Aroma Kosher Espresso Bar (Talpiot)
Israeli coffee culture has come a long way in recent years, changing Israelis from a people who considered nes al chalav (instant coffee crystals mixed with hot milk) as the very pinnacle of what could be achieved with the humble coffee bean to a people who are regular users of the word "macchiato."
Much of the driving force behind this coffee revolution has been the development and spread of Israel's native coffee chains, particularly Aroma, an Israeli franchise that has risen from humble beginnings on Jerusalem's Hillel Street (also home to the first location of bitter rival Cafe Hillel) to absolute ubiquity throughout Israel.
The formula is simple enough and should be familiar to American coffee consumers: Walk up to the counter, order, and you'll get your coffee standing up – Aroma doesn't feature table service like its rivals –and its constantly rotating staff means you'll probably never run into someone who remembers your daily order. But Aroma churns out reliably decent coffee, baked goods, salads and sandwiches.
Two locations in Jerusalem are open on Shabbat for the secular cafe crowd, but this is a kosher, closed-on-Shabbat branch.