In Denmark there’s a ritual, an attitude, of enjoying life's simple pleasures. It’s called hygge (pronounced “HUE-gah”). In Bosnia and Herzegovina they have a similar outlook, one that’s deep in their genetic code. One that says that a kind word or smile from a passing stranger, a pleasant thought or memory, a smell or colour, an encounter with the traditional may be enough to bring you a moment - or longer - of happiness.
This state of mind (and being) is also embodied in a word borrowed from the region’s Turkish Ottoman heritage: rahatluk (pronounced rah-HAHT-look). So when Snježana Nezirović decided to give up studying medicine and open her delightful jewel of a cafe/shop dispensing traditional Bosnian coffee, all manner of teas, hot chocolate, fruit juices and syrups, desserts and baked goods - and knowledge - she knew that whatever she called it to encapsulate rahatluk.
With a slight play on the word, Snježana had her name, logo and ethos: Rahatlook. Which also is slightly easier to pronounce for English speakers!
Not only does she brew a mighty fine and authentic Bosnian coffee, she also makes many of the syrups and juices on offer. And teaches the philosophy and technique of her crafts.
As a bonus, Snježana’s husband runs a bakery just around the corner that’s been in his family for over 100 years. Talk about marriages made in heaven!
"Women do all the work in the kitchen. Men can help by grinding the coffee." - Snježana Nezirović
"Coffee is medicine." - Snježana Nezirović
One final thought. Older people in Bosnia and Herzegovina say that there used to be much more rahatluk in the past. Snježana believes that one can feel rahat at any time. And at Rahatlook she practices what she preaches. Have a closer look at www.rahatlook.ba.
What is Balkan Caffeination?
Our mission is to explore why coffee and cafés are central to the Balkan way of life.