Crucial, in fact indispensable, to the making of traditional Bosnian coffee is the djezve, the pot you see here.
Ranging in capacity up to 8 cups or more, the best djezves are hand-made of copper or brass lined with tin.
In the Bascarsija, old town of Sarajevo the centuries old craft of making these iconic vessels normally falls to men. Normally. Because the exception is Nermina Alic, the only woman coppersmith in town.
Working from her tiny workshop in ‘Blacksmith’ street just of Bascarsija’s main square, Nermina uses tools handed down from generations of her copper-smithing antecedents to make exquisite examples of these vessels. She also uses the only wood-fired smelter still operating in the old town. It’s located at the back of her shop behind an ancient creaky wooden door.
Let's have a coffee' has many meanings. Could mean lets meet as friends, lovers, family, for a business meeting. Let's have a coffee means 'let's socialise'. - Nermina Alic
"There is no one way to make traditional Bosnian Coffee. All ways are considered 'traditional'." - Nermina Alic
PS. One of these beautiful objects crafted by Nermina, the one you see above, will soon be in use by Fred’s Armenian wife Arpi whose mother taught her the Turkish variant of this venerable coffee ritual.
Nermina’s website can be found here: www.mangala.ba
Words and images by Fred and Paul, the Balkan Caffeinators
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Our mission is to explore why coffee and cafés are central to the Balkan way of life.