For the avid coffee traveller, a visit to Sofia without stopping by Dabov Specialty Coffee, opened by Jordan Dabov and his wife Vesela Vasileva, is a missed opportunity. Walk into their space and it looks more like a training and a distribution office than a cafe to enjoy that perfect cup of coffee you might think. Don’t feel shy to stay and order one though, it might be the best you have in Sofia.
Moving to Sofia from Prague, Jordan decided to establish a tradition of respecting coffee in Sofia that was completely unheard of back in 2008. Their “pop-up” cafe only opened in the past two years, up until then, the owners had focused on roasting and running their training centre in Dabov. At the cafe, they have aimed to bridge the gap between themselves and the consumers they want to reach and educate. While the cafe is a bit of a walk from the other cafes in central Sofia, it is worth venturing outside the centre to experience the roots of speciality coffee in Bulgaria.
Dabov’s intention from the very beginning has always been to go against the established rule and show people that not only could filter coffee be good, but excellent when prepared right.
The most popular ways for locals to enjoy their coffee have always been an espresso or ibrik, so their traditional understanding of what coffee should taste like is vastly different than the coffee Jordan wanted to promote with his business.
Being a Cup of Excellence Judge, Jordan is able to roast and sell many of the winning COE beans in his store, often found nowhere else in the world. So that people can learn how to better appreciate the coffee Dabov sells, they offer a wide variety of cuppings and training. A tip for you: be sure to write them an email about the dates of your visit in Sofia, to check if they are hosting any coffee events or cuppings you might be interested in joining.