Milk and Sugar in Coffee. Some facts from history


Why do some people drink milk and sugar in coffee?

Many things have come from war, not all of them bad. Funny place to start when talking about why we have a tradition of some cultures adding milk and sugar to their coffee.

Well the person who is often recognized as the person, who was coffee’s chief promoter of coffee in Europe Yuriy Kulchitsky, was originally a Cossack from Ukraine. Fought against the Turks and was captured. While he was captured he was introduced to coffee (the wine of the Turks/Arabs), and he also taught himself Turkish.

In the mid to late 1600’s he worked as an interpreter in Vienna. In 1683 Vienna was besieged by the Turks. Kulchitsky dressed in traditional Turkish apparel and was sent to request reinforcements from Emperor Leopold. These reinforcements assisted in the emancipation of Vienna, and Yuriy was hailed as a hero.

When the Turks retreated they left 300 sacks of coffee and these where given to the only person interested in them Yuriy.

He started handing out coffee so that people could taste it, and driven by his passion decided to add milk and sugar to the coffee, so that more people would enjoy the coffee. This resulted in the opening of the first coffee shop in Vienna (one of the first in Europe, the Venetians lay claim to be the first).

If you visit Vienna there is a monument to Yuriy Kulchitsky and there is a street that bears his name. A rare honour for a lover of coffee, to have achieve such fame.

To this day coffee is still enjoyed in a Viennese style (with milk and sugar), although some traditionalist consider this sacrilege.

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