Coffee for Albanians is a way of living

According to statistics, Albania has 654 bars per 100,000 inhabitants or 1 bar per 152 residents. Albania also surpassed Spain, which still holds the European Union (EU) and world record for the highest number of bars per capita, with 592 bars per 100,000 inhabitants, or one bar- coffee for 169 residents, according to a recent EU study.

This is not only in statistics. It is evident when you visit Tirana. Every tourist coming to Tirana for the first time is impressed by the many coffee bars on every corner. You don’t know where to go and what to choose. All of them are well designed, with good furniture and plenty of people. But the highest number is concentrated in the Blloku area in the heart of Tirana. It is somehow a paradox if you think that Blloku was a forbidden area for Albanian citizens during the dictatorial regime of Enver Hoxha. No one could enter, and no one could see the rich life the political leadership of the regime and their families were living while the rest of the country was in deep poverty.

The culture of coffee is very traditional in Albania. You can’t start the day without a coffee. But many people drink two to five coffees per day. The most frequent clients are unemployed young people. Despite that, many other businesspeople discuss their work issues in the coffee. It is somehow a sign of hospitality or friendship since the first thing we say to a person we just met is: can I offer Coffee, or let’s meet for a coffee? It is the easiest way to start a relationship or a business cooperation.

The culture of coffee is very traditional in Albania. You can’t start the day without a coffee. But many people drink two to five coffees per day. The most frequent clients are unemployed young people. Despite that, many other businesspeople discuss their work issues in the coffee. It is somehow a sign of hospitality or friendship since the first thing we say to a person we just met is: can I offer Coffee, or let’s meet for a coffee? It is the easiest way to start a relationship or a business cooperation.

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