Slovenians love coffee and consider drinking coffee a ritual. They drink it at home, at work, in bars and coffee shops, and even while on the go. If you start to analyze how our coffee culture has evolved over time in Slovenia, you will quickly notice how, especially during the last decade, there has been a real coffee-drinking revolution. Numerous boutique coffee roasters have started appearing, offering fair trade coffee, direct trade coffee, organic coffee, single-origin coffee, coffee with a Slovenian touch, and even coffee with a story. This has lifted the concept of coffee drinking to a completely new level.
Boutique Slovenian coffee roasters
Although coffee doesn’t grow in Slovenia, the country has a well-established tradition of coffee roasting. The largest and most famous are Barcaffe, Loka Coffee, and the slightly younger Emonec Kafe. most notable small coffee roasters in central Slovenia include Escobar in Vrhnika, Mariposa and Zadruga Buna in Ljubljana, and Stow from Kamnik; in the west, there is Kolektiv 22 from Smokuč in the Gorenjska region and Coronini from Tolmin; in the east, HI KO FI and Tovarna kave, both from Maribor, and Iconic from Trbovlje.
Then there are also coffee shops, which together with the emergence of boutique roasters have set new standards in the story of coffee in Slovenia. It’s not only about which coffee you use, but also (or especially) about how you prepare it. In fact, it’s all in the details, which is why specialized training is available to those who want to master the technique of serving a perfect cup of coffee.
In Ljubljana, the best-known coffee shops offering their own coffee and coffee blends are Cafe Čokl, Črno zrno, Stow in the City Museum, and Mariposa. Several cafés offering coffee from boutique roasters, e.g. Moderna in the Museum of Modern Art, Tozd, Kavarna Natura, and Bar Ribarnica. In Maribor, must-visits are Rooster Coffee, HI KO FI, Rooster Lent, and in the Cafe Pisarna. In Celje, search for Kavarna Oaza, and in Mežica for Kavarna Kogelnik. There are also Atelje Dobnik cafes located in several towns across the country, and if you are visiting the coast, treat yourself to a fragrant cup from the local boutique roasters in the Neptun Cafe.
Coffee time at Strmol Castle
Interested in a really special experience? Be sure to visit Strmol Castle and book the “Coffee time at Strmol Castle” experience, which is unique in many ways: the location (luxuriously equipped castle premises), well-preserved antique cutlery and crockery; history of aristocratic times; and the idea of a classic bourgeois tea party. What makes the whole story even more intriguing is that while drinking coffee and enjoying tasty bites, you can admire the famous painting of Kofetarica (a woman drinking coffee) by the outstanding Slovenian painter Ivana Kobilca, which reappeared at Strmol back in 2020. Although this is a copy of the famous painting, the original hung on the walls of Strmol between 1936 and 1970s.