Average Israeli drinks four or five cups of coffee a day
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'Israel should take pride in its coffee'

Enrico Meschini, fourth generation of Italian coffee manufacturers and chairman of European coffee roasters association, says quality of caffeine beverage served in Israel 'as good as average coffee in Italy'

The southern city of Eilat recently hosted Israel's first professional coffee conference, with the aim of furthering the local coffee culture and improving its professional quality.


One person who already appears satisfied with the quality of the caffeine beverage served in Israel is Enrico Meschini, an international coffee expert and chairman of the European association of coffee roasters.


"You should be proud of the level of coffee one can find in Israel, which is as good as the average coffee in Italy," Meschini rules.


"In 1995, when I first visited and toured Israel, it was impossible to find any espresso here. There was no supply and no demand. The situation today is completely different. One can find espresso almost anywhere."


The annual coffee consumption in Israel is estimated at 10 kilograms (22 pounds) per person. The Israeli café industry generates some NIS 3.8 billion ($990 million) a year, and the home coffee machine market generates some NIS 44 million ($11.5 million) a year.


The average Israeli drinks about four or five cups of coffee a day: Mostly cappuccino, followed in popularity by espresso.


"In Italy, when people talk about coffee they're referring to espresso. When they want lighter coffee, they order 'Espresso Lungo' (long) because it's less concentrated," Meschini explains.


Healthy or unhealthy?

Meschini, 60, is the owner of a family coffee company founded in Italy in 1895. He is the fourth generation in the company, which imports and exports coffee all around the world (including to Israel's Arcaffe chain, in which he one of the shareholders).


He began his career as an ornithologist, and even made a global name for himself in that field before starting to study the secrets of coffee in 1986. He moved to Brazil for several months, where he learned professional coffee tasting.


How do you taste coffee?


"The way to taste coffee hasn't changed for decades. In the Brazilian method, you look for a roundish and pleasant flavor, which doesn't leave your mouth dry.


"If you're tasting espresso, it has to have a good smell, a suitable texture, a reddish-brown color and foam with very thin lines and small and dense bubbles. The flavor itself must include a pleasing bitterness, combined with a sort of sweetness."


Is coffee healthy or unhealthy? Which studies should we believe?


"All studies are budget-dependent, so I don't take them seriously – both when they're in favor and against coffee. One must use logic and common sense. If someone suffers from a heart disease, I wouldn't recommend drinking exaggerated amounts of coffee. But if you're healthy, a few cups of coffee will do no harm.


"Every person must listen to his or her own body and know what it does to it. My wife won't drink coffee in the evening because she won't be able to fall asleep at night. I can drink espresso at midnight and fall asleep like a baby.


"Men in Israel drink more espresso, and women take more milk with their coffee. In general, one should use less milk or no milk at all. Milk makes the coffee flavors indistinct so that its real flavor is less enjoyable.


"In Israel people drink a lot of coffee with milk, and an exaggerated amount of milk definitely seems unhealthy to me."



פרסום ראשון: 01.18.12, 15:07
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