The ancient cobbled street positively glistens with all manner of copper and other metalware goods. This is Kazandzilu, the street of the coppersmiths in Bascarsija, the Ottoman heart of old Sarajevo.
At one end of the street stands Cafe Index. Nobody knows exactly how long its been there, but what is known that it has been the coffee dispensary of choice for the street's 'smiths' for as long as anybody can remember. Runners carry trays of full and empty cups of Bosnian brew and djezves back and forth to the stalls by the minute.
Others drop by to have their fix in the comfy, colourful interior. And yes, smoking is both a major feature of the ritual and allowed!
Truly, if you want to see and taste the Ottoman legacy of coffee culture in the Balkans, Index Cafe is a must.
Words and images by Fred Shively and Paul Kelly, the Balkan Caffeinators
What is Balkan Caffeination?
Our mission is to explore why coffee and cafés are central to the Balkan way of life.