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Tasty Polish coffee during long winter…

Posted on 19. Jan, 2015 by in cooking, Culture

Coffee is one of my favorite beverages! I love it any time and anywhere:) But of course, especially on a cold winter day….

Most Poles seem hooked on strong coffee and they cannot carry on without a cup a day, or two or more. Many still brew it the Polish way by putting a spoonful or two of ground coffee into a glass and filling the vessel up with boiling water. My aunt makes it super strong…Almost half of the glass/cup is a filled with coffee grounds!!!

The average Pole consumes about 107 litres of coffee per year, which gives the country the 12th position in Europe, according to a report by Euromonitor International. By 2015, the report puts Poland’s coffee market at as much as US$1.64 billion.

Poles drink a lot of instant coffee (kawa rozpuszczalna). One of the very popular brands of this type of coffee was always Inka (and I think it is still pretty easy to find). Inka is a Polish roasted grain beverage. Developed in the late 1960s during the communist era, Inka has been produced in Skawina since 1971, a centre of coffee production since the early 20th century. Currently it is manufactured by GRANA Sp. Z O.O. It is exported to Canada and the United States as Naturalis Inka in packaging reminiscent of that used in Poland in the early 1990s.

Image by olo81 on Flickr.com

Image by olo81 on Flickr.com

 

Poles love their strong black coffee known as czarna , literally the word for “black” or czarna kawa which, in its most extreme form, is equivalent to espresso. Coffee with milk is kawa z mlekiem.

If you would like to know how to order coffee in Polish, here is a helpful video:)

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Old towns in Poland have a lot of really nice and unique coffee shops:) Chain stores, like Coffee Heaven, iCoffee, Empik Cafes and the foreign entries Costa Coffee and Starbucks all offer a great experience as well… clean, uniform, and comfy business-like atmospheres supported by pretty good drip coffee and espresso. Lots of places play jazz music over their stereo but don’t offer any live music. All had free internet.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

How to survive cold winter – useful Polish vocabulary

Posted on 08. Jan, 2015 by in Calendar, Grammar, Nature, Phrases, Safety, Vocabulary

Winter ( zima) is back, and it’s colder than ever. Coupled with snow (śnieg), dry air (suche powietrze), sickness (choroba), and everything else that comes with winter, it’s shaping up to be pretty rough. Here are different ways to keep yourself sane during this bleak season.

Image by Mikael Colville-Andersen on Flickr.com

Image by Mikael Colville-Andersen on Flickr.com

1. Stay active, even in the cold! Bądź aktywny, nawet na mrozie!

Most of us tend to hole ourselves up in the winter, which means lots more couch potato-ing—especially if you’re used to exercising outside. That means to stay fit and healthy, you should try twice as hard to stay active as you do during the summer. Luckily, you have a lot of options, from running (bieganie) to skiing (jazda na nartach) or even biking (jazda na rowerze). You can even keep exercising when you have a cold, though if your symptoms are below the neck, you should probably take a break:)

2. Drive safely in the snow! Jedź bezpiecznie po śniegu!

Snow may be pretty when it’s falling, but as soon as you have to drive somewhere, it becomes your worst enemy (wróg). Make sure your car is prepared for winter so you avoid any technical issues (problemy/usterki techniczne), then brush up on your winter driving skills. Know which streets are plowed (które ulice są odśnieżone), brake before you turn (zahamuj przed zakrętem), and keep a healthy amount of space between you and the car in front of you. You might want to stock your car with a few useful items too, like cooking spray for frozen doors, or kitty litter in case you get stuck (though floor mats may work in a pinch). Park facing east if you can to defrost your windshield, too.

3. Use your thermostat wisely! Korzystaj mądrze z termostatu!

You may be tempted to crank up the thermostat in the winter, but this can be costly—and unnecessarily so! A programmable (programowalny) thermostat can help a lot, but you can also drop your thermostat gradually to help you get used to slightly colder temperatures. If you’re in a hotel, this trick will help you override the thermostat’s built-in limits, too.

4. Prepare for storms! Przygotuj się do burzy śniegowej!

Every year it seems like there’s another “snowpocalypse” or “stormageddon” that’s going to bury us all until spring, but in reality, it’s usually just a few big snows every year. Still, you should be ready for anything, whether it’s something simple like a cancelled flight (odwołany lot) or something worse like losing power (utrata prądu) or getting snowed in entirely (być zasypanym w śniegu całkowicie). Put together an emergency kit for your home and your car, and keep everything well charged. If you do lose power, you can still stay productive—you just have to prepare for it.

5. Heat yourself instead of the entire house! Ogrzej siebie, zamiast całego domu!

Lastly, remember: heating yourself is more efficient than heating your entire home (especially if you live alone). Prepare your body for winter, seal off any unused rooms (uszczelnij niewykorzystane pokoje), and consider a space heater (grzejnik) to save a little on heating costs. It’s amazing what a good pair of socks or slippers (dobra para skarpetek czy kapci) will do.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Happy New Year!

Posted on 31. Dec, 2014 by in Calendar, Holidays, Phrases

New Year’s Eve is a festive occasion that is celebrated in Poland on December 31. It is the day before New Year’s Day, which is the first day of the year in the Gregorian calendar.

Fireworks are lit and seen in the skies above many cities in Poland around midnight between New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Many people toast drinks to farewell to the old year and welcome the New Year at this moment. It is also customary to wish friends and family a Happy New Year.

Image by Atheist_Lenses on Flickr.com

Image by Atheist_Lenses on Flickr.com

Other popular activities include sleigh rides, bonfires, dances, balls, parties and other forms of entertainment to celebrate the welcoming of the New Year.

New Year’s Eve is not an official public holiday in Poland, but it is a busy time of the year for many shops, restaurants, and other commercial businesses. Traffic may be heavy in some parts of the bigger cities and transport services may be busy, as many people travel to attend events or spend time with family and friends.

Here are few words you can wish to your Polish friends on New Year’s Eve (known as Sylwester in Polish – name came from Sylwester’s name day on that day).

Dziesięć, dziewięć … głośno liczę,

A Tobie Kochanie życzę:

Niechaj wszystko o czym marzysz,

W Nowym Roku się wydarzy. 

Ten, nine … I’m counting out loud,

A to you, my love, I wish:

That all about what you wish for,

In the New Year is going to happen.

Aby od sylwestra cały rok był ekstra,
By marzenia się spełniały,
By pieniążki kieszeń Twą wypchały,
A uczucia nie znikały
I z serduszka wypływały.

I wish all year will be amazing from New Year’s Eve,
I wish your dreams will come true,
I wish your pockets will be full of coins,
And feelings do not disappear
And so they come truly from your heart.

Rok się już kończy, rok się zaczyna,
Otwórzmy więc nową butelkę wina
I razem wypijmy za nasze zdrowie,
Aż się zakręci nam troszeczkę w głowie.

The year is already over, the year begins,
Open a new bottle of wine
And together let’s drink to our health,
We will stick around until we get a little dizzy..

Kolejny Sylwester
Lecz życzenia te same
– byś w przyszłym roku zbudował zamek,
Byś miał sto koni i sto samochodów,
Byś nigdy do płaczu nie miał powodów.

Another New Year’s Eve
But the same wishes
- Hopefully next year you will built a castle,
You will have a hundred horses and a hundred cars,
And so you never have a reason to cry.

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Happy New Year!

Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)