Tucked away in a chic inner-city courtyard is one of my favourite cafes and nean roasters – Quahwa. ‘Quahaa’ means coffee is some exotic language that I’ve forgotten and isn’t really important to this review. What is important is everything else about Quahwa.
Covid has kept me away from Zagreb and Quahwa for almost 3 years, so it was with a little anxiety that I sought out my dear old favourite and some relief to see it still there on Nikola Tesla Street as fragrant and vibrant as ever.
They roast and grind beans from an eclectic array of origins. If you’re drinking at one of the courtyard tables, as you should because it’s a jazzy cool spot to rest your legs and recharge your head…, ask about the ‘rarities’ on the menu. You’ll hear words like Brazil, Honduras, Mexico, Kenya and… Ethiopia (second only to Yemen for flavour, in my opinion).
My strategy has always been to try three (or five) different beans from Quahwa’s rarities range and then get a bag of my favourite beans to take home. This way my legs and head get a proper rest, my taste buds get to go on an adventure and my bag gets to smell more than delicious for a few days.
There are cutesy little sugar sachets on the table, but as you know by now, if you want sweet coffee, order something grown at altitude, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya… Catchy old (aka ‘real’) music such as the Eagles, the Animals, CCR (and who sings ‘I’ve got a brand pair of roller skates…’?) wafting around the space is surely the cherry on the top of the icing on the cake.
Quahwa doesn’t serve food, but that’s the perfect reason to walk just a block away to Oranž, pron. Orange) for Torte Pavlova with fruit (pron. OMG).