Coffee! A cup of coffee to start your day with, a cup of coffee to complement a dessert after lunch, a cup of coffee to follow the afternoon rest, or a cup of coffee to serve to your guests who popped for a short visit!
It is never a bad time for a cup of coffee, especially if you are Croatian.
Take, for example, Marko. Even though he is retired, Marko still gets up at dawn, puts on a brass kettle to make Turkish coffee, shaves, sips his coffee while flipping through the daily newspapers, and only then goes outside. Coffee is still the perfect little gift when we pay someone a visit, it tells them they are appreciated as colleagues, friends, or companions.
But to understand the importance of coffee in the life of an average Croatian, you must drink coffee outside on the terrace of one of many cafes while the sun caresses your cheeks. Of course, your head must be adorned with the inevitable sunglasses.
On an initial visit to Split, Dubrovnik, Zadar, Šibenik or Zagreb, it is likely that one could be confused by seeing so many idle people sitting in cafes on weekdays while drinking espresso, macchiato, cappuccino, Vienna coffee, long black or latte. A first-time visitor will certainly wonder why all these beautiful people are not in their offices instead!? However, many tourists do not know that when the weather is pleasant, it is an ideal time to initiate business conversations and to make business deals at coffee shops.
‘Let's have coffee!’ ‘Would you like to have a cup of coffee!?’ ‘See you for coffee!’ These are all mermaid calls with a deeper meaning. An invitation for coffee often implies a business meeting that could end up with an agreement which does not necessarily need notarization. Coffee also seems to be the first important step in winning a partner's heart. Coffee in Croatia always provides space for discussing football topics, details of last night's outing, politics, or just plain gossip.
This is the reason why you go to a café as well-groomed as possible, and that's why coffee drinking takes so long. Coffee time is of prime importance in this country.
When locals invite you for coffee, it not only means that you are accepted by the community, but that you are also upgraded to the status of a friend. At the same time, it is perfectly fine to enjoy coffee on the terrace by yourself, while the sun caresses the frame of your sunglasses, and your thoughts fly lazily into the distance. Sun, sea, coffee...
It's pure Zen! You just have to relax, stop watching the time, and embrace life instead. If you want to make the coffee ceremony perfect, turn off your cell phone so no one bothers you, and just enjoy this time of blissful relaxation.