The history of coffee in Romania goes back a long way, to the time of the Ottoman Empire. As in many other countries, coffee came to Romania thanks to trade and cultural ties with the East.
It should be noted that coffee was known and popular on the territory of modern Romania long before the appearance of coffee houses and specialized cafes. Its first samples were brought to the Ottoman Empire, to which the territory of present-day Romania belonged, back in the XVI century. At first, coffee was consumed mainly by the aristocracy and the upper classes. However, its mass popularity in Romania began to gain momentum in the XIX century, when coffee houses began to appear in the cities. It was such establishments that became places for social gatherings and social events.
An important moment in the development of coffee culture in Romania was the spread of French coffee making techniques, such as espresso and cappuccino, in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Today, coffee is an integral part of Romanian culture and everyday life. Coffee in Romania can be prepared in different ways and each region may have its own preferences.
Romanian coffee recipes and rituals
Despite the variety of coffees available in modern restaurants, Romanian culture attaches special importance to this beverage. First and foremost, coffee in Romania serves as a means of welcoming and entertaining guests. In Romanian homes, it is common to hear the question, “Would you like a cup of coffee?” Preparing a brewed invigorating beverage has become an integral part of every Romanian’s daily life, especially in the morning, when long conversations with neighbors and friends take place over a cup of coffee.
Foreigners who visit Romanian restaurants often order Turkish-style coffee, as the locals do. In this recipe, 2 teaspoons of ground coffee and 1 teaspoon of sugar are added to a cup with 100ml of water. This is then heated over a low heat until it comes to a boil, at which point the kaimak that forms on the surface is separated with a spoon and placed in the cup. The pot is then left on the fire again and another teaspoonful of coffee is added. It is then taken off the fire to allow the coffee granules to settle and the coffee is poured into the cup. This coffee is drunk with family and friends, enjoying its aroma and flavor.
Notice how important kaymak is. This word comes from the Turkish language, and it is the most delicious part of the coffee.Its cream! Its quality depends on the type of coffee, and also on its producer. And if it is well prepared, kaymak enhances the pleasure of tasting it. This type of coffee should not be confused with western filter coffee. Caymac gives it a special flavor at a special time, coffee time, not to mention that in the past it was supposed to be served with sorbet, especially in the families of high society.
Today, Romanians drink all styles of coffee, but Turkish coffee is considered traditional in their culture. It is said that the oldest recipes for Turkish coffee come from the Turks who once lived on the island of Ada Kaleh and brewed coffee in the sand.
With the popularity of Turkish coffee, after drinking a cup of which coffee grounds remain at the bottom, the ritual of reading it appeared. It is popular in Greece, Serbia, Turkey and Romania. Usually a person is offered to drink most of the coffee, leaving the sediment behind. Although it is recommended not to read one’s cup, some people still do it.
There are several ways to interpret the patterns in a coffee cup, including vertical methods that can answer yes and no questions. The left half is considered negative and the right half is considered positive.
Reading methods can vary from culture to culture. For example, Romanian tradition requires stirring the sediment before it covers most of the bottom of the cup. Turkish and Middle Eastern traditions do not require much stirring, but the cup is sometimes turned over.
Sometimes the querent, the one being divined, is asked to place the thumb of the right hand on the bottom of the cup and turn it clockwise. This is done in order to “fix” his inner thoughts and emotions.
The role of coffee in the daily life of Romanians
Both in the past and today, coffee is an integral part of life for most Romanians. By serving themselves a cup of coffee, they start their day feeling energized and invigorated.
Romanians often meet with friends, family or colleagues in coffee shops and cafes to socialize, discuss business or just spend time in pleasant company. Also, many people in Romania drink coffee to improve their concentration and productivity at work or while studying. This drink often accompanies them in the process of problem solving and creative work.
You won’t believe it, but it is customary to finish a meal in Romania with a cup of coffee. It helps to digest the food.
This invigorating drink can also accompany various festive events and traditions, such as weddings and family reunions.
In the last few years, Romanians have started to appreciate not just coffee, but a drink of speciality varieties – prepared according to all the rules from the most selected coffee varieties. By the way, you can buy them in the Hotspot Coffee chain, which offers a bouquet of selected varieties of the invigorating drink. This drink has already gained its popularity in coffee shops in Romania, which surprise visitors with their uniqueness. Here is a brief overview of some of them.
Trofic is a stylish and colorful coffee establishment in the newly created creative district of Bucharest. It proudly features a Synesso espresso machine, which harmonizes with the modern design of the coffee shop.
Experienced baristas and the use of handcrafted coffee beans from Origo ensure that every cup of coffee is unrivaled. Traffic also offers some of the best breakfasts in town at affordable prices. Their goal is to provide customers with the perfect lunch break, with delicious food, gourmet coffee, and cheesecake worth trying.
Teto is a coffee shop with a minimalistic design and a boost of positive energy from the friendly young staff. They choose their coffee from Dropshop and Hotspot Coffee. Thus supporting local roasters and shops by promoting high quality coffee.
As good food and coffee complement each other perfectly, Teto also offers an amazing menu of locally sourced food and desserts. Their two locations are in popular urban areas of Bucharest, making them a great choice for visitors to the city.
Narcoffee is not just a coffee shop, but a real workshop. Its industrial design, hipster atmosphere and unique brand inspired by the world of coffee have made Narcoffee a renowned coffee roaster and a successful enterprise with five branches in Romania (all in Cluj and Bucharest) and one in Prague.
Since its launch, Narcoffee has set out to select high quality coffee beans from all over the world, roast them in small batches in their own roasting plant in Cluj-Napoca and create a unique specialty coffee. This way, their customers can enjoy fresh espressos and cappuccinos every day, understanding what real specialty coffee is all about. If you try coffee from Roots, Narcoffee, and Meron, you’ll confidently say you’ve enjoyed one of the best beverages around!
Olivo Caffe is ready to delight its customers with an unforgettable experience all day long. In the morning and at lunchtime, you can savor high quality coffee and gourmet dishes prepared with special attention to detail. And in the evening, you are invited for a glass of wine or a dinner that will delight your gastronomic perception. With its varied menu and spacious location, Olivo Caffe is truly a place for everyone. It is also often favored by people who work remotely!
Their coffee beans are grown on perfect soil at over 1000 meters above sea level and carefully roasted on site in Cluj-Napoca. With the help of a professional coffee grinder, espresso machine and experienced baristas, they skilfully bring out the flavor of the coffee to satisfy every taste request, no matter what kind of coffee drink you prefer.
Over time, coffee establishments have become an element of Romanian culture and society. They remain places to meet, discuss important issues and enjoy a variety of coffees. This emphasizes the importance and significance of coffee culture in Romania, which continues to bring people together and bring joy every day. If you’re going to visit Romania, make sure to stroll through its colorful coffee shops. In them you will definitely find your favorite drink and enjoy the abundance of flavor and socializing in pleasant company.