Israeli Coffee Overview, Recipes and Main Brands

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Israel is one of the countries that we examine in our Turkish coffee reviews. Israeli coffee is very popular to a lot of people around the world. Especially to Jewish populations immigrated in other countries. The religious fact of the Kosher label on the coffees makes it a stand-alone issue.

Coffee culture in Israel was created a long time ago from its state declaration in 1948. A lot of Jews were living in Europe. They had established excellent coffee business in roasting and grinding coffee beans. After the holocaust and their settlement to homeland they started contributing their coffee knowledge to Israel.

What is Israeli coffee?

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 Israeli coffee is a hot caffeine beverage prepared in Israel in two different ways.

(a) The cooked version that is called “Kafe Turki”.

(b) The uncooked version that is called “Kafe Botz” (“mud coffee”).

The use of cardamom spice in both versions is very common.The people of the Middle East region are very fond of this aroma and taste. It is also known as “Jewish coffee” or “Israeli Turkish coffee” or “Arabic coffee”.

The original name of the coffee has changed from “Turkish” to “Israeli”. Political and marketing reasons are considered as the main reasons of that modification. Preparing Israeli coffee is proficiency. It is also seen as a natural tradition when working in “kibbutz”, whether you go out for camping or just serve in the army. 

Israeli coffee and the Kosher aspect

Kosher means “fit for eating/consumption”. These kinds of foods and drinks are described in Bible (Leviticus chapter). For the Jewish faith followers it is considered a very important aspect of their religion.

If a coffee brand is certified as kosher it means several things. Among those the two most important are the following.

    1. The first material as well as processing machinery or utensils used in the premises are according to Jewish Law.
    2. A Rabbi was present and observing the production.

Coffee beans are naturally kosher. Water is the only element they come in contact with. During the process to obtain the right flavor though might break the Jewish dietary laws. Packing and storage may also be a problem. Some non-kosher materials can modify the kosher status of coffee.  

How to make Israeli coffee

(A) Cooked black coffee version

The procedure is the same as we describe it with full details in the Turkish coffee recipe webpage. Water, ground coffee and sugar (if used) are placed in a special coffee pot. Coffee could be plain or with the distinctive aroma and taste of cardamom spice. This coffee pot is known as a “finjan”. The mixture is simmered until foam reaches the top of the pot.  

(B) Mud coffee version

The recipe is pretty simple.

    • Take a small glass or a mug.
    • Add 1 teaspoon of preferred flavor of Israeli coffee.
    • Add sugar and cardamom (if any of them is used).
    • Pour in hot water (hot milk could be also used).
    • Stir well. Let the mixture stand for a few minutes until the coffee grounds are settled to the bottom.

The grounds don’t dissolve properly in the water so they leave a sandy taste during the last few sips.

The name ‘mud coffee’ is used in order to describe the coffee grounds. They take the format of mud in the bottom of the cup.

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Main differences in Israeli coffee making and serving

  • Water is brought to almost boiling point into the finjan. The added sugar (if used) is stirred until dissolved. The rest of the ingredients are putted in afterwards.
  • Cardamom is widely used as an aromatic spice to the coffee. A ready grind pre-mixed with the coffee powder can be bought. Whole pods are also used in many households during cooking process. This special variety of coffee is called in Hebrew “Kafe im hel” but is also known as Arabic coffee.  
  • The foam is brought to rise up twice instead of three times.
  • Small glasses of 100 ml. are widely used along with the demitasse cups

Traditional Israeli coffee compliment

Cookies and other small sweets usually accompany an Israeli coffee. For those missed Israel we suggest a pack of Kosher sesame cookies from Abadi bakery.

Israeli coffee check.