I realized that tea is a very popular drink in Poland. Polish people drink almost every day, and sometimes more than once a day. Although the methods of tea making surprised me a lot because they are not the most correct and they are a waste. The most common way to make it is to put a bag in a cup… well this is wrong and a waste. The right way is to use a tea bowl that should be previously warmed up. There we can put one or two tea bags according to how strong we want it. It should be in the water between 3 and 7 minutes and never more than this time because it will become bitter. I also realized that polish people appreciate many kinds of tea which is very interesting to me. Sometimes people mix juice in the tea. This happens in many things in Poland, eating and drinking. For example, people enjoy mixing juice also with beer, this is also totally new to me. Many people add sauces on pizza… In the case of tea, although I prefer the pure tastes more than anything, I have to admit that is an interesting alternative to tea drinking. The Portuguese were the first to bring to Europe tea and have the oldest tradition in this continent. It is known that tea is extremely popular in England and even cultural. That happens with several things that somehow come from Portugal. Port wine is also extremely important in England and, as we all know, it is made in Portugal. The tradition of tea drinking in England starts when the English King Charles II marries Queen Katherine, a young Portuguese princess. As a Portuguese royalty she was drinking tea that Portugal was bringing from China in times of empire. Even now a days, the only plantation of tea in Europe is in the Portuguese islands called Azores. Those plants are the same that were brought from China, hundreds of years ago. In Portugal people drink tea in the afternoon or at night. Another very popular drink in Poland is coffee. A great majority of people drink it almost every day, also. Coffee is one of the oldest traditions in Portugal and also since times of Portuguese Empire in Africa and South America. In Portugal, people drink coffee several times a day. They mostly drink it in “cafetarias”, you can find it everywhere. Portuguese learned since then how to choose the best beans of coffee and how to toast it in a perfect way. In fact, in that field, not many countries are as good as Portugal. I would say that only Italy can make it so well. I met many people in Poland that went to Portugal and they were so surprised that the coffee is so good and so cheap. Yes, cheap. Because coffee Is not an expensive drink. It is sold expensive to give an idea of elegance and status… but it’s not honest! Coffee is a democratic drink and anyone should be able to drink the best coffee for a reasonable price. Ten zlotys for a latte is a real joke. Italians make, better than anyone, coffee machines, mostly espresso, but I would say that, for polish people, the best combination would be, Italian coffee maker and Portuguese coffee… and why? That is so obvious and easy to explain. There is a lot of bad marketing teaching false truth about coffee to Polish people. Many people say that the softest coffee and the one with better quality is the one that comes from Arabica beans. That is not so simple… Witch Arabica?? There are thousands of kinds of Arabica beans!!!! Even fast food chains have coffee made 100% with Arabica… but it might be the worst Arabica. The same marketing somehow teaches that Robusta beans have lower quality, that make not so good coffee and that it is too bitter. This is so wrong that makes me laugh! The problem is that when people don’t know, they tend to believe what is written is some fancy magazine… Which Robusta again? Which kind? From where? From where in Africa, from where in Asia? Every time I give Portuguese coffee to Polish people, the result is always the same… it’s extraordinary. I drink Portuguese coffee at home made in a Italian espresso machine. And why is Portuguese coffee better for Polish taste. I realized that polish people enjoy soft/delicate tastes. No doubt that Portuguese coffee is the best for them, full of cream, not bitter, excellent body a perfect balance. You can find it, for example, in some shops online like “go-fusion” or in some shops of Kuchnie Swiata. The Portuguese coffee secret is simple. A coffee cannot have only one kind of bean. It has to have several different beans. Even better if it mixes Robusta with Arabica! It matters the proportions of mixture and the best coffees in the world have, at least, three kinds of beans! A coffee without Robusta will make always much less cream. If it has only Arabica, it will be too acid. Perfect balance mixes both kinds. Finally, the rest of the secret it is based on how is how it is toasted. Some prefer more toasted… some less. It is a secret from the best coffee producers. Try Portuguese coffee… you will be really surprised. It will be a good surprise and it will change many ideas you had about coffee. If you are a coffee lover, this is it!

Goncalo Franco

Tłumaczenie: Karolina Ginalska