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Small is beautiful...
Museums are usually associated with large cool rooms with beautiful paintings hanging on the walls and accompanied by remarkable sculptures. In this totally undisturbed silence the works arouse universal respect and admiration. Are museums just about paintings and sculptures?

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Small is beautiful...

Museums are usually associated with large cool rooms with beautiful paintings hanging on the walls and accompanied by remarkable sculptures. In this totally undisturbed silence the works arouse universal respect and admiration. Are museums just about paintings and sculptures? A museum is a place which also gives shelter to small and delicate objects whose beauty is noticeable only after careful inspection; objects that have not only decorated, but also served; objects that were created from the love of beauty and the will to become surrounded with beauty every day. This is definitely the case with the coffee set donated to the collections of the Tatra Museum by Maria Dembowska in March 1922.
This is a description by Stanisław Eljasz Radzikowski: “(...) according to Witkiewicz’s design, Mr. Wojciechowski, a goldsmith in Kraków, made extremely beautiful silver cups for black coffee that were oxidised outside and gilded inside, as well as a sugar pot from light silver (...).”
The set comprises six cups with saucers, teaspoons and a sugar pot. It was most likely used to drink strong coffee because the cups are small, just the right size for espressos. One might ask: what is so extraordinary about that?
The set was designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz, and its form is definitely different than the then fashionable designs, for example, from Bavaria. The cups made of silver (not of porcelain or faience) are shaped as scoops, that is, cups used by the highlanders. The simple shape of the bowl is adorned with a richly decorated handle finished with a spiral and a heart-shaped ornament known from the oscypek moulds. The saucers are also ornamented with a rosette and indents. The small teaspoons shaped as miniature shepherd ladles are simply delightful. The bulging sugar pot has two handles shaped as the scoop’s lug, and a lid finished with detail in the form of traditional topping of the roof ridge, the so-called pazdurek. Its belly is decorated with delicately engraved lelujki.
Stanisław Witkiewicz first came to Zakopane in 1886 upon the invitation of Maria and Bronisław Dembowski. The Dembowskis were greatly interested in the highlander culture, and were one of the first people to gather ethnographic collections. Their house, known as “Afapark,” attracted intellectual and artistic elites who came to Zakopane. Witkiewicz settled near the Tatra Mountains for good in 1890. He saw the Swiss-style villas that were being erected in Zakopane right next to highlanders’ cottages and thought they fitted quite poorly with the local landscape. For him the basis for the development of domestic construction drew upon highlanders’ houses. The Zakopane style created by Witkiewicz referred not only to the architecture, but also to the interior decorative elements, such as the beautifully decorated cupboards, tables, and beds inspired by the materials used by the highlanders.
Metal products in the Zakopane style are a true rarity. Witkiewicz completed his first designs for the Exhibition of Stylish Furniture in Warsaw in 1896. Few of them were executed, and still fewer survived until the present day.

Elaborated by Julita Dembowska (The Dr. Tytus Chałubiński Tatra Museum in Zakopane), © all rights reserved

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Applied arts in the Zakopane style

“Inside of this cottage everything bears the imprint of artistic preferences (...)”, wrote Stanisław Witkiewicz with regard to a highlander’s house. Applied arts, inspired by the region of Podhale, developed simultaneously with Zakopane style architecture. From the very beginning, Witkiewicz’s concept assumed the principle of completeness, i.e. creating architecture along with interior design, ranging from furniture equipment to the finest decorative details. Just as much as a highlander’s cottage was a model for architecture, its furnishing with particular items of equipment inspired stylish designs for furniture and applied art, because “all this had to be made of the material found in the forms existing in folk art”.

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“Inside of this cottage everything bears the imprint of artistic preferences (...)”[1], wrote Stanisław Witkiewicz with regard to a highlander’s house. Applied arts, inspired by the region of Podhale, developed simultaneously with Zakopane style architecture. From the very beginning, Witkiewicz’s concept assumed the principle of completeness, i.e. creating architecture along with interior design, ranging from furniture equipment to the finest decorative details. Just as much as a highlander’s cottage was a model for architecture, its furnishing with particular items of equipment inspired stylish designs for furniture and applied art, because “all this had to be made of the material found in the forms existing in folk art”.[2]
The forms of a highlander’s cottage were adapted to the requirements of more demanding clients. Witkiewicz believed that “the white chamber, almost unchanged, can be located in even very exquisite and rich apartments and constitute a splendid dining room”.[3] According to his conception, a highlander shape and appearance should be given to all interior elements and, therefore, elements should also be created which “obviously did not exist in a cottage and had to be produced in a fully independent manner under the influence of new emerging needs”.[4] In 1904, a new collective work entitled, the Zakopane style, was published for this purpose, edited by Witkiewicz. Volume I: the Dining room  was a furniture template set, which included designs of various new home equipment, as well as examples of the use of Podhale ornamental motifs. 
Therefore, the basic equipment of a highlander’s cottage, consisting of a table, chairs, shelves, boards, and storage space, constituted a pattern for this stylish furniture. Their form was primarily shaped by their function. They had a very logical structure, which, at the same time, constituted their artistic value (e.g. little pegs, overlap joints, or dovetail joints), and was more important than the surface ornamentation. The line, which decoratively followed all edges and clearances, was also of great aesthetic value. If these basic furnishings were created in the Zakopane style, they usually followed the model highlander form, adding variety to the details and decor. In order to design, for example, living room or office furniture, which was not originally in a cottage (“Washbasins and toilets, couches and armchairs, chaise lounges and stools, cabinets, mirrors, desks and a whole lot of other equipment”),[5]it  was based on the forms and construction of highlander equipment, compiling their elements into completely new furniture. A cupboard , for instance, was formed by combining a chest, table legs (called srogi) and a top unit modelled on a shelf, while the chair backrest or bed headboard were based on the design of a backrest of a sleigh.
The Zakopane style drew directly on the repertoire of Podhale ornamentation, mainly created using the technique of shallow carving. Geometric motifs, such as zigzagging, recica, cone, cross, as well as plant motifs: groves, martagon lily, parzenica, asphodelus, parnassia (a type of a thistle) and the famous “sunrise” were used, with the frequent additional use of openwork, gaps, and fenestrations.
Although objects in the Zakopane style was subjected to its prototype (highlanders’ furniture) in the field of form and ornamentation, artists were, in practice, more inclined to cater to the wishes of the clients, rather than rigidly adhere to the models. In addition, stylish items differed depending on the designer or contractor, who often worked out their own, individual style. It was important simply to convey the flair and style of Zakopane. After the successes of Witkiewicz’s first complete realizations in Zakopane — a villa with furniture —  the popularity of the Zakopane style continued to grow, and so did the demand for various products in this style. The orders “encompassed a huge range of life needs, from a ball gown to a chasuble; from a stool to an altar; from a spoon to a monstrance; from home to church”.[6]
Apart from Stanisław Witkiewicz, the main designers of stylized furniture were Wojciech Brzega, Wiktor Gosieniecki, and Stanisław Barabasz. Home furnishing and fittings were also made by highlanders, especially Maciej Sieczka, Jasiek Walczak (turner), Wojciech Gąsienica Roj (sculptor), and others. Interior designs also contained furniture made by the School of Wood Industry.
In fact, there exist only a few interiors designed by Witkiewicz; for example, the home furnishings of the Pod Jedlami house and the library in the palace in Kluczkowice. In contrast, the greatest activity in the field of furniture industry was developed by Wojciech Brzega, who ran his own workshop from 1903. He made various kinds of items in the Zakopane style there, in addition to creating sculptural works.

Elaborated by Paulina Kluz (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography:
Teresa Jabłońska, Styl zakopiański Stanisława Witkiewicza, „Lamus”, 28 (2013), nr 2/12, p. 60–68.
Teresa Jabłońska, Muzeum Stylu Zakopiańskiego im. Stanisława Witkiewicza: przewodnik, Zakopane 2002.
Jan Majda, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1979.
Zbigniew Moździerz, Dom „Pod Jedlami” Pawlikowskich, Zakopane 2003.
[Jan Gwalbert Pawlikowski], O sztuce podhalańskiej, III: Sprzęt i zdobienie, [w:], Katalog Wystawy Podhalańskiej, Lwów 1911, p.12–20.
Stanisław Eliasz Radzikowski, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1901.
Barbara Tondos, Styl zakopiański i zakopiańszczyzna, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków 2004.


[1] S.E. Radzikowski, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1901, s. 13.
[2] T. Jabłońska, Styl zakopiański Stanisława Witkiewicza, „Lamus”, 28 (2013), nr 2/12 , s. 64; za: S. Witkiewicz, Styl zakopiański. Zeszyt I: Pokój jadalny, s. 367.
[3] S.E. Radzikowski, dz. cyt., s. 15.
[4] T. Jabłońska, Muzeum Stylu Zakopiańskiego im. Stanisława Witkiewicza: przewodnik, Zakopane 2002, s. 38.
[5] Tamże.
[6] J. Majda, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1979, s. 22.

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Stanisław Witkiewicz vs. Imperial and Royal Professional School for Wood Industry in Zakopane

The first signs of interest in the culture of the highlanders emerged before Stanisław Witkiewicz’s arrival in Zakopane. The first Woodcarving School had functioned in this town since 1876. It was later renamed, the Imperial and Royal Professional School for Wood Industry (k.k. Fachschule für Holzbearbeitung in Zakopane), in which professional craftsmen were trained. The school operated under the rule of the Austrian occupier, and its curriculum propagated Tirol styles. Despite this, it was this school's pupils who created the first works inspired by the art of Podhale.

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The first signs of interest in the culture of the highlanders emerged before Stanisław Witkiewicz’s arrival in Zakopane. The first Woodcarving School had functioned in this town since 1876. It was later renamed, the Imperial and Royal Professional School for Wood Industry (k.k. Fachschule für Holzbearbeitung in Zakopane), in which professional craftsmen were trained. The school operated under the rule of the Austrian occupier, and its curriculum propagated Tirol styles. Despite this, it was this school’s pupils who created the first works inspired by the art of Podhale. During the years 1885 and 1886, under the supervision of the then school principal, Franciszek Neužil, a bed and room screen in the Podhale style were made, according to meticulously designed projects by Magdalena Butowt-Andrzejkowiczówna, on the special order of Countess Róża Krasińska. From the second half of 1880s, this decorative style became widespread in the School. Numerous furniture sets designed by Neužil were produced. These were of simple design, and the only thing that connected them with the highlanders’ culture was the abundance of applied ornamentation, hardly reminiscent of folk art. However, the principal himself was the first to describe them as the Zakopane style [zakopaner Style].
After settling in Zakopane, Stanisław Witkiewicz began to notice great potential in the production of the wood industry and the tradition of local wooden products. There was, after all, a school training professionals, as well as a large group of folk carpenters and craftsmen. However, Witkiewicz’s first contact with the Professional School for the Wood Industry did not bring the expected results. The school authorities still opted for Tyrolean-Viennese inspirations for their products. Apart from executing individual orders for sets of furniture stylized to look like Podhale art, highlanders’ patterns were simply considered “peasant” designs. Witkiewicz expressed the increasing antagonism between him and Neužil in the work Na przełęczy (On the col) (1890), in which he called the School “a seedbed of Tyrolean-Viennese taste, a German poison, killing the artistry of the highlanders”.[1] Undoubtedly, this situation encouraged Stanisław Witkiewicz to take up designing furniture and various equipment himself. The first example of this was the realization of (Villa) Koliba for Zygmunt Gnatowski.
In 1895, Edgar Kováts — a Hungarian — came to Zakopane to work as a teacher. In 1899, he became the new principal of the School. The Austrian authorities, in line with local politics, had become inclined to recognize highland designs as “the appropriate national style in Galicia”,[2] which was manifested in Kováts’s activity, especially in his book of templates entitled: Sposób zakopiański [The Zakopane way] (1899).
Kováts introduced his concept into the field of art with solid impetus, and he successfully competed with the Zakopane Style of Stanisław Witkiewicz. The highlanders’ culture, introduced by Kováts, entered the school’s programme, and the designs he proposed were adopted for use by craftsmen. Kováts won numerous orders and support from many personalities in the world of art. However, despite his all-out attack, Witkiewicz neither competed nor argued with him. He only emphasized that the Zakopane Style had nothing to do with Kováts’s proposals, and the two should not be confused. 
The Zakopane Style by Kováts proposed an eclectic formula. Witkiewicz accused him of superficiality in referring to the art of the highlanders, the use of forms other than Podhale art, as well as exaggeration in furniture and equipment decor. Kováts’s decorative patterns combined geometric, floral elements with Tyrolean motifs. They were overused and applied without full understanding of their purpose. The furniture and equipment were of conventional form, with variation added only by inlaid or carved ornamentation and decorative top panels.
The discussion about the priority of the “style” or the “manner” gained publicity, shaping artistic factions. Initially — supported by several architects — the superiority of “manner” was opted for, thanks to which, it was Kováts who participated in the preparation of the Galician Pavilion for the World Exhibition in Paris in 1900. And yet, the public debate between opponents and defenders of the Zakopane Style — who sometimes expressed their views via magazines and newspapers quite aggressively — restored favour to Witkiewicz’s style. Feliks Jasieński rightfully criticized the Paris Pavilion by describing it as “a synthetic-Slavonic-Byzantine-Kovátsov interior of a non-Polish home in a Polish manner”.[3] Over time, a broad group of Kraków artists and professors of the Academy of Fine Arts spoke in favour of the Zakopane Style, as subsequently did the Society for Polish Applied Arts, established in 1901.
Despite Witkiewicz’s ideological victory over Kováts, in practice, Zakopane carvers often used the Zakopane way in their designs, mixing its elements with Podhale art motifs proposed by the Zakopane style. An example of this is the library of the palace in Kluczkowice, which was constructed according to Witkiewicz’s design, although some of its decorative motifs were based on the Tyrolean patterns of the Manner. Such compilations resulted from Witkiewicz’s unclear method of drawing patterns from Podhale art, which was treated freely, as well as from the fact that his collaborators were very often professionally educated students and graduates of the School of Wood Industry.
Stanisław Barabasz, an artist and ethnographer, was the first Pole to be the principal of the School from 1901. From then on, relations between the School and Witkiewicz were normalized, because Barabasz “opened up this ‘chained-up’ institution to Witkiewicz’s concept” [4] by introducing the style of Zakopane to the School’s curriculum. The next principals were artists who had collaborated earlier with Witkiewicz, such as Karol Stryjeński and Wojciech Brzega.

Elaborated by Paulina Kluz (Editorial team of Małopolska's Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Bibliography:
Teresa Jabłońska, Muzeum Stylu Zakopiańskiego im. Stanisława Witkiewicza. Przewodnik, Zakopane 2002.
Jan Majda, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1979.
Zbigniew Moździerz, Dom “Pod Jedlami” Pawlikowskich, Zakopane 2003.
Barbara Tondos, Styl zakopiański i zakopiańszczyzna, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków 2004.


[1] T. Jabłońska, Muzeum Stylu Zakopiańskiego im. Stanisława Witkiewicza. Przewodnik, Zakopane 2002,
 s. 19.
[2] B. Tondos, Styl zakopiański i zakopiańszczyzna, Wrocław–Warszawa–Kraków 2004, s. 85; za: M. Leśniakowska, Jan Koszyc-Witkiewicz (18811952) i budowanie w jego czasach, Warszawa 1998, s. 17.
[3] B. Tondos, dz. cyt., s. 92.
[4] J. Majda, Styl zakopiański, Kraków 1979, s. 8.

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Kawa — szkaradna trucizna i jady

Zanim Polacy docenili smak kawy, stosunkowali się względem niej raczej negatywnie, czego wynikiem są różne komentarze. Warto tu przytoczyć pierwszą znaną w literaturze opinię Andrzeja Morsztyna, który wspominał: „W Malcie-śmy, pomnę, kosztowali kafy...

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Zanim Polacy docenili smak kawy, stosunkowali się względem niej raczej negatywnie, czego wynikiem są różne komentarze. Warto tu przytoczyć pierwszą znaną w literaturze opinię Andrzeja Morsztyna, który wspominał:
„W Malcie-śmy, pomnę, kosztowali kafy,
Trunku dla Turków... Ale tak szkarady
Napój, tak brzydka trucizna i jady,
Co żadnej śliny nie puszcza za zęby,
Niech chrześcijańskiej nie plugawią gęby...”[1].

Opracowanie: Redakcja WMM,
Licencja Creative Commons

 Ten utwór jest dostępny na licencji Creative Commons Uznanie autorstwa 3.0 Polska.

Zobacz też:
Piecek do palenia kawy

Młynek do kawy
Dzbanek do kawy
Serwis kawowy projektu Stanisława Witkiewicza
Przeczytaj więcej o kawie palonej, która zastąpiła przygotowywane w domu ziarna.


[1] Gloger Zygmunt, Encyklopedia staropolska: http://literat.ug.edu.pl/glogers/0021.htm

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Coffee with almond milk

In Poland, in the 19th century, the habit of drinking coffee with almond milk was adopted. The very thought of coffee served in this way stimulates the imagination (taste, smell). Although nowadays hardly anyone prepares coffee in this way...

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In Poland, in the 19th century, the habit of drinking coffee with almond milk was adopted. The very thought of coffee served in this way stimulates the imagination (taste, smell). Although nowadays hardly anyone prepares coffee in this way (it is easier to buy coffee with an almond aroma in a store or in a coffee roasting shop), such milk can easily be prepared at home.
Just soak peeled almonds or flaked almonds in boiled or mineral water (in a proportion of one glass of almonds – about 150 g – to three glasses of water) and leave it overnight. Then pour the water off, mix the almonds in a blender with three glasses of fresh water, add one more glass, then drain the liquid through a piece of gauze and it’s ready! The almond mass can be used as cheese or as one of the ingredients for a cake. You can also make a homemade marzipan by adding sugar (in the proportion of 40–30%). To make the mass stick together more easily, add a few drops of almond oil, rose water or, for example, amaretto.
The milk prepared in this way can be stored in a glass bottle for several (preferably two) days. Marzipan, due to its unique flavour, will probably be used up much quicker.

Read also how acorn coffee was prepared and how the first coffee roasting plants were created in Poland.
 

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.



 

 

See: 
Device — coffee roaster
Coffee grinder
Coffee pot

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Coffee made from acorns

Coffee is not always a beverage prepared from cocoa beans. Cereal grains (chicory) and even less obvious ingredients like acorns are also used to make coffee. In Obyczaje w Polsce od Średniowiecza do czasów współczesnych, Lidia Korczak writes about coffee prepared from broad beans, wheat or roasted peas...

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Coffee is not always a beverage prepared from cocoa beans. Cereal grains (chicory) and even less obvious ingredients like acorns are also used to make coffee. In Obyczaje w Polsce od Średniowiecza do czasów współczesnych, Lidia Korczak writes about coffee prepared from broad beans, wheat or roasted peas.

Acorn coffee was most popular in the pre-war years and during the World War II when substitutes for the black beverage were particularly valuable.

Today, acorn coffee is making a comeback as an alternative to natural coffee. It is available in eco-friendly shops. Acorn coffee from the Bug river region has even been entered into the regional products register.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolskas Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See: 
Device — coffee roaster
Coffee grinder

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From the crisis of Kraków tea to coffee from the Pluton roasting plant

The tradition of drinking coffee in Poland dates back to the 17th century (though initially a lot of people showed distrust towards it).
In noble houses and manors, consuming this beverage was a sort of ritual — the green coffee beans were bought, then they were roasted in special devices, brewed in melting-pots, and served in cups...

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The tradition of drinking coffee in Poland dates back to the 17th century (though initially a lot of people showed distrust towards it).
In noble houses and manors, consuming this beverage was a sort of ritual — the green coffee beans were bought, then they were roasted in special devices, brewed in melting-pots, and served in cups. To this end, among highly qualified servants, not only medicine-maids were employed but also coffee-maids, who took care of the condition of coffee utensils and guaranteed the highest quality of the served beverage.
By the turn of the 20th century, every house was equipped with a coffee roaster.
Coffee devices started to fall into oblivion among others thanks to Tadeusz Tarasiewicz’s entrepreneurship. The failure of his first idea also indirectly contributed to it; Tarasiewicz resigned from his post of director of the Galician Bank in order to set up a shop with tea in Kraków. But the enterprise did not provide the expected profits; what is more, it turned out to be a complete disaster.
In 1882, Tarasiewicz moved to Warsaw where he set up another, innovative for those times, enterprise – the Pluton coffee roasting plant, the first one in Poland.
Initially, he had difficulties persuading clients to buy pre-roasted coffee (the volume of coffee decreased in the process of roasting, and because of that it seemed to be more expensive than the one prepared at home on a frying pan). As Kordian Tarasiewicz (the founder’s grandson) mentioned in a conversation with Jakub Kowalski in Tygodnik Powszechny [General Weekly], the new place also aroused curiosity – people lined up at the door in order to smell the intensive aroma of coffee, which they could not get at home.
Finally, the success of Pluton affected the change of habits. Roasted and ground coffee shortened the process of preparing this beverage and settled on shop shelves permanently. Green coffee beans disappeared from the market for many years. Today, we can buy them again (but this time they are much more expensive) and roasting at home has become popular among people who value the slow process.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

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The first Polish café in Vienna and coffee with milk

Although the custom of brewing coffee did not catch on in Poland right away, it is worth remembering that Vienna cafés owe their fame to a Pole – Jerzy Kulczycki.
He used his knowledge of the Turkish language during the siege of Vienna of 1683; as a spy, he forced his way through the Turkish camp...

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Although the custom of brewing coffee did not catch on in Poland right away, it is worth remembering that Vienna cafés owe their fame to a Pole – Jerzy Kulczycki.
He used his knowledge of the Turkish language during the siege of Vienna of 1683; as a spy, he forced his way through the Turkish camp twice and obtained an assurance of the upcoming relief led by King John III Sobieski. This had an impact on the decision to continue the defence of the city.
After winning the battle and repelling the Turkish offensive, John III Sobieski and the rulers of Vienna decided to reward Kulczycki for his service, allowing him to select anything he wanted from the spoils of war, and to pursue any occupation. Contrary to expectations, he did not choose bags of gold or lengths of expensive fabrics, but bags of coffee. He also had the privilege of founding the first public café in Vienna.
According to tradition, the Pole was also the author of a recipe for coffee with milk. At first, he served black coffee in his café, but it seemed too bitter to many customers and did not enjoy great popularity. Everything changed when Kulczycki sweetened the coffee taste and softened its aroma with milk and honey.
To this day, Viennese café owners consider him their patron. One of the streets in the capital of Austria is named after Kulczycki.
In Poland, Kulczycki is still a little-known figure, although in 2009 his image appeared on commemorative stamps.

Elaborated by Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums,
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

See also:
Device — coffee roaster
Coffee grinder

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Coffee set designed by Stanisław Witkiewicz

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