Sometimes-Sunday Coffee Club (Ljubljana)
Monday, 15 June 2015
Hadouta, Ljubljana (map)
The Egyptian-themed Hadouta might be Ljubljana’s only ethnic coffee shop. I don’t even know if “ethnic coffee shop” is a thing, but it should be. There are some rituals and processes and traditions around coffee that only exist in a certain place. For example, no one makes coffee like Ethiopians make coffee – and if you were to go to an Ethiopian coffee shop, you would have a cup of coffee like no other – the beans are freshly roasted over an open flame, then hand ground and brewed in a clay pot..but I digress – this post is about Egyptian coffee in Ljubljana.
Hadouta sits across from the Ljubljana Train Station in the middle of a row of cafes on the edge of a park so small you would hardly know it was there. Actually, Hadouta is less a coffee shop and more a cocktails and shisha bar with an excellent and interesting coffee menu.
I grab a seat in the covered outdoor eating area. This is my second visit to Hadouta, and I remember from my last visit that the cushioned chairs are much less comfortable than they look. I choose an upright wicker chair instead and order an “Egyptian Coffee with Cardamom.”
“It may have happened that, while he waited for a partner to put down a card, he set his eyes on the dancing glass of the Adriatic, or the lion-coloured mountains, trembling like the sea in the heat, and hypnosis made him aware of the question the inner self perpetually asks itself: ‘What am I doing, and is it good.” Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
The “he” in this quote is Marshal Marmont – the military commander who administered this area under Napolean. Slovenian people are very fond of the French – a sentiment that exists entirely due to the wisdom of this man.
“Marmont was a hero, a great hero, and the only foreign ruler that was truly good for us. Though we find it hard to forgive our conquerors, we could even find it in our hearts to admit that it would have been a good thing if the French had stayed longer.” Black Lamb and Grey Falcon by Rebecca West
The waitress, a young woman barely in her 20’s, delivers my coffee. It is thick – served in a brass coffee pot on a brass tray with a single ceramic cup.
I carefully pour the black brew into the ceramic cup trying hard not to get too many of the grounds. Pouring coffee from one of these brass pots is an art I have yet to master, so I let the coffee sit for a few more minutes in the cup before sipping at the delicious concoction.
They put cardamom in the coffee in Yemen. When I was in university I had a private stash of Yemeni Coffee that I would brew up from time to time. My roommate hated the stuff. She insisted it ‘smelled like feet.’ It’s true that there was just a touch too much cardamom in that Yemen coffee, but this coffee…this coffee is pretty near perfect.