Israeli Black Coffee – Much more than a hot drink

June 2020

Black coffee is much more than a hot beverage, much more than something you drink. It is a status symbol. Of Isrealiness. Of Maturity.

I don’t know many people who loved the taste of black coffee, or even liked it, on their first try. It is an acquired taste that can only be compared to beer or wine. It’s a kind of taste that roughens your tongue and your throat until you fall in love with its awakening bitterness.

It is not only the flavor, aroma or extreme stimulating attributes in the morning that makes us fall in love with black coffee. It is the symbolic meaning it has for us that makes us adore and cherish it.

Black coffee is much more than coffee. It’s a state of being. An Israeli experience like no other. And if I think of it, it is more a masculine state of being. There is something rough and rugged about it. Something to do with manhood.

Israeli men bond around it. It begins during the army service. Learning how to stay awake for very long hours, keeping focus on the task in front of you, knowing that many a time, lives are dependent upon you and your ability to stay up.

Black coffee becomes your loyal companion during long nights at the post. Memories of hushed conversations with a close friend, are forever linked in your mind with the smell of freshly brewed black coffee.

And then, it lingers on. Coffee is a part of family life. A smell of early mornings in the kitchen. Memories of beautiful places you travel too, and stop for just a little cup o’ coffee on the way. The aroma of coffee being boiled on an open campfire, next to your tent early in the morning, or on a lazy, relaxed afternoon.

There is a whole world of Israeli black coffee culture, you become a part of. Social codes, sometimes competitive, that defines you. For example: you are measured by your Finjan (a small metal coffee pot) – is it small enough? Made of metal? Long or short handle? Which type of cups do you use? Disposable? Small cups? Glass? Metal? Decorated? Where do you buy your coffee? Supermarket? A nearby Arab village? With or without cardamom? And I haven’t even started about the actual making; how long, the stirring, when to add the sugar… and the list goes on…

Making a good black coffee is a ceremony in itself. We all know how, or had participated in those many times.

So, here is a short manual on how to make good Israeli black coffee, you can try making it at home, and maybe, it’ll feel like a little trip to Israel.

What will you need?

A Finjan – a small metal coffee pot

Small glass cups

A metal spoon

An open stove fire


Black Coffee – with or without Cardamom 

And of course….. Water

What do you do?   

 Turn on the fire, to a high heat, fill your finjan with water and place it on the fire. Once the water starts to bubble and boil, add two generous teaspoons of black coffee into the water. Let the coffee sink down into the water. Be mindful, if the coffee starts to overflow, just lift the finjan a little away from the fire, and put it back down, once the coffee has settled back down.

Let the coffee cook for about two minutes, keep the water very hot, but not boiling. Stir it once in a while.

Now add sugar, to your liking, take off the heat, and pour into the cups.

Black coffee is an inseparable part of Israeli culture. We have written songs about it, (Arik Einstein), iconic TV commercials (EL-AL ), it appears in numerous films and TV series.

Perhaps it takes time to love it – but once you learn how, it’s for life.

That is exactly why we chose to send you Israeli black coffee in our Beyahad Box.