Monday, 18 August 2008


One of the biggest cultural aspects of Bosnia is coffee. Nothing happens without it. At the border post waiting for our insurance to be resolved I shared a coffee with the border guards. Any meeting, any visit to a house, literally any time you do anything you have a coffee.

I really like Bosnian coffee which is just as well. A proper Bosnian coffee is dark, smooth and with a lot of sludge at the bottom (reflecting the Turkish influence of their history). You drink it strong, sweet and black and it will keep you awake for hours. A skinny latte it is not.

I think what I like most about the coffee is the ritual of its making. In the days when I used to smoke, it was always the ritual of smoking that really attracted me; the search for a lighter as much a part of smoking as actually inhaling. Bosnian coffee is made in its own special coffee pot, the coffee heated before any water is added and then there is stirring, settling, sugaring. I made my first pot since arriving in Bosnia today and it did the trick. Now I can't remember why I have left the coffee pot I bought when we were here 4 years ago languishing at the back of a cupboard for so long. With 2 babies during this time and a distinct lack of sleep you would have thought that the caffeine hit would have been exactly what was needed.

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