Nostalgia Sunday – Powdered instant coffee

November 2, 2008 - 6:48 PM by

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.

Elite coffee - old can

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.
Elite coffee - small old tin

Visitors from the US were asked to bring salvation in a jar that looked like this:

Tasters Choice jar

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.


9 Comments on Nostalgia Sunday – Powdered instant coffee

  1. LB on Sun, Nov 2nd 2008 7:26 PM
  2. I’m continually baffled how in Israel, the country in which Starbucks failed to get off the ground, where good coffee is plentiful and everywhere – people continue to drink “nes”. The stuff tastes like bitter chocolate milk made in a coffee cup that wasn’t washed.

  3. Gliker on Sun, Nov 2nd 2008 7:30 PM
  4. Ness Cafe rulez!!!

  5. Gliker on Sun, Nov 2nd 2008 7:35 PM
  6. What I do not understand is “Cafe Afookh” – upside down coffee… WTF?

  7. LB on Sun, Nov 2nd 2008 8:17 PM
  8. Gliker – Cafe Hafuch is basically a cappuccino without foam, that’s all.

  9. David-Joe on Sun, Nov 2nd 2008 9:33 PM
  10. I was raised on a kibbutz and at 4am in the morning when you are in the harvest period coffee is welcome.

    Since I was a kid I drank very strong turkish coffee – waiting for the granules to settle and drinking it black with some sugar.

    I think tastes are a little delicate these days as people have become less attuned to Spartan living and more acustommed to Athenian-type comfort.

    These days people whine and complain about everything.

    How ANYONE can choose to drink ness, will always remain a mystery.

  11. varda on Mon, Nov 3rd 2008 12:55 PM
  12. well, i JUST found out this morning that i have high cholesterol (yes, eventually one does turn into ones mother) and the first thing i ran to check was what this is going to do to surfing shows that “ness” is much more healthy…..or make that less worse- than the “good” stuff.
    above mystery solved.

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