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Adam Mickiewicz – Polish Coffee

April 7, 2014

When I visited Poland, I didn’t know if the quality of the coffee was intrinsic, or due to the fact that I was enjoying it in sidewalk cafes in the old market square in Krakow. Even so, there’s no way it was as good as it apparently was at the turn of the 19th century. Here is Adam Mickiewicz describing it in his landmark poem Pan Tadeusz, as translated by Kenneth Mackenzie:

There is no coffee like the Polish kind;
In all well-ordered households you will find
A special coffee maker – ‘tis her charge
To purchase from the river-trader’s barge
Or from the city store the finest beans,
And to prepare it she has secret means,
As black as coal, as amber clearly glowing,
As mocha fragrant, thick as honey flowing.


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