Barista Magazine

AUG-SEP 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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Page 31 of 107

P U L L : E V E N T S ZAGREB COFFEE WEEKEND + THE BARISTA LEAGUE ZAGREB, CROATIA MAY 24–26, 2019 It was an early weekday afternoon in May when I arrived in Zagreb, Croatia, and the fi rst thing I noticed was the coffee. It was everywhere. As I pulled my suitcase up the cobbled, pedestrian-only streets lining Ban Jelačić Square, I found myself surrounded by café after café, each one packed with people. "They'll sit there for hours and hours, even though it is a weekday," Matija Belković, owner of the Zagreb-based coffee roaster and café chain Cogito Coffee told me. "It doesn't matter that it's a workday." The country's capital city, which dates back to the year 1245, houses more than a quarter of Croatia's citizens, the majority of whom are coffee drinkers—hardly specialty though. That's changing fast with coffee companies like Express bar, located right on the square and boasting a La Marzocco Strada; Eli's Café, owned by four-time Croatian Barista Champion Nik Oroši, which enjoys a solid cult following; and of course, Cogito, the undeniable leader in the specialty-coffee scene, with seven cafés throughout Croatia, one location in Dubai with more opening soon, and its fi rst stateside café, which will open in the coming months in Philadelphia. It only makes sense, then, that the Zagreb Coffee Weekend—which took place May 24–26—would draw several thousand coffee lovers in its inaugural event, which was held at the sculpture museum, Glyptotheque which dates back to 1864. This proved one of the most dramatic, beautiful venues for a coffee show I can ever remember. Having attended The Barista League's (TBL) U.S.A. Tour stop in Philadelphia last year, Matija wanted to bring the high-energy event to the Zagreb Coffee Weekend. It was an enormous success, drawing competitors from across Europe. Clockwise from top left: Competitors in The Barista League concentrate on the sensory round, which tasks them to identify fl avors from the SCA Flavor Wheel disguised by food coloring in multiple cups—all with dramatic sculptures looming behind them. Photo by Milk Drop Studio. Coffee legends including 2015 World Barista Champion Saša Šestić attracted standing-room-only crowds at Zagreb Coffee Weekend. Here, Sasa has a chance to play on Rancilio's sexy RS1 espresso machine. Photo by Caleb Hamernick. Ban Jelačić Square has served as Zagreb's center since the 17th century. Photo by Sarah Allen. Glyptotheque is a series of 19th century buildings whose walls hang with lush ivy, forming alleyways such as this one, which—during the Zagreb Coffee Weekend— connected a narrow, sun-dappled lane to the larger courtyard where live music played 32 barista magazine

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