Such vivid history in a single Maltese brew!

Published: 06 Mar 2020
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Local artist launched new Maltese coffee speciality blends, inspired by local history

A new speciality coffee collection, inspired by local history, is the latest product innovation by local artist and designer Stephanie Borg®. This collection is the fruit of her ongoing enthusiasm to revive Malta’s heritage and culture through her contemporary series of products and artworks.

Il-Kafè tal-Kursari (Maltese Corsairs coffee) and Il-Kafè tà Vassalli are the first two blends launched as part of this speciality coffee collection. Inspired by notarial documents from the research conducted by The Notarial Archives Foundation.

Corsairs made a living by stealing at gunpoint, saffron, coffee, rice, cinnamon, wheat and nutmeg. Maltese Maritime law gave the Maltese Corsairs an opportunity to steal and then sell to Europe the most sought after of spices and grain. A document found at the Notarial Archives Foundation dated 1777, describes how Captain Leopold Desira spotted a suspicious ship and dispatched his lieutenant Giuseppe Estaden to inspect it. This led Estaden to interrogate a Catholic Priest called Ignazio who at the end of the ordeal was revived with coffee infused with spices found abroad! Il-Kafè tal-Kursari is a rich blend of Arabica coffee, cinnamon and cloves and was inspired by this historical maritime story.

Mikiel Anton Vassalli (1764-1829), was a Maltese writer, a philosopher and a linguist who published various books including the first published Maltese dictionary in the 18th century. He lived a turbulent life and suffered arrest, exile, imprisonment and hunger. He was considered the greatest mind of his country by Napoleon Bonaparte. When Mikiel Anton Vassalli arrived in Corsica, he was chosen by Napoleon to manage the production of several harvests such as cotton so as not to depend on imports. Il-Kafè tà Vassalli is a strong intense Arabica coffee blended with chicory. It was inspired by Vassalli’s story.

Both Maltese coffee blends are proudly crafted and blended in Malta. The Arabica coffee beans are roasted in Malta by coffee roasters Lot 61.

Mr Liam Gauci, a Maritime historian from the Notarial Archives Foundation says ‘It gives us great satisfaction and pride to support such a project that revives part of our rich history. Thanks to such artists like Stephanie Borg, who transformed this historical fact into a product to be enjoyed every day!

‘Such initiatives give us hope to continue our mission to revive and learn from our heritage and adopt such knowledge into the now.’ Says Dr Joan Abela, historian and founder, Notarial Archives Foundation.

The Launch of Maltese Coffee Brew - Liam Gauci, Dr. Joan Abela & Stephanie Borg,
From left: Mr Liam Gauci, Dr Joan Abela and Stephanie Borg

‘Launching a locally-inspired collection came as a natural progression to me after all the espresso cups and mugs I have designed and developed over the past 12 years. I wanted to dig deeper into our Maltese history to find out how coffee was brewed. During the research done by the National Archives Foundation, we discovered more about the Maltese Corsairs and their coffee drinking rituals, and how coffee was enjoyed and traded by Maltese patriots when in exile in Corsica such as the infamous Mikel Anton Vassalli. To capture all this, I created an original pattern inspired by the Maltese tiles and wrought iron designs with the shape of the coffee bean intertwined which features in gold foil on the packaging,’ says artist and designer Stephanie Borg.

The Coffee collection is now available exclusively at the Stephanie Borg Studio Boutique in Rabat and from the online shop stephanieborg.com.

About Stephanie Borg

Ever since 2008, Stephanie Borg® has made it her mission to reinterpret Malta’s daily life and culture, with its full vibrancy and charm, into a contemporary series of products and artworks. The artist’s journey in pursuit of her passions and her homeland’s heritage preservation has led her towards the creation of a fashion and interior décor trend with useful yet distinctive products. The Maltese cement patterned tiles and the traditional doors are Stephanie’s main source of inspiration. Other collections include ‘The Village Street’, the ‘Malta-inspired’ and her latest ‘The Wrought Iron’.

Stephanie Borg - Wrought Iron hardback Journal

Stephanie Borg® contributes to her homeland’s heritage by bringing back to life Malta’s rich culture through her creativity.

Don’t miss a visit to Stephanie Borg® Studio Boutique in 33, St. Catherine Street, Rabat, RBT2462, Malta.  Opening Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4 pm-7 pm or by appointment. Mobile: +35699161469. Website: stephanieborg.com