Monday, March 12, 2012

Arabic Coffee

In Gulf countries offering a guest coffee is the first sign of hospitality. Arabic Coffee or Qahwa is the traditional coffee in Gulf  or Arab countries like Qatar. I'm making Qahwa for more than a year now because my boss requires me to learn how to make and serve their traditional coffee. I didn't like the taste of this coffee the first time i tasted it. It doesn't taste like coffee and it doesn't even look like a coffee not to mention its bitter and strong taste. But after a lot days of days preparing it, eventually this coffee grew into me.

A Small Background of Arabic Coffee:

Arabic coffee (Arabic: قهوة عربية‎) is a general name that refers to the two main ways coffee is prepared in many Arab countries: Turkish-style, and Saudi Coffee. The Turkish coffee brewing method is common in the Levant, but brewed without the addition of sugar. Cardamom is often added, or it is served plain قهوة سادةqahwah sādah (lit. "plain coffee"). Saudi coffee, or ‘’Al-Qahwa’’ (Arabic: قهوة‎, qahwah), is made from green (unroasted) coffee beans and cardamom, and is a traditional beverage in Arabian culture. It is often served with dates or candied fruit. This brewing method is common in Najd and Hijaz, and sometimes other spices like saffron (to give it a golden color),cloves, and cinnamon. Some people add a little evaporated milk to slightly alter its color; however, this is rare. It is served from a special coffee pot called dalla(Arabic: دلة‎) and the coffee cups are small with no handle. The portions are small, covering just the bottom of the cup. It is served in homes, and in good restaurants by specially clad waiters called gahwaji, and it is almost always accompanied with dates. It is always offered with the compliments of the house. It is also offered at most social events like weddings and funerals. (Source Wikipedia)

How to make Arabic Coffee: 


4 Cups of Water

 3 Teaspoon of Arabic Coffee Powder


3 Teaspoon of ground or crushed Cardamon

10 - 12 Pieces of cloves

Small pinch of Saffron

-Every time I'm making arabic coffee, im using this special powder which my boss gave me. I don't know the name of the powder because its written in arabic and when i asked him what it is he just told me its a mixture of different spices. So, i will just provide you the pictures of this special powder.


  1.  Boil 4 cups of water in a pot for 20 - 30 mins. For me, the hotter the better coffee you can make.
  2.  Add the Arabic Coffee Powder in the boiling water. Close the pot and boil for two minutes.
  3.  Put the Special Powder if you have or proceed to step three if you don't.
  4. Add cloves, cover the pot and boil for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, put the ground Cardamon and Saffron in a flask or Dalla.
  6. After 10 minutes of boiling the Arabic Coffee Powder, Cloves and the Special Powder pour it the flask or Dalla and let it seep for 5 minutes before serving

Serving The Arabic Coffee:

Arabic Coffee is serve in a small cups called finjaan often accompanied with dates or chocolates. It is serve and receive using the right hand. The cup is only filled half full so it can cool quickly. To be polite the guest should accept at least one cup. Base on my experience, it's standard to accept two.  A swish or jiggle of the cup shows that you are finished.

So that's it! If ever your visiting in an arab country like Qatar, KSA or UAE make sure you try their traditional coffee to complete your arab experience.