Bosnia-Herzegovina, in the Balkans and the Arabian Gulf are thousands of kilometres apart, but a common interest in Bosnian coffee can build bridges between the peoples of these two different cultures.

Bosnian coffee

Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival held in Abu Dhabi celebrates the country’s cultural heritage and showcases the rich diversity of its traditions from 20th October 2020 to 20th February 2021.

The Festival welcomes more than a million visitors of various nationalities every year, featuring 3,500 international cultural events, and hosts 17,000 participants and exhibitors from 30 countries around the world.

Meliha Pasic, a sales executive at a shop in Bosnia-Herzegovina pavilion at the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Abu Dhabi said,

The moment some visitors see on the board ‘Bosnia,’ they ask, ‘Do you have Bosnian coffee?

Coffee lovers among Emiratis, other Gulf nationals, Asians, North Africans and Europeans immediately find coffee as a common topic to strike a conversation with us.

Coffee enthusiasts among Emiratis and Gulf nationals usually ask about the difference between Bosnian coffee and Turkish coffee, which is one of their favourite types of coffee.

Meliha Pasic explains that there is Turkish influence on Bosnian coffee. The Ottoman Empire, which ruled the Balkan region for several centuries since the 14th century, had left their coffee as a cultural legacy in the region.

The way of Bosnian coffee making is what makes it different from Turkish coffee.

When preparing Bosnian coffee, the cold water goes on the stove alone. After coming to a boil, a small amount of water is set aside. The coffee is then added to the džezva (a small long-handled pot with a pouring lip designed specifically to make Bosnin coffee) and put back onto the stove for a few seconds, allowing the liquid to boil yet again, rise to the point of overflowing and create a thick foam

We use Brazilian coffee beans, but what we claim is our own way of coffee making!

In the neighbouring countries of the Western Balkan region such as, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia this type of coffee is still very popular. North Macedonia’s only major roaster for example, largely roasts Turkish style coffee. This should come as no surprise since the country used to be united as a single country known as Yugoslavia.

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