Technique Thursday: Bosnian Coffee (Bosanska Kafa) – Video & Recipe

Good morning! Let’s wake up, Bosnian style, and sip a shot of robust, Bosnian coffee.

What is Bosnian Coffee?

When someone says they had Bosnian coffee, they are referring to the method of preparation. This method (also referred to as Turkish coffee) is used all over the Middle East, the Balkans, and North Africa. Although there are many steps, each one is critical to making a good cup. And by good cup I mean a GOOD cup. The effort is worth it!

The coffee beans for Bosnian coffee must be ground into a superfine powder. So fine, in fact, that it looks a lot like hot cocoa. You may purchase “Turkish Coffee” for this purpose at any Middle Eastern grocer. (Tulsa, here’s your local connection: Middle Eastern Market). If you have Colombian espresso, you can use it as long as you grind it super duper fine – until it disintegrates into a fluffy powder.

The coffee cups:

Bosnian coffee is served in small, espresso cups (also referred to as demi-tasse). Sounds fancy, but you can just use a cabbage if you want:


Serves 1

Bosnian coffee can be served with or without sugar. Cream, I am told, is only given to children. This robust coffee contains a ton of caffeine. One sip will get your brain sizzling, so drink with care.

UPDATE: A reader informed me that there’s a more authentic way to prepare this. Here are their notes:

We don’t put sugar in the water, and we boil water separately, then heat the empty dzezva (coffee pot) for few seconds, put coffee and heat it for few seconds then you pour water over it…wait for it to rise, stir the coffee, and again pour a little bit of water. (Ali)


Enough water to fill an espresso cup
1/2 a “tea” spoon of sugar
1-2 heaping “tea” spoons of Turkish Coffee


1. Fill djezva (or small saucepan) with water. Bring to a simmer. Add sugar and heat over low until dissolved.

2. Reserve half the sugar water (pour it into a small cup until needed).

3. Off the heat, add a heaping teaspoon of coffee to the remaining sugar water in the djezva. Stir vigorously to dissolve the coffee.

4. Return to heat and bring to a simmer. The coffee will bubble and foam a little. Right after the foam rises up, remove from heat.

5. Spoon the pena (the foam on top) into the espresso cup.

6. Pour the reserved sugar water back into the djezva (pour the liquid over spoon to rinse it off). The gentle pouring action helps bring all the coffee grounds to the bottom of the djezva. You may want to let the coffee rest a few extra moments, for the grounds to settle to the bottom.

7. Fill your coffee cup with Bosnian coffee. Enjoy immediately, while hot!

Here’s my attempt at creating Bosnian Coffee:


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  1. What a beautiful video…so spiritual…How was it? Delicious,..yes? Similiar to espresso? or milder?

    • globaltable says:

      Thanks Mom… it was wonderful – strong – you’ll have to try it when you get here in a few weeks!

  2. elisa waller says:

    what dramatic fun. Was the music Bosnian? It was beautiful! Those littel cabbage cups are wonderfully artistic! xo<3

    • globaltable says:

      The music was actually free Moby soundtracks. We love his music here… and the cabbage cups – I couldn’t help myself when I saw them… too cute!

  3. elisa waller says:

    I LOVE MOBY too! <3 HIs Animal Rights CD is the bomb! Cups = Clay Art Project!

  4. Flybaby Jelena says:

    Perfect! The coffee is just like we make it here! :)

    One more funny fact about Bosnia: we use 2 alphabets (Latin ) to write the same word.
    For example, in Latin alphabet we would write your name like: SAŠA.
    And in Cyrillic: САША.
    Croatian and Boshniakian languages use Latin, and Serbian both Latin and Cyrillic alphabet.

    Cyrillic is also used in Russia.

    Now I finally realize how hard it is to write about someone’s own country. I didn’t find our domestic coffee interesting. That’s “usual” for me.
    But that usual things are the ones that make every country so special.

    Greetings from Bosnia and Herzegovina! :)

  5. Flybaby Jelena says:

    I forgot to add that we use Latin and Cyrillic alphabet at beginning of my post.

    Progress, not perfection! :)

  6. Susan M says:

    Awesome! I’ve been using my French Press and almost dared to make the Turkish coffee – I will try the coffee – haven’t been to the shop on Mingo – but will head there this week!

  7. Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding know-how so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be enormously appreciated!

  8. That is actually how you make Turkish and Serbian coffee…Bosnians put coffee in a heated Djugum (or dzezva), wait few seconds and then pour the boiling water over it. Sugar is added in cups later on. :)

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  10. Will Hopkins says:

    The cups are nor espresso cups. They actually don’t have a handle. Also cream (usually just milk) is taken with the coffee pretty commonly. In fact Im looked at as an anomoly here (Bosnia) for not taking cream. Adding sugar to the coffee while boiling the water is a neat trick. I’ve never seen it done like that but that doesn’t mean that some Bosnians don’t. The traditional way is to actually take these special sugar cubes and dip them in the coffe for a second to soften them and then take a small bit of the soaked cube immediately followed by a sip of coffee. Thanks for the article!

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