Sunday, January 23, 2011

Drinking Coffee - Slovak Style

This morning my husband and I had some guests over. I offered them coffee but then remembered I only had one kind of coffee – instant. I did have one of those French press pot devices, but I confessed I never use it and basically told my guests if they wanted press-pot coffee instead of instant, they’d have to make it themselves. Luckily for them, they knew how to use the press pot.

I only began drinking coffee when I moved to Europe at age 25. And the only kind of coffee I had in my little Slovak town (in the late 1990s) was turecká káva – Turkish coffee, or instantna káva – instant coffee.

Turecká káva is coffee made from pouring boiling water over loose grounds. You have to wait a few minutes for the grounds to settle down to the bottom of your cup after you have finished stirring. Instant coffee, also called “neska” coming from the brand “Nescafe”, was and still is today, what you will find in most Slovak homes. It’s what I had every single day at my grandmother-in-law’s home after lunch. And I like it!

Actually, I love it. I make a small cup of instant coffee every day after lunch to have with some kind of koláč. I used to feel embarrassed about my love of instant coffee. Goodness, most, if not all my American friends and relatives wouldn’t be caught dead with a container of instant coffee in their kitchen cupboards. Now I know it’s simply a matter of taste.

My Slovak mother-in-law drinks a lot of coffee. She bought a fancy presso maker for her kitchen and uses it every day. She’s a Slovak who doesn’t drink instant, but she’s the only one I know. I’ll drink her presso, but still prefer instant. Crazy, I know.