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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Kajmak

Kajmak (or kaimak in my older books) is a speciality make from cream or milk cooked with sugar and then butter is added. It is very sweet and dense,  pliable at first and hardening over time.

It is similar to a creamy type of fudge and it can also be made from tinned condensed milk which has been boiled and so is very like dolce de leche.

In my American-Polish cookery book it is called Turkish Fudge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is used in a variety of cakes including mazurek.

 

Mazurek with kajmak

Kajmak originated in Turkey and appeared in Poland in the 18th century in the reign of Stanisław II Augustus (1764–95).   Sugar was a luxury commodity then and this was originally just popular with the Polish nobility.

Kajmak

Ingredients

1/2 litre of milk (full or semi-skimmed)

400g of granulated sugar.

50g of butter

2 drops of vanilla essence

Method

Put the milk and sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan and heat gently stirring most of the time to stop the mixture from catching and burning on the base.

Continue cooking and stirring until the volume has reduced to about half of the original and the mixture is thick – rather like jam in the spoon test.

Take the pan from the heat and add the butter and stir till it is incorporated.

Add the drops of vanilla essence and stir them in.

Use the kajmak straight away or pour into a glass bowl that you can heat over a water bath when you want to use it later.

 

 

 

 

Alternatively you can also pour it into a flat dish and cut it up as cubes or fingers of sweets later.

Kajmak is flavoured with a little bit of vanilla but can also have the following additions: caramel, chocolate or coffee

Caramel

In a frying pan heat 20g of granulated sugar until it just starts to turn light brown, then add 6 tablespoons of water and boil gently until you have a caramel syrup.

 

Add this to the kajmak before the addition of the butter.

Salted caramel is very popular in England at the moment and you can add a teaspoon of cooking or table salt to the caramel kajmak.

Then once it is poured out you can sprinkle coarse ground or sea salt on the top.

 

 

Here the kajmak was poured into a rectangular dish.

Chocolate

50g of cocoa mixed with around 6 tablespoons of water

or

80g of melted dark chocolate

Add this to the kajmak before the addition of the butter and reduce the liquid until the kajmak is the correct consistency.

 

 

Coffee

100 to 125 mls of strong coffee made from 20g of ground coffee.

 

 

Brew the coffee in a cup or jug, leave for around 10 minutes and then strain the liquid from the grounds.

Add this to the kajmak before the addition of the butter and reduce the liquid until the kajmak is the correct consistency.

Quick Kajmak

In a recipe book I bought recently there is a recipe for kajmak using  krówki which are classic Polish sweets (krówka mleczna = milky cow) described as creamy fudge.

The recipe used 500g of the sweets which would have been two packets – I just used one packet to test them out.

Ingredients

250g of krówki

120ml of milk

1 tablespoon of butter.

Method

Unwrap the krówki and place them with the milk in a small saucepan.

Heat gently, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sweets dissolve.

Add the butter and let it melt.

 

Use whilst it is warm.

Note

This worked very well & one packet could be enough – I must admit I prefer the original version but this is easier & quicker.