Apr 12, 2012

The Bosnian culture of coffee (kahva)

On so many occasions I've watched confused visitors make a mess of the ritual of drinking a good Bosnian coffee, Turkish style.
Bosnian coffee comes in a small metal džezva (pronounced „jezva“) coupled with a small round cup called fildžan (filjohn). With the tiny spoon you gentle stir the top layer of coffee in the džezva. When the top turns a cream colour you are ready to pour. The džezva is usually filled with a little more coffee than the fildžan can hold.

Be aware that at the bottom of džezva are the coffee gronnds that will feel like a mouthful of sand if you pour all the way to the bottom. Leave a tiny layer on the bottom of the džezva just to be sure. Traditionally the sugar cubes are dipped into the fildžan and eaten. Feel free to plump them into the coffee and stir. Always hold the fildžan from the outer rim and never by the body, for it will more than likely be hot. If the fildžan is served in a copper holder that is meant to hold the heat in, don't pick up the copper holder to drink your coffee – that stays on the table. In some places a jelly-like candy called rahatlokum is served. It will be coated with powdered sugar and have a toothpick sticking out from it. It seems obvious what is next but I've seen people trying to dip the rahatlokum into the coffee. Please don't do that. Bend towards the table (the powdered sugar tends to go everywhere) and enjoy your Bosnian delight.

                                 Dear, prepare coffee for me
                                    (Kahvu mi, draga, ispeci)

                                 Make me a cup of coffee, dear
                                 As if it were, darling, for уоu
                                 And I shall come
                                 At midnight to sit beside уоu.
                                 Do spread a mattress, dear
                                 As if it were, darling, for you
                                 And I shall come and midnight to lie beside you.

                                  Bosnian love song - sevdalinka

Kahvedžija –  one who enjoys in coffee.
Kahvenisati – a Bosnian form of Turkish term verb „to drink coffee“
Kahvenjaci – a Bosnian word form of Turkish term for coffee dishes.