P. S. Dear coffee, I love you
The middle of the day, I leave the office. phew finally 😉 Quick walk through to the Flower Square whose terraces are already filled with people. … babbling … Sun … People … Looks. I breathe that familiar air filled with closeness, human warmth, history, modernity, tradition, and youth … The smell of roses, lilies, and other seasonal flowers that make up one of the smallest flower shops in the city comes to me. I see the familiar faces of my friends who are already in the “deep” story, I sit in “my” place in my “cafe” … .waiter already brings my favorite drink … .KAVA … relaxation begins. This is Croatia everyday lifestyle. The culture of drinking coffee for us is holly, and it is the center of our social life. Everything starts and ends with a coffee. From the first experience drinking coffee in high school, in which gossip is recalled, up to the older age who is gušt” to drink coffee and read newspapers … drinking coffee is interwoven with our life. We are having a coffee for many reason. Before the exam (just one last repeat for exam) meeting with friends, first date (ending relationship), brainstorming about new ideas, arranging a business meeting with clients, and resting after shopping….We are going to coffee daily in the neighborhood, near the workplace, or wherever you go that day … because the cafes are everywhere. For Zagreb, Saturday morning is the highlight of the coffee drink ceremony. People from all parts of Zagreb have a particular appreciation for this tradition … for coming to the city (until noon), dressed in the coolest clothes, going to the hair salon. Arriving at the so-called “špicu” means everything. Who was not on the “špica” missed everything – the last gossip, the latest trendy pieces, sometimes the celeb…Coffee on špica is all about seeing the world and being seen, so heartfelt bonding takes the backseat to strutting around.
All you have to say is “Ajmo na kavu”… it doesn’t necessarily mean literally drinking a cup of coffee. It is about a term which is used as an invitation for a meeting with friends, and if you want drinking coffee with Cro you better prepare yourself that it can last for hours… Zagreb is very often identified as the largest open air café in Europe. Not without reason. On almost every corner modernly fitted cafés await you, with enchanting spacious terraces, charming gardens, beautiful views of the city, comfortable easy chairs, friendly staff and a diverse range of local and foreign high quality coffee beans and rich aromas, cappuccinos, large and small macchiatos, Nescafé, white coffees or those with various flavourings. However you like it, something stronger, with more, or less milk or decaffeinated, you can be sure that it will be prepared according to your tastes
10 coffee drinking rules in Zagreb
- Best meeting point is “kod sata” on Jelačić square
- Never drink coffee alone…bring a friend
- Have a coffee sitting down…it takes time to enjoy
- Coffee is on me or “Plaćam kavu” usually seals the deal – the favour could be worth much more than the price of coffee, but ‘coffee on you’ is a way to acknowledge you owe one now
- We measure our quality of life with coffee. If times are hard and the money is short, we’ll express it in the coffee currency: Nemam ni za kavu [I don’t even have money for coffee]
- Coffee and cigarettes is the deeply ingrained match that will never get unhinged. Smokers use coffee as an excuse to never quit: “Kako ću piti kavu bez cigareta..to mi je rutina” (how will I enjoy my coffee without cigarettes). Even non-smokers rarely complain of a smoky cafe atmosphere, showing tolerance for everyone’s right to have coffee their own way.
- Don’t expect ‘coffee of the day’ Starbucks type of teasers… the most you’ll get is decaf or maybe soya (at fancy places)
- Choose wisely where is your favourite coffee place…it not all about coffee, its about people, views, lifestyle
- There is no typical topic for chat: politics, society, trends, events, relationships, theatre, books …. all these topics fit in three hours talk 🙂
- Going for coffee doesn’t stop us from exchanging espresso for an alcoholic drink. Even an afternoon session may turn into an inebriated frolic with coffee only as last orders to sober everyone up
Oops I’ve forgot so-called “Neda mi se živjeti nedjeljnu kavu” or “Depresivnu nedjeljnu kavu) (I do not want to live Sunday coffee or depressive Sunday coffee). Depressive Sunday coffee It is customary to meet up with friends for the coffee on the Sunday afternoon or evening – when you finally get up.
A successful Sunday coffee is a delicate balance of:
- Complaining about the tomorrow’s plague (also known as Monday)
- Offering one another support and understanding regarding the above
- Squeezing a few last minutes laughs in a weekend before it’s gone.
The power of coffee drinking in Croatia is priceless . That bound between coffee and Croatian is as beautiful and as complex as Croatia herself. So take the first sip, relax and indulge in the pleasure of this warmth, complexity and flavor of Zagreb.