Nostalgia Sunday – Powdered instant coffee
For those who don’t understand the billboards now plastered all over town, Elite has just relaunched their “Hot Water, Small Glass” campaign for its Turkish coffee. The ads feature a charming Israeli commercial airline pilot who travels the world requesting that various waiters, stewardesses, bedouin “zula” proprieters and other serving persons, bring him “hot water, small glass” so that he can mix up a cup of that brown colored swill so beloved here, popularly known as “botz”.
“Botz” means mud, so you see that even three and four generations ago, our forefathers understood this brew was not quality, to put it mildly. For those unable to stomach even the sight of botz — not to mention botz with milk — there was one other option: Elite powdered coffee.
That’s right, kids. Israel used to have only bad coffee. There were no Lavazza home espresso-makers, no Bodum cafetiers, no Chemexes or Melittas with paper filters — and even if there were, all there would be to put in them would have been ground up cardamom-flavored mystery beans. All we had, children, was bad bad bad coffee that came in a small tin.
Visitors from the US were asked to bring salvation in a jar that looked like this:
Eventually, good coffee came to Israel but visit any office kitchenette in this country and you’ll still see a small (or large) tin of Elite powdered coffee. Even I drink it – it tastes good to me now.