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 Coffee Drinking in Croatia

by Saron Lease, Croatia Gems Company Founder & Director, 5th July 2018,

“Jednu kavu, molim” (yaednooh kahwooh, mauleem) is Croatian for “may I have a cup of coffee, please”, and is probably one of the most commonly used phrases in our everyday lives.

Coffee drinking in Croatia is not only an important daily ritual, but has slowly grown to be a part of this country’s business folklore. This is especially true for Dubrovnik and the Dalmatian region where business meetings seldom happen without the presence of the all important pick-me-up beverage. When I say this, I am not referring only to having a coffee while attending a meeting in the office. Oh no, we actually go to cafes to have business meetings there while having coffee. Business owners know this very well and there is always  a convenient coffee place just around the corner from one’s office.

If you are travelling to Croatia you might be a little take aback by the bitterness and ‘kick’ our coffee has. On the other hand, when we travel to countries like UK, USA, or Germany we often find local coffee to be watery and too mild for our taste. If you look back in this country’s history you will find our coffee drinking credentials are not without merit. Our food and beverage tradition has been influenced by the Ottoman Empire from the east and our neighbour, Italy, from the west, both of which are cultures supporting serious coffee drinking. In fact, coffee served in most of our cafes is Italian and we use the same coffee terms as Italians do (e.g. Espresso, Macchiato, Cappuccino). If you want to try Turkish style coffee, what we call “cooked coffee”, you will most probably have to go to someone’s house as that is the most common way in which we prepare coffee at home. Alternatively, for good Turkish style coffee, you can try the nearby towns of neighbouring Bosnia & Herzegovina, where traces of the Ottoman conquests style live strongly in local culture.

Having a warm cup of coffee on an open terrace of a local cafe bar is also our preferred way of lounging around on a nice day (plenty of those throughout the year). Regardless of whether your favourite drink is short black espresso or creamy white coffee (cafe latte), most of us will rarely share a nice conversation in a pleasant company without indulging in our daily caffeine fix.

Also important is the use of “Would you like to have coffee sometimes” as probably the most common way of letting a person know you are interested in getting to know them better, whether romantically or as friends.

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