What’s your intention for taking a trip? I love the traveling, the learning, and the rest that comes with exploring other countries. And I have found those experiences to be much greater with an intention behind the trip. My intention when I went to Israel was to get an insight of what my life may be like in the Holy Land. I had a let-loose type of week there and I had a spiritual experience spending time in Jerusalem.
Along with setting main intentions, I added a little fun to my trip by adding an additional lesson I set out to learn that will give me an insight about the culture.
I always heard that Starbucks failed in Israel, but I set out to experience for myself why it had.
In my experience, if you just ask for a coffee you will receive anything but just a coffee. Being specific became a virtue. When I asked for a coffee I either got a cappuccino or an Americano – both good but not the brewed coffee I was looking for.
I quickly found out that Israeli coffee shops do not brew coffee – except for ‘You Need Coffee’ in Jerusalem.
*A light went off in my head*
That is why Israelis think Starbucks coffee is watery! I grabbed the shoulder of my old camp counselor and Israeli brother, “I got it,” I said, “you guys think Starbucks is too watery because they brew it!”
“Yea, it’s gross,” he laughed, “and it’s so expensive at Starbucks!”
Personally, I don’t think Starbucks is expensive. I get a tall blonde for $2.11 and it does the job well!
I set out to see what the closest thing to a black coffee was and found that it is Turkish coffee. While America created so many ways to brew coffee – French brew, soft brew, siphon brew, pour over, and more – Israel put the grinds in a small cylindrical glass cup and pour water over it…
Ahh so instead of a watery taste, I can enjoy the taste of coffee grinds in my mouth haha.
What insight can I get about the culture of Israelis from this experience?
Well, for one they like coffee bolder. In the Israeli Netflix show Fauda the characters always ask one another if they want sugar with their coffee. This is because only the week can’t drink straight black coffee.
More importantly, I learned that Israeli coffee shops and the dislike of Starbucks is another expression of Israel’s entrepreneurial attitude. There isn’t just one company that dominates the market for coffee, there are several that bring new, individual stories. To me that’s truly inspirational. At each location, you may drink the same drink, but you won’t taste the same story.
... Then I went to Paris, France for my 13 hour layover (my video is on Facebook) and had the best cup of coffee to date...