. My favorite coffee is pretty strong, but truly I am a tea sipper. But when it’s sweltering hot I like iced coffee with chocolate, bourbon and honey! Giggles

    http://www.friendsdriftinn.com/recipes/iced-coffee-granita.html

  7. Kristi {at} Live and Love Out Loud June 15, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank goodness your friends found some coffee in Israel! I love chocolate macadamia nut Kona coffee, hazelnut coffee and of course…hazelnut creamer. Lots of it! ;)

  8. Katie @Pinke Post June 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Well I LOVE coffee, all kinds and I pretty sure I would love the Israel, Turkish and Middle Eastern versions too and hope to visit someday as these tweets and blog post has peaked my interest even more! Star and Bucks Cafe would be on my list to visit too but for sure the Elvis cafe. Isn’t awesome how a few tweets can build connections and have us commenting and talking about coffee in Israel? Love it. Great post JP and thanks for linking up on WW!

    • JPlovesCOTTON June 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

      You would have gotten a good laugh out of the Elvis Cafe!

  9. Mrs. Marine June 15, 2011 at 10:30 pm #

    I love coffee!! Didnt always, only became a coffee drinker about 5/6 years ago. I must have 1 cup every morning. I like flavored coffee w/ 2 cubes of sugar and flavored creamer!

    Mrs. Marine
    & the Tiny Troops

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