From Australia to Madagascar to Sweden, nearly every country and region has its coffee tradition, and the same can be said for Bosnia.
Whether you’re looking to try something new or curious about the cultural aspect of this centuries-old tradition, there’s so much to discover about Bosnian coffee. Read on to learn a bit about how this coffee is made, how it’s served, and its history.
What is Bosnian coffee? Where does it come from?
If you’re unfamiliar with Bosnian coffee, it is a type of coffee that is traditionally brewed in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is made with coffee, water, and sugar and served in small cups called fildžani with foam on top.
Bosnian coffee has a centuries-old history. From the 15th century into the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire extended into Bosnia and Herzegovina, introducing its traditions and customs. One of these traditions was coffee — since Islamic custom forbids drinking alcohol, coffee is a natural stand-in for a social drink.
Since they all have similar origins, Bosnian coffee is very similar to Arabic or Turkish coffee. Despite the fall of the Ottoman Empire, thick, strong coffee is still widely popular with coffee drinkers in the region.
What is the cultural aspect of Bosnian coffee?
Bosnian coffee is more than just a drink – it’s a way of life, a social practice, and a sign of hospitality. This rich, thick coffee is an integral part of Bosnian culture, and people of all ages enjoy it.
It’s often served to guests and made to be savored for hours over a friendly conversation. It’s also a staple beverage at social gatherings like weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
How is Bosnian coffee made?
It is made using a unique brewing method using a copper pot known as a “džezva.” The coffee grounds are added to the džezva directly, boiled in the coffee pot with water, almost similar to cowboy coffee, and then poured into small cups and served with sugar cubes. While it may seem complicated at first, the process isn’t nearly as intricate or time-consuming as it sounds!
How does Bosnian coffee taste?
If you’ve never tried Bosnian coffee before, you’re in for a treat. This unfiltered coffee is unlike any other, and its unique flavor is sure to please.
It is made by boiling ground coffee beans in hot water and then adding sugar and milk, and it’s usually served with a slice of lemon on the side. The resulting coffee is thick and strong, with a unique taste that is perfect for sipping on a cold day.
So how does Bosnian coffee taste? It is strong and slightly sweet, and the lemon adds a refreshing tartness. It is a perfect way to start the day or to enjoy with friends during a break. Just be warned; this coffee is much stronger than anything you’ll get from a standard coffee machine.
Is Bosnian coffee strong?
The short answer is yes, Bosnian coffee is very strong, even for those who prefer their coffee with a punch.
Bosnian coffee is known for being strong and rich, and it’s definitely not for everyone. This is the one you want if you’re looking for a coffee that will give you a real energy boost. But be warned – it’s also incredibly potent, so make sure you know what you’re getting into before taking a sip.
What’s the difference between Bosnian and its Turkish counterpart?
One big difference is how the two coffees are served. Turkish coffee is usually served in the cup, with the copper pot, or “cezve” left in the kitchen, while Bosnian coffee is served in the džezva, with sugar cubes, a lemon, and maybe a small treat on the side, like baklava or Turkish delight.
How To Serve Bosnian Coffee
You can make Bosnian coffee at home. All you need is a džezva (found at many online retailers) and some good, quality coffee. Follow the instructions below, and you’ll be enjoying a cup of Bosnian coffee in no time!
What you will need:
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of coffee grinds
- Sugar cubes
- A Bosnian džezva pot
- Small coffee cups for each guest
The first thing you’ll need is some good coffee. Bosnian coffee is typically made with dark-roasted coffee beans, so look for something labeled as such.
Once you have your coffee, the next step is to brew it. Bring the water to a boil in the džezva, and then add the coffee grinds on top of it, stirring it gently. Allow the coffee to simmer in the boiling water for a few minutes before being served with sugar cubes.
It is customary to offer guests a second cup of coffee, which is considered a great compliment.
How To Drink Bosnian Coffee
There’s no denying it — the practice of drinking Bosnian coffee is just as important as the coffee itself!
Start with a sip of water when you’re ready to drink your coffee. Then, scoop some of the cream-like foam from the top of the coffee in the džezva, and keep it in your spoon. Pour some coffee into your cup before adding the foam on top. This part is crucial: you can’t have Bosnian coffee without a layer of foam!
While some people love to drink their Bosnian coffee black, there’s no shame in adding a bit of sugar! There are a couple of ways to add sugar to your coffee, but the most popular method is to dip the tip of a sugar cube into your coffee and then place the dissolved sugar on your tongue. Then, immediately take a sip of coffee.
Also, be sure to take a sip of water in between your sips of coffee. Not only will this prolong the coffee experience, but it will also cleanse your palate in between sips.
If you want to try authentic Bosnian coffee, the best way to do it is to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, making it yourself is the next best thing if you can’t make it to Bosnia.
Are you looking to learn more about coffee traditions worldwide? Check out our guides to Greek or Turkish coffee, or discover the strongest coffees from around the world.