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Where Matte Meets the Rocks

Mighty Travels

Two tea lovers make their way around Europe with their Mighty Leaf

Where Mate Meets the Rocks June 8, 2007

The Adriatic Sea is an arm of the Mediterranean that posits itself between Eastern Italy to the west and Croatia to the east. The water is incredibly clean, warm much of the year, and salty enough that even the worst swimmer can just float about and enjoy themselves surrounded by still blues and greens.

It was just outside the city walls in the old town of Dubrovnik that we found an inviting café to sit and enjoy the water. But, this wasn't just any café outside the walls of the city. You see, there are all kinds of businesses that have sprouted up in the area where the walls of the city touch the land and it's easy enough to find any number of places for a drink or a bite to eat. This café was much different in that it was on the side of the wall that looked out over the sea, perched above the few rocks that jutted from the bottom of the wall. In most spots, one would think a seagull would have a hard time finding a perch along the wall, but here, this café managed to cling to a spot wide enough for a counter and a few tables that looked out on a horizon that was drawn by the southern Adriatic.

As is often the case in Dubrovnik, there was no tea on the menu. While people will drink tea at home, when they're out with friends, most tend to stick to the tea alternative; coffee. So, we ordered up two glasses of hot water which got the usual odd glance that we're used to. But, which tea fit this setting best? It had to be one that matched the macerated fruit salad that was yelling from the menu to be ordered. So, maybe not a tea at all? Perhaps a matte? We thought that the sharpness of the matte flavor would be the perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the salad. Once the matte fully steeped and the salad arrived, we realized that we made a very good choice.

There was a massive amount of appeal to this setting and as we heard various languages chatter about us, we realized that we weren't alone in this opinion. But, how to find it? That's a bit of trick, since you have to wind your way through a great maze of small alleys that take you to the wall and then find the tiny passage (look for writing that says, "No Topless") that leads outside the wall to the café itself. Looking back on this, we weren't sure whether most of the enjoyment came from sitting there with a matte and watching the sun bounce off the small waves, or weaving our way through an ancient city to find this "speakeasy" of a café. Perhaps future travelers will be able to answer this better than us.

Where: Stari Grad, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Food: Fruit salad of oranges, cherries, melon, and figs
Tea: Rainforest Mate