Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Triumph! I Made Serbian Coffee by Myself!

I did it! I finally made coffee in Serbia that a real Serb would drink, all by myself and *without* supervision. It's taken months and I am not a tremendously stupid person. It's just alien that's all.

Step 1. Put sugar into cold water in metal coffee "pot" (a tall thin pot with no lid; I'll post a photo soon of this and other exotic sights) and put on stove to boil. At this point a real Serb will tell you that you put in the wrong amount of water and they will pour some of it off.

Step 2. Add two HEAPING tablespoons of super-fine-ground coffee (looks like dark powder) per person to be served. At this point a real Serb will add a bit more coffee.

Step 3. Within 2-5 seconds the coffee will foam up in the pot, very dramatically. Yank it off the heat just at the microsecond it's going to boil over. At this point a real Serb will laugh because you forgot to have the potholder ready.

Step 4. Stir the coffee briefly but thoroughly, and put it back on the heat to boil a few more seconds.

Step #5. Turn off heat with one hand and slam a china plate (tea cup sized, bottom side down) over the pot as a "lid". As every Serb will explain, this is critical to catch the coffee oil that would otherwise escape in the steam. They will not explain why Serbian coffee pots are sold without lids. Let sit for several minutes.

Step #6. Pour the coffee very carefully into little cups. These are smaller than teacups but bigger than espresso cups. Never pour one cup all at once (unless you are the only one drinking coffee); instead pour a little into one cup, a bit into the next, and so on and so on. The goal is for every cup to have equal amounts of clear coffee versus grounds.

Yes, grounds. Coffee is not filtered at all.

Step #7. Sit and wait for coffee to cool and settle in your cup. Under no circumstances should you stir. If you need extra sugar, hold the spoon horizontally in the cup, so the sugar is just covered by liquid and slowly dissolves.

Step #8. Drink in tiny sips, careful of upsetting grounds which are thick sludge at the bottom of the cup. Caffeine impact is much bigger than US coffee, so naturally Serbs drink coffee anytime of day or night including right before bed.


Viktor said...

Good work!
Now all you have to do is not think about the health hazards that this beverage represents and enjoy :)

Good blog btw, I'll add it in the blogroll!

Holly said...

On my first trip to Zagreb, we stayed for two weeks (during that time we got engaged..and pregnant, haha).
I am not a coffe or heavy caffiene user. But being a pleasant and "When in Rome..." rule adherent, I drank along with everyone else. It seemed to me the day was a ritual of alternating caffiene and alcohol! LOL!
After our time was up - much too short, but our work holidays were also short - we returned home. I suffered with an AWFUL headache for three days! ..until i remembered all that terrifically strong kava I'd been drinking and was now NOT drinking. A good dose of caffiene, and the headache was gone.
Now i'm a coffee drinker, and fit in with my foreign family much better! :)

Jello's Man said...

I am in love with a Serbian woman who told me that she would never drink filtered coffee. Then she sent me your blog. I feel you have brought the 2 of us closer together.