Virtual cook, eat, repeat party

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:

  1. I fill my džezva with tap water, place it on the stove and wait for the water to boil.
  2. 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.
  3. It’s proper to add half of spoon of cold water to it to help it settle but I can’t be bothered.
  4. 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.


A virtual tea party at Zimmerbitch


Cook, Eat, Repeat at Bitsandpieces


19 thoughts on “Virtual cook, eat, repeat party

  1. Once again idyllic photos. I see you have nordic walking sticks? And although I can’t drink coffee any longer, I am so glad you joined Moon’s challenge – she has a lot of interesting content on her blog. And Sue’s tea party is fun too. I love the sound of collecting mint sage and other herbs for one’s own tea. Straight from nature to the pot. Awesome stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Amanda. 🙂 Oh yes, I have the sticks but must admit that I haven’t used them since moving to Italy. Amore likes to make fun of them and is threatening to throw them away. I used to do much more walking than now that calcination in my feet makes every step more or less painful.


  2. This is so beautifully written and I can relate to going back to ‘carefree days’! I love the stories that you have shared and I am trying to imagine the hikes your father would go on picking those aromatic leaves…this is like an artist at work:) My husband loves Turkish coffee and I am gradually getting there though I still find the taste a bit too bitter.May be I will try it with a little milk the next time! It is interesting that you get your favorite brand…I do a similar thing when I visit home. I still bring some Darjeeling tea leaves (I love simple black tea and need to have it first thing in the morning) and savor those cups a bit more:) While almost every Indian food item is available here in New Jersey, I have found that the packaged tea that is sold here is still no match for the tea that you get from the exclusive tea stores back home that sell nothing but tea leaves….they are an assortment of tea leaves from the various places where tea is grown in India and range from light to roasted to dark, heavy on fragrance or otherwise…and so on! Thanks again, Manja! Hugs ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Moon. It was a pleasure! Since moving to Italy I noticed that black tea puts me to sleep like a baby. 😀 I don’t know if it’s something they put in Earl Gray here in Italy or something in my system. I used to drink it often, with lemon and honey, and miss it now.

      You are doing a great thing with this challenge. I wish more people would notice it and take part. It’s so interesting to learn about the habits of people from other places. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is really fascinating to know that while we are different, there are so many ways that do tie us closer! I am hoping that with time, some more people would take notice…keeping fingers crossed! thank you, as always for your encouraging words<3 It is interesting that Earl Grey is putting you to sleep;) It actually, now that I think about it, does not help me feel like 'up and running'..though it doesn't make me sleepy! If I do need that little bit of a kick to keep me eyes open, plain black coffee does the trick!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks so much for joining the tea party. I love your description of Duba tea. It’s very like what I’ve started making with the herbs from my garden. Dried apple slices are my new favourite addition to the mix of thymes, mints and verbena leaves.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for the invitation, Su, it’s a great idea. Oh yes, your mix sounds yum even though I don’t know what verbena is. (I googled it and have never heard Slovenian word for it, even though it grows all over Slovenia. Apparently it’s also a good remedy for all sorts of things. Great!)


  4. I like the Turkish coffee, but given my schedule, it’s a bit of an event to DO it, and tends to be when we’re two alone 🙂 It’s so much better when we sit at restaurant and the beautiful people serve it.
    Tea, I’m into bags. I’ve done loose-leaf, but I consider it a giant pain in the bum and can’t be bothered to do it anymore, so I don’t buy it. However, I am occasionally gifted some and enjoy it, but give me a standard bag of tea and I’m happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My habit is usually to drain the press pot and then move to tea, in hopes of putting less caffeine into my body after the pow! of my fave Indonesian beans. And I can’t narrow down a favourite tea because the variety is too wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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