Podgorica has a new cafe and coffee house. No surprise really. Cafes seem to come and go in this part of the world on a regular basis. However, something new is being produced from latte to latte. Zrno Cafe moved into Podgorica the end of October bringing a fresh taste to the coffee scene and proving that something different can succeed in a country and culture that appears resistant to most change.
Rajko, a Podgorica native, and his wife Julia, a Belgrade transplant, moved to Montenegro’s capital in March of this year to pursue a dream and open their cafe. Designers by trade, they were determined to take their time finding the right location, decor, and set up to create the perfect environment for others to gather.
Connected to Zrno Cafe and Roaster in Belgrade, the shop in Podgorica is introducing a new wave of coffee while embracing the more traditional tastes of the locals. With three levels of espresso and two single origins to choose from, Rajko keeps a full arsenal of coffee to meet a variety of preferences.
Vibe: From the outside, it’s easy to see a difference in the set up. The patio furniture is metallic and industrial, a theme which flows to the interior. The ceiling is stripped back. The walls remain textured and “unfinished”. It’s a realization that drove the builders crazy, yet in the end has helped set a tone for the experience.
Rec: Anything really. Zrno offers some different drinks such as lemonade served with fresh mint which is refreshing on any given day. Espresso is a range from a traditional italian style to a more third wave continuum accenting the flavors of the beans as they come together. For me, the coffee schedule usually follows as such:
Morning = Cappuccino
Afternoon (midday) = Macchiato
Evening = Espresso or Latte (depending on what’s happening afterwards)
Notes: A really interesting perspective on the shop is the social inclusion of women working in different positions. Traditionally and a common trend that still exists is the lack of women working in coffee shops. However, Rajko and Julia made an intentional effort to change how people are included. A small change but an important one.
Loc: THe address doesn’t come up too well. Search for Dali Restaurant and a couple doors down will land you at Zrno.