Café de Alma
Bosnian coffee is very similar to Turkish coffee, but the Bosnians proudly say theirs is a little different and better.
After our morning guided walking tour of some of Old Mostar with Alma Elezovic, she took us to the coffee shop run by their son, Jaz Elezovic. It’s on the same side of the river as Sadrvan and is close to the old Tanners Mosque, very plain but interesting inside.
Café de Alma (named after Jaz’s mother Alma) is a great place to know about, as Jaz really wants people to learn about Bosnian coffee, how it’s prepared, what the customs are, and so on. Drinking coffee in Bosnia is as much a social ritual as it is just having coffee. It’s about relaxing and being with people.
Jaz has a huge yellow coffee roaster (that Alma and Ermin had bought before the war in the 90s when they thought they would open a coffee shop) and he worked out his own “recipe” for roasting beans. He also designed his own label for the coffee bags that are for sale.
He grinds coffee beans on the spot when customers come in, and measures some into the dzezva, a copper-plated pot with a long straight handle. He then boils water and pours it into the pot. If some of the coffee grounds come to the top, he puts the pot back onto the fire to bring it gently to the boil again. He then pours the coffee gently into small cups to sip and savor. If you wait a while the thick coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the cup and you don’t get the thick coffee-mud feeling in your mouth. Alma very kindly demonstrated all this for us.
The setting is warm and friendly and Jaz and his parents both speak pretty good English so they can explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. You can sit inside or outside, where there are tables and lovely woven rugs, but we opted for inside.
Nath couldn’t drink coffee on this trip, so she and Sonya tried the special rose juice/syrup that Alma made herself and pronounced it delicious. Rod and I had the coffee and were very happy. Everyone got a glass of water and a Turkish Delight sweet too. You can buy bags of Bosnian coffee there, plus coffee pots and cups (we did).
This is a great place and we will happily return if we are ever in Mostar again.
The actual address is on Rade Bitange, open 9:30am-6pm