Interview: Cogito Coffee, Zadar

When travelling Croatia, we hit the rainy season in Zadar which forced us to take shelter more often than not. While doing so, we stumbled upon a coffee shop called Cogito Coffee. An hour later and we had lost ourselves in the tiny shop that had barely a few chairs but some of the best coffee and specialist teas we had during the entire trip.

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The coffee shop chain, owned by Matija Belkovic, 31, and Matija Hrkac, 34, first opened four years ago in Zagreb, before they opened another two in the area, then one in Zadar and one in Dubrovnik.

It’s one of the coffee shops that feels unique in its own in Zadar, a small town that hasn’t quite caught up to the eccentric drinking scene that London and Sydney have. Instead, here the matcha and oat milk lattes can be enjoyed in the small booths that were made for Instagram they designed themselves, unique to each coffee shop, while a playlist of offbeat tunes that are most likely the next up and coming Spotify star plays out.

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“We are working in a coffee industry for more then a decade,” says Matija B. “Six years ago, we started Cafe u Dvorištu, one of the first places that served specialty coffee in Croatia. Then we decided to open a roasting business as we saw huge potential for serving and selling great coffees.”

It was also one of the few places to offer lactose free and vegan free milks, something which they explained they saw “huge demand” for, offering soy, almond and oat milk.

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Each shop has its own concept. “Our seaside shops, Zadar and Dubrovnik are seasonal projects, they are open seven months in a year between April and November.

“Our goal with these shops is to bring quality coffee to Croatian seaside and to give more options to tourists that are visiting our country. 

“Also they are great promoters of our roasting business and are helping local community in experiencing beautiful world of specialty coffee.”

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