Arts & Entertainment

The secret to a perfect cup of Bosnian coffee

By Nedim Hasic

Sarajevo, May 22 (EFE).- The aroma of coffee rises from the large pestle and mortar used to crush the freshly roasted beans into a fine powder, a centuries-old Bosnian tradition.

Hajrudin Burek’s coffee workshop in the center of Sarajevo is a major draw for tourists visiting the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This traditional way of preparing a cup of strong coffee is unchanged since the 18th century. Burek’s mortar itself is 150 years old, and the steel pestle, which weighs 13kg, was made by a blacksmith over a century ago.

“We put the toasted coffee in the mortar and we crush it. Then we sift what we have and return what’s left to the mortar,” Burek, 75, tells Efe.

“It takes an hour and a half to grind approximately seven kilos of coffee,” he added.

“The raw coffee is selected with great care. It is then roasted in a special container and left on a wooden tray for 24 hours. This way the moisture evaporates.

“Only then are the beans ready for crushing,” he says.

“The special thing about this coffee is the fact that it is crushed rather than ground,” he adds.

The quality of the beans is crucial, he says. Burek buys his beans from Brazil.

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