How to Drink Coffee, Bosnian Style

Drinking coffee in Bosnia is an event, possibly even a meal.  It is not the speedy gulping of scalding, tasteless gas station coffee.  It is an involved process.  Today I had espresso, but typically you can choose from Bosanska kafu, Espresso, Machiatto, and Latte.  When it arrives, you have to wait at least five minutes before even looking at it, because you will be in a meaningful conversation with your friends, or in my case, your host mother.  After about five minutes, you can take the sugar packet, shake it, add it to the coffee cup, and stir (taking care not to destroy the decadent foamed milk floating on top of the coffee).  Now it is acceptable to take a sip.  However, you must then return the cup to its saucer and continue your conversation.  You will probably let it sit for another 10 minutes before taking another sip.  After this, you can drink it with more regularity, and when you are halfway finished you can actually hold it in your hands instead of putting it back on the table, and it’s probably okay to drink it with more purpose.  It takes a while. I’ve found that for the most part, “going for a coffee” is simply a wonderful reason to sit and chat with relatives, close friends, not-so-close acquaintances, and anyone else you’d like to spend time with.

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