In the April 6 edition of Zeek (“a Jewish journal of thought and culture”), author Esther Solomon writes a brief overview of espresso consumption in Israel: Zeek | Move Over Starbucks: Israel’s “Upside Down” Coffee Saga | Esther Solomon.

Included in her article:

  • Israeli tastes have evolved from the Frappuccino-like café barad to the more recent café hafuch, meaning ‘upside-down coffee’ in Hebrew, which is a general shorthand for all espresso and frothed milk-based drinks
  • Israeli café society: its roots, how it has become the target of suicide bombers, and how café owners have taken to adding security surcharges
  • Israel looked to Italy, not the U.S., when their consumer espresso obsession took off in the 1990s. So when Starbucks arrived with much fanfare in 2001, the public derided its coffee as “mop water”. Starbucks lost millions, their aggressive growth plans for Israel were deemed a complete failure, and Starbucks ceased Israeli operations by 2003.
  • A few Israeli coffee chains are seeking growth overseas, including Arcaffe‘s branch in Paris and plans from Cafeneto and Ilan’s