Kawa – Coffee

Kawa is the Polish for coffee & the word comes from the Turkish kahveh and earlier the Arabic qahwah.

The Coffea plant grows as a bush with fragrant white flowers and the fruits are red berries (related to cherries and plums) – the botanical name for these are drupes  – fruits contain a single seed known often as a stone – so they are not beans in the botanical sense at all.

Short History of Coffee

Legend has it that in the 9th century a goat-herder  noticed that his goats were more lively after eating the leaves and berries of the Coffea bush

Coffee was known in Ethiopia in the 11th century and then it was the leaves that were boiled and drunk  and they were thought to have medicinal powers.

Coffee is recorded in the Yemen in the mid -14th century.

By 1555 coffee is known in Istanbul and it is now the beans which are roasted and ground and heated with water – hence Turkish coffee.

Coffee came to Europe first through Venice with the first recorded coffee shop being in 1645.

In 1683 after the victory by the Polish King Jan Sobieski III(1629 – 1696) against the Turks in Vienna, many sacks of coffee were left behind. One of his Polish officers,  Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki,  received these sacks of coffee beans.   He opened one of the first coffee houses in Vienna serving small cups of Turkish coffee.

Coffee arrived in America not long after this in the late 17th century.

Coffee became popular in Poland in the 18th Century.  The first coffee café (kawiarnia) was opened in Warsaw in 1724.

Coffee in Poland

Coffee in Poland is served as strong black coffee – coffee without milk or cream.

It is known as Kawa parzona  which means coffee scalded!

The tradition way is to make coffee in a tall glass with a large tablespoon of ground coffee put in the bottom of the glass and hot boiled water poured onto this and this is left for about 3-4 minutes and then the top is stirred.

When you drink the coffee you do not drink down to the bottom, the sediment – the grounds or  the lees  & in Polish – fusy – are left.

I often make myself a coffee this way – it is quick and you only need 1 tablespoonful.

Note

I collect the used coffee ground from this and other methods and use them as top dressing around my strawberry plants & Hostas- many think this is a deterrent to snails.

 

 

 

I have an uncle in Białystok who loves coffee and when I was there he showed me various different ways of making coffee; as he used to work in the Middle East we made Turkish coffee several times.

There are many methods of making coffee often with electrical equipment.

The method I use the most is with a  Cafetière or French Press. I think it is the nearest to the old Polish method but the grounds are separated from the coffee in an easy way.

Note

Both the French & the Italians lay claim to inventing the Cafetière.  A method of making coffee using a plunger was known in France from the 1850s but a patent was issued in the 1920s to an Italian from Milan.

 

Coffee making equipment

Including: a coffee grinder (a present from my friend in The Netherlands), a Hornsea pottery coffee container, an old and a new  cezve or ibrik (Turkish coffee maker) and a pyroflam coffee maker jug from The Netherlands.

 

Assorted Coffee makers including stove top espresso makers

Coffee Pots

An assortment of coffee pots including:

  • Royal Doulton  – Regalia – 1988 – 1997
  • Royal Tuscan – Samoa – 1960 – 1967
  • Myott – China Lyke – Majorca
  • Studio Meakin – Topic – 1967
  • Empire Porcelain Minou
  • Rörstrand (Sweden) – Amanda by Christina Campbell 1968 – 1977

and some coffee cups – Royal Adderley – Masquerade – 1960s  & Portmeirion – Tivoli designed by Susan Williams Ellis

Coffee Cups & Saucers

Elizabethan – Greensleeves  &

Royal Doulton –  Sonnet – 1971 – 1998

 

 

Greenway Hostess – Design by John Russell – 1960 – 1979  &

Elizabethan – Lace – 1960 – 1979

 

Wedgwood – Susie Cooper design – 1950s – Flower motif series B  &

Elizabethan – Carnaby 1970s

 

 

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Herbata – Tea

Legend has it that in nearly 3,000 years BC the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, was sitting outside when leaves from the evergreen shrub Camellia sinensis fell into some boiling water which he then tasted – and so tea was born!

Traders from the Dutch East India Company (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie)(VOC)  first brought tea from China to Holland at the beginning of the 17th century where it became very popular & it was Dutch traders that brought tea to Poland.

Tea is mentioned in the mid 17th century by King Jan Kazimierz II (1609-1672) in a letter to his wife Ludowika Maria(1611-1667) and the drink became very popular with the nobility.

Tea in Polish is herbata which comes from the Dutch Herba thee  & which earlier may have been from the Latin Herba thea.

Cza (cha) – is a Chinese word for tea and in Polish the word for a teapot is czajnik.

Poland – a country of tea drinkers

I think tea could be classed as Poland’s national drink and per capita per annum the Polish consumption is the 4th in Europe (figures from 2014) following Ireland, the UK and Russia & in 9th place globally, ahead of Japan and Saudi Arabia.

A typical Pole drinks a glass of tea for breakfast, lunch, dinner & supper and in between as well.

Serving Tea in Poland

Tea is served as “black” tea – though in fact it is very light weak tea – it is never served with milk. It is served on its own or with slices of lemon or  a small amount of fruit syrup  such as cherry or raspberry.

The syrup  in the photographs below is raspberry malina 

Tea was often served with honey although nowadays it is more likely to be served with sugar.  However I usually  drink my  tea without sweetness, except when I  add some fruit syrup.

Polish honey from the lime tree also know as the linden tree.

Note

The Polish for July is lipiec  – meaning the month of the linden blossom – many Polish cities have parks and avenues with linden trees & in July the air is heady with the scent.

 

Porcelain lidded sugar bowl by TCM Germany – bought in a second hand shop in Krakòw

 

 

 

 

 

The tradition way is to brew  a  very strong solution of tea  called  esencja (essence) and this is poured into a glass or cup and boiling water added to make a very light coloured – weak tea.

Often a samowar was used  with the  strong essence of tea kept in the little teapot (often this could be a little enamel pot) and the samowar is used to boil the water and keep the essence warm.

Samo means by itself  …. war means to heat or to boil.

The photographs are of my samowar which is electric – It was made in the 1980s.

My father talked about their samowar in Poland which had a tube in the centre into which you put hot charcoal to heat the water.

Tea Bags

Nowadays tea bags are often used and a very popular brand is Yellow Label from Unilever Polska – Liptons .

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Thomas Lipton(1848-1931) was from Glasgow, Scotland and Lipton Yellow Label has been sold since 1890 when the first version of the Yellow pack with a red Lipton shield was used.

Strangely enough this brand of tea is not marketed in the UK – I used to bring it back from Poland – now I can buy it in all the Polish shops.

Tea Glasses

Tea was always served in tall glasses often with a holder of metal or straw .  Many years ago I had a big clear out and got rid of my straw holders – I so regret that now!

Images below from photos on the World Wide Web

 

 

Last Saturday, I went to the second hand market in Huddersfield and found 2 pairs of tea glass holders, 1 pair in stainless steel & 1 pair in silver plate.   They have cleaned up very well – I am so pleased I found them.

Glass handled mugs are a substitute.

 

China cups and saucers are also used on many occasions –

Herbata & Sernik (Polish Cheesecake)

Royal Albert  tea set – Primulette from the 1950s

Tea is often used in baking, it can be used to soak dried fruits before making a cake or as part of a poncz (punch) to drizzle over a cake such as a yeast babka.

 

Tea & Chocolate babka

The cake stand & pastry forks are Crazy Daisy (21st Century design) by Portmeirion

The tea service is Lyndale, by Royal Standard from the 1950s.

The green teapot is Cafe Culture by Maxwell Williams.