Less than two months ago a new place opened in the city under the hills where coffee is not just a drink to wake up, but a whole explosion of flavors.  CROATÓAN is a specialty coffee shop, and we from the Plovdiv guide immediately attempted to find an answer to the question what specialty coffee is and what exactly is so special about it.

Specialty coffee is not just a marketing trick to boost more sales in the industry, but a coffee that won 80 out of 100 points in the Cup of Excellence competition held each year in various countries around the world. It belongs to the so-called 3rd wave coffee, which is not so much the mass production, but the selection of specially selected varieties with exceptional taste. All varieties of caffeinated beverage offered at CROATÓAN are directly bought by farmers and co-operatives by coffee expert Yordan Dabov from DABOV SPECIALTY COFFEE, who is also the only Bulgarian member of the jury of the competition. All coffees and especially the espresso are delivered literally days and even hours after roasting and are extremely fresh.

The special coffees are grown in a specific and ideal climate and are distinguished due to their rich taste and little or no defects. The saturated tastes are the result of the unique characteristics and the aggregation of the terroir - the complete combination of soil characteristics, topography, climate, the surrounding flora and fauna. This is the reason why every coffee from a particular geographical region is unique in itself. The offered beverage is 100% Arabica, characterized by a much more multilayered and complex flavor than our other varieties known in Europe, and if you hear words such as "caturra", "bourbon" and "geisha", don’t wonder if you have come to the right place because they are only part of the 100% Arabica varieties available at the coffee shop. At  CROATÓAN, we can best compare coffee drinking with wine tasting, where we first begin by assessing the appearance, density, color, then slowly sipping and letting it reveal slowly and gradually all the flavors and aromas it hides. Do not expect it to be comparable to anything else you've been trying, especially if you're accustomed to the slightly bitter flavor of Italian coffee.

From the venue they rely heavily on the high value of taste and quality. They have the best equipment in the city - the SAN REMO Café Racer series, and always use accurate measures and recipes to achieve optimal taste and consistent quality. Even the water is filtered before it reaches the machine and this helps for a cleaner taste of the coffee. For the dairy drinks, only homogenized UHT milk from Harmonica is used, because they personally think that it is the perfect addition to make the sweetest cappuccino or latte. And as a “company” for  the coffee in the morning, you can choose from the fresh croissants and freshly baked delicacies from the Kapana Bakery.

If you are not a fan of espresso, here you can try a handmade filter coffee which is made with a great control of everything - from the water temperature to the flow of the water through the filter to obtain even coffee extraction, and balanced taste. And it has nothing to do with the coffee we've tried so far - saturated, intense, and with aftertaste that lasts long after you've drank the last sip.

It turns out that drinking coffee at Croatoan can best be compared to appreciating art. The more you look and try, the more you understand why the coffee there is special and you are becoming more and more eager to learn and understand more. And the staff will gladly answer all of your questions and advise you on what is the coffee at the moment (changing every month), what to expect as a perception and how best to enjoy it. And if you love it with a lot of sugar and milk, they will not even frown at you, we guarantee! ... Because drinking coffee is much more than ritual, but passion and pleasure!