The Bosnian Coffee: Not Just a Point of National Pride, it’s a Matter of Distinction

Even today, 136 years after the Ottomans ceded it to Austria-Hungary, Bosnia-Hercegovina shows many signs of its nearly four centuries of Turkish rule: the architecture, the occasional shared word, the complimentary cup of coffee after dinner. But where other countries in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa still serve what is essentially a Turkish coffee (they use the same methods and finely ground beans; they just give the drink a regional name) Bosnia-Hercegovina is one of the few places where calling the coffee by an eponymous name isn’t just a point of national pride. It’s a matter of distinction.

If one would like to sense the real beauty of coffee, he or she should ordered a Turkish coffee at Nanina Kuhinja, a restaurant in Baščaršija, in the capital of Sarajevo. The man sitting next to us, Nadir Spahić, was quick to interject. “Bosnian coffee is not Turkish coffee,” he said, a hint of defensiveness in his voice. The difference, he explained, is in the process.

Both start out with roasted coffee beans that are pulverised into a fine powder and cooked in a small (generally) copper-plated pot with a long neck, called a džezva (or cezve in Turkish). But the Turks add the coffee and optional sugar to cold water before placing it on the stove. When preparing Bosnian coffee, the cold water goes on the stove alone.

(Source: BBC)