I feel so sleepy right now that I’ll make myself first some coffee and then some tea. Pick your favourite and make yourself at home.
Today’s wordy and photo-light post answers to two new challenges.
With January Moon at Bitsandpieces has started her monthly Cook, Eat, Repeat challenge and for its first month asks us to share our favourite drinks. She sets the example with two posts: one on her chai and the other on mango lassi. I have yet to try either.
The second challenge is Virtual tea party, hosted by Su Leslie at Zimmerbitch. I have yet to say no to any kind of cake, so I happily add my plate (tea is optional).
Let’s make coffee first.
Slovenian coffee brand Barcaffe was one of the first three things I packed before moving to Italy. It is one thing that I lament the most if I run out. (For the curious, the other two were Cedevita, a vitamin drink in powder, and Propolis, a liquid cure-all bee product).
This kind of coffee can be called black coffee, or Turkish coffee, or Bosnian coffee, or Greek coffee (if you’re in Greece). It is ground and the sediment remains in the cup after drinking it.
Every morning I make one full džezva, which is how the pot is called, and sip it slowly for as long as it lasts. I never make the second one. The džezva in the photo below from the Bosnian restaurant in Ljubljana called Das Ist Walter is tiny compared to mine. Mine is good for two huge cups, and I drink it with milk (originally milk is a no-no).
I can’t believe that I have neither my pot, my cup nor my coffee in any of my photos.
Anyway, this is how I do it:
- I fill my džezva with tap water, place it on the stove and wait for the water to boil.
- When it does, I remove the pot from the fire, mix in one small spoon of brown sugar and nine small spoons of Barcaffe ground coffee mix. I put it back on the fire and wait for it to almost boil over, twice. The key-word is almost.
- It’s proper to add half of spoon of cold water to it to help it settle but I can’t be bothered.
- I pour half into my cup an add some milk. And I’m happy. I still have the other half for later.
And now some tea.
The second drink of choice comes with some history. I told you before about Duba, a tiny village on the Pelješac peninsula in Croatia where I spent my Augusts growing up.
Almost every evening my father made a huge pot of tea which eventually got to be called Duba tea. He liked to hike around the village and pick plants for the tea, especially various mints, sage, blackberry leaves. The grown-ups liked to add lozovača or travarica, local schnapps varieties. My sister was perplexed for a long time why mother didn’t let her taste her tea.
There is no special recipe. Go on a hike in the Mediterranean or in California and pick everything that smells nice and doesn’t seem poisonous (nahhh, I would prefer it that you know what you are picking).
However, when we returned to Duba twenty years after we had stopped going there with our parents, and I tried to reconstruct Duba tea for our big hike, the result had the taste, structure and effect of the toothpaste. Which is not bad as such.
Last August we had a reunion of Duba kids, all grown up by now. Father, who now has Mediterranean plants growing in his Piran garden, picked a tea mix for our party and I made his Duba tea. It turned out that only a couple remembered the tea from those days. The rest were too young to be interested in tea. As for me, the scent of mint and sage will always take me back to those carefree days.
Oh, as for the cakes, better go to Almost Italian. She knows.