Balkan countries comprise a confluence of cultures, and when they sit down to a coffee, history is at once brought to light and put to bed. The coffee culture of this corner of southeastern Europe is steeped in a history of ever-morphing empires and countries.
In contrast to Italy, where people enter a cafe and gulp an espresso shot while standing– in the Balkans the people sit down. Having coffee outside with family, friends, and business partners may never really be about the coffee. It’s about the conversations and relationships. The coffee bars are a social glue.
Nowhere else you will feel the melding of cultures as much as I did in Sarajevo with a Bosnian coffee. A true East meets West experience. In contrast to Istanbul, where the vibe is Eastern, with Western influences and tourists, Sarajevo delivers a greater sense of balance.
Walking down the main street of Baščaršija one feels the charm of the trinket-filled bazaar, the mosques with minarets, and the whiffs of ćevapčići, sirnica, and baklava. Continue walking, and you will see the flame burning for war victims, simultaneously realizing you are on the Western side of town, among Western buildings and bakeries
The Non-Espresso Coffee
Your first introduction to what we will call the non-espresso Balkan coffee you will find all over Balkans. Depending on where you are, it will have a different name. The Serbians call it “homemade” (domaca) coffee, the Bosnians call it “Bosnian” (bosanka) coffee, the Macedonians call it “Macedonian” coffee.
Maybe best example is to show by picture how “non expresso” will look a like.
The Bosnian kahwa serving set is called “kahveni takum”. It consists of a board (copper tray) with jazz (a pot with a handle in which kahva is cooked), sugar (a bowl for sugar and rachatlocum) and filgi
(cups without a handle from which the kahva is drunk).
Enjoy Bosnian coffe (recommendation; coffe is strong).
“Kafa”, “Kahva”, “Kava” are basically the same thing “coffe”… It is a variation of laguages spoken in Balkan region. But the taste and the aroma is the thing you go after.