Coffee lovers across Israel and around the world celebrated New Year’s Day in a celebratory fashion, with an unprecedented number of cafes opening their doors to visitors.
In Israel, a mix between politics, tech, history and culture, the first day was marked by a new year with coffee.
The city of Haifa was the first in the country to announce the launch of Coffee and Food Cafe, an event where residents and tourists could sample coffee and food from around the country.
In the countrys capital, Tel Aviv, the coffee-themed cafe, the Café Moskowitz, opened its doors for the first time on New Year eve.
On the streets of Tel Aviv in Haifa, coffee lovers were able to taste the local brew, and for the visitors, the new-years’ drink served as a way to enjoy the atmosphere, said Shira Shkurman, a cafe owner who opened the café in 2015.
“People are taking advantage of this new year, and we’re happy to offer them something new,” she said.
The café was opened as part of a project with the Israeli Culture Ministry, and was created in partnership with a cafe chain in Israel, called Moskop.
Israel’s first coffee cafe was opened in HaIFA in 2015, where guests were able, for the inaugural event, to sample coffee from around Israel.
For the cafe’s opening, a local entrepreneur, Yair Ben-Ari, and his partners came up with the idea of a cafe where residents would enjoy their coffee at home.
Ben-Ari is currently a consultant for the Jerusalem municipality, and said that while the idea had been floated for years, it had never taken off.
“I remember back when I started, and I remember when people said, ‘What is a coffee shop?'” he said.
“But then the first thing I did was buy a coffee machine and set up coffee houses in Tel Aviv and Haifa.”
In the meantime, Ben-Ari’s business partner, Dov Zakr, created the café, and set it up to serve coffee.
He started in the hope of serving the community what he considers a “cultural” drink.
While it may not have been a traditional Israeli coffee, the concept of the café was very much a response to the desire of the citizens to try something new.
According to Ben-AZ, there were a lot of people that were in the middle of a holiday or a summer vacation, and so they could not drink coffee during this time of year, but they wanted to experience something new with a cup of coffee.
“People said, why don’t we do a coffee bar, or a cafe, and a coffee is what we wanted to do,” he said, adding that the coffee bar was a reaction to the demand of the tourists and locals who wanted to try the coffee.
Ben-AZ was not the only one to offer the drink.
At the opening of Café Moskeh in Tel Hashomer, locals, tourists and residents were invited to try some of the brew.
A total of 12 coffee bars were opened throughout the country, according to a report by the Israeli Coffee Association, and many more coffee shops were set up around the globe.
But in Israel there is still no official coffee culture, with many locals preferring to drink coffee at a cafe.