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Shtepia e Kafese

Every time we visit IKEA I come back with a bag full of coffee. The strong dark Skanerost is my favourite, with the milder Mellanmork offering a little variety. The Scandinavians know a thing or two about coffee - so black you can't see the bottom of the cup; so thick you could trot a mouse across it.

Here in Albania, though, filter coffee - or, as it is sometimes known for no good reason, 'American coffee' - is very definitely the poor relation. Albanians prefer their coffee the Italian or, to a lesser extent, the Turkish way. And many places certainly do a very good espresso.

Inevitably, my coffee drinking habits have changed. Now, when I am out, I regularly drink espresso - something I never did before. For me, the thought of putting sugar in coffee was shocking. While at home, I have my supply of Skanerost to keep me satisfied.

Yet when my supplies run low, the thought of a seven or eight hour drive to Thessaloniki to restock is hardly appealing. So, I was intrigued when, just before Christmas, I happened to be walking down a street near Komuna e Parisit and saw new signs on a formerly empty corner store that read 'Shtepia e Kafese' - House of Coffee.

Yesterday, I took a walk down the same street and called in at the newly opened shop. Nicaraguan, Colombian, Kenyan and a reasonably good range of other beans are available, ground to order. I ordered some of the Kenyan and as well as tasting good, the freshly ground beans have filled the entire house with their fine aroma.

As well as coffee, the shop also carries a range of other goodies - dried fruits, pastries, sweets and candies, wines and more besides. It is a great little shop and I will definitely be visiting regularly.

Comments

Ll.T. said…
What, you haven't started drinking "turkish coffee" yet? If you're lucky enough you'll even have your fortune read :)
Anonymous said…
i can imagine for foreigners coming to Alb is a bit hard to find products and services they are used to the way they are used to.
You can find quality products, you jsut don't knwo where they sell them because the best stores usually are in places that don't look like stores at all. With time, hopefully you will get accustomed to the life there.
I love Ikea food, products and coffee, too!!!
tetena said…
And I miss Albanian Italian way coffee in Paris because here you can get something between American coffee and espresso light French way coffee.
ourmanintirana said…
Don't like the grit in the bottom of turkish/greek coffee. Not sure I want to know what my fortune is either.

Anon - if you know of any other good stores you think I should visit let me know.

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Welcome

Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.

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And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

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