An instant hit with the Israelis
YO U H A V E p r o b a b l y walked past the product a thousand times in your local kosher store, thought nothing of it, and never been tempted by it. After all, with fancy jars and espresso pods on the shelf, who buys coffee in a 1970s-style tin anymore?
It is not only the packaging of the trademark instant coffee made by Israel-based Elite that is unassuming. The taste is, well, far from gourmet. It is bland and lacks the classic coffee aroma — its closest English equivalent being Mellow Birds — but it has a cultlike appeal. Welcome to the biggest Israeli culinary phenomenon that you have never bothered to taste.
If you were living not in the UK but in Poland, the Czech Republic or Romania, you would not be giving a blank look right now, but rather the kind of fond reaction that a Brit gives when someone starts talking about Dairy Milk, Salt ’n’ Shake crisps or, of you are from the half of the population that loves it, Marmite.
After the Soviet Union fell and foreign products started coming into the former communist bloc, Elite instant coffee was one of the first and, to many people from these areas in their early