Coffee-Drinking Culture in Croatia

Coffee. Can you imagine a day without it? It puts you on your feet, gives you energy, and is simply irreplaceable. And did you know that Croatia is a country of coffee drinkers?

Cup of Cappuccino
Photo: StockFood / PhotoCuisine / Chris Court Photography

Coffee is not just an aromatic drink. Indeed, it has a huge impact on the social life of the Croatian people. Coffee in this country is consumed daily – ok, really, more like several times a day at family, social, and business gatherings. That is because – according to Croatians – coffee strengthens family ties and friendships. It is also believed to positively affect relations with co-workers.

The coffee-drinking culture in Croatia is significantly different than elsewhere. Croats love coffee, and as it befits Southerners, they have their own unique relationship with this aromatic beverage. They like to drink it unhurriedly, in the company of other people, and, above all, always find time for it. Statistically, more than 80% of Croatians over 15 drink at least one coffee daily, with adults indulging on average three times a day.

Coffee prepared in a special copper brewing pot
Coffee prepared in a special copper brewing pot. Photo: iStock.com / Adam Smigielski

How do you drink coffee in Croatia?

Let’s start with the fact that you will find some kind of coffee shop in even the smallest village in Croatia. Unsurprisingly, since almost every local reaches for coffee. The daily crowds of people sitting in cafes are nothing out of the ordinary. They are the normality. Croats are very fond of their coffee outings, and Sunday is the obligatory day of the most significant coffee relaxation for them.

There is a large selection of coffee in cafes, but Croats usually opt for three of them: large coffee with milk, espresso, and long shots, which is coffee slightly larger than espresso.

When drinking coffee at home, Croats go for coffee prepared in a special copper brewing pot. They rarely opt for instant coffee. Here, the very ritual of coffee preparation matters. We pour water into the pot and wait for it to boil. Then we add sugar and ground coffee, stir and remove from the heat. The aroma of coffee prepared this way floats throughout the apartment. It is mandatory to accompany the coffee with something sweet, and it is best if it is homemade baked goods such as “domaćice” or shortbread cookies.

Coffee on the coast vs. coffee in the central part of the country

Coffee consumption on the coast and in the central part of Croatia is a bit different. When visiting Dalmatia, be prepared that it will take you much longer to drink coffee in a cafe than in Zagreb, for example. This is mainly influenced by the views and climate. On the coast, it is important to be able to relax completely and forget all worries while having coffee. Cafes here are often situated outdoors, surrounded by palm trees overlooking the sea. Believe me, an hour with a cup of coffee feels like 10 minutes in such surroundings. On top of that, you can also browse the news, chat with friends or simply gaze at the sea and passersby.

In central parts of the country, for example, in the capital, the coffee-drinking ritual looks a little different despite coffee shops being found on every corner. As befits a big city, there is a faster pace of life in Zagreb, which affects the time spent drinking coffee. Here, coffee outings in the middle of the day are shorter and take place primarily during breaks at work. However, whether in the capital or on the coast, Croatians are able to spend a large part of their lives with a cup of coffee because a day without coffee is a day lost in their eyes. How does that sound? Will I see you for coffee in Croatia?

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