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Upside-Down Coffee?

Upside-Down Coffee?

There are many urban myths that have circulated throughout the years to explain why Israelis refer to cappuccinos as “café hafooch” (קפה הפוך), which literally translates to “upside-down coffee.” We gathered all the explanations we could find to give you a clear answer to the question: why do Israelis order “upside-down” coffee?

The Ratio Myth

Some say that Israelis began calling cappuccinos café hafooch because of how the cappuccino differed from the coffee Israelis were used to drinking at the time. As the story goes, Israelis were accustomed to drinking coffee that consisted of more water, more espresso, and just a drop of milk. With the emergence of the cappuccino in Israel, the ratio of coffee, water, and milk “flipped upside down” (in a cappuccino there’s less coffee and water and more milk), leading to the nickname “upside down” coffee.

Photo credit: haaretz.co.il

The Preparation Myth

Another urban legend states that the name “hafooch” actually refers to the order in which the coffee and milk are poured into the cup. According to this story, the popular method of coffee preparation in Israel before the “hafooch” consisted of first pouring milk into the cup and then adding the espresso after. The cappuccino required the espresso to be poured first and the milk after and therefore became known as “café hafooch” since it was literally the old preparation style “flipped upside down.”

The “Hafooch” is Not Even a Cappuccino” Myth

This urban myth may be hard to prove, but some people go as far as to say that the hafooch is not even a cappuccino and is actually an original Israeli invention. According to this explanation, Israelis were the ones who began pouring espresso first and then adding milk unlike the way Italians were making cappuccinos by first pouring foamed milk and then adding espresso. Today, no matter where you are in the world, a cappuccino is traditionally prepared by first pouring espresso and then adding foamed milk so this myth may be just that – a myth!

 

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