How To Make Arabic Coffee?
The conventional way to make Arabic qahwa is by using a dallah. Qahwa denotes coffee in the Arab countries, which is prepared by using various spices. The traditional coffee does not contain milk and sugar, thereby making it a healthy beverage. The unique blend of numerous spices makes the Arabic coffee quite different from the coffee that we prepare in other countries. There are various variations done to the typical Arabic coffee throughout the Middle East. In this article, we have revealed how to make Arabic coffee in the traditional manner by using dallah and then serving it in a finjaan. We have even discussed the right kind of Arabic coffee beans that should be used for making the spicy beverage. So, keep reading! How to make Arabic coffee will soon be no mystery for you!
How to prepare Arabic coffee:
Before you start preparing Arabic coffee, you need to decide how strong or mild you want your cup of coffee to be. Depending on your preferences, you can add the amount of grinded coffee. For making a mild flavored coffee, you need to add ½ tablespoon of coffee powder to 250 ml of water. Similarly, for a strong flavored coffee, add 2 tablespoons of coffee powder to 250 ml of water.
Although there are various variations to prepare Arabic coffee, listed below is one of the traditional forms of making coffee. The main ingredients that you require to make Arabic coffee are:
- Arabic coffee beans
- Crushed cardamom
- Cloves – optional
- Saffron – optional
- Rosewater – optional
Procedure for making Arabic coffee:
To begin with, you need to grind the Arabic coffee beans into a fine or coarse powder. Or, you can even purchase grinded coffee beans from the local shop. Depending on your preference, buy the coffee beans accordingly as some people prefer finely grounded beans while others like it to be coarse.
If you are grinding the beans at home, then once they are grounded well, you need to preheat the thermos by filling it with water. On a stovetop, keep a dallah and add 3 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil on medium heat. Reduce the heat and add 3 tablespoons of grounded coffee beans. Brew the coffee on low heat for 10-15 minutes. You will notice lot of foam rising on the top of the dallah. Once the foam starts forming, switch of the flame instantly. If the coffee starts to boil, then it will get burnt. Let the foam settle for a minute. This is the right time to add 1 tablespoon grinded cardamom. If you are adding grinded cloves, then you can add it to the dallah now.
Once the foam settles, you have to heat the coffee again and bring it to a boil. Foam will be formed once again in the dallah. Switch off the flame and let the coffee settle for 5-10 minutes. This will ensure that the grounded coffee settles to the bottom of the dallah. Remove the pre-heated water from the thermos. If you are adding saffron and rosewater to your coffee, then add it to the emptied thermos now. Pour the coffee into the thermos till you see the grounded coffee coming out of the
Remove the pre-heated water from the thermos.
If you are adding saffron and rosewater to your coffee, then add it to the emptied thermos now. Pour the coffee into the thermos till you see the grounded coffee coming out of the dallah. You need to stop pouring instantly. Let a small amount of coffee remain at the bottom of the dallah. As per your preference, you can even strain your coffee before adding it to the thermos. Allow the coffee to settle for 5-10 minutes then serve it in the traditional Arabic coffee cups.
Here is an important part!
Always pour the coffee slowly into each cup and ensure that you do not fill one cup at a time. The top layer of the coffee is the tastiest one so you need to make sure that you distribute it in each cup by filling them little by little. As the traditional Arabic coffee does not contain sugar, it tastes spicy and bitter. So, you can serve some sweet with the coffee for your guests.
Selecting the right Arabic coffee beans:
The Arabic coffee beans are available in various supermarkets, malls and souks (Arab market). Usually, the coffee beans are lightly roasted and are light brown in color as compared to the coffee you get in Europe. Moreover, the addition of various spices in the coffee gives it a green color. Traditionally, the coffee beans are freshly roasted and then grounded to provide fresh flavor to the beverage. However, some people prefer buying pre-grinded beans too. There are different varieties of powdered beans available in the markets and some of them even have spices grinded with the beans. This gets better as people do not have to grind spices specially while making coffee.
There are four kinds of roast available in the supermarkets or the local stores that sell spices:
- Arabic; commonly called as local coffee or Khaleeji coffee.
- Light Saudi
- Medium Turkish
- Dark Turkish
Interesting information on the Arabic coffee pot:
Arabic coffee is made on the stovetop in a special coffee pot that is called as ‘dallah’. It is a kind of saucepan and if you do not have one, then you can even use a Turkish cezve. Dallah has been used for centuries in the Arab countries to brew coffee. It is available in brass, steel, silver, or even gold.
The traditional dallah used to be richly ornamented and engraved with various patterns. It is extremely famous in UAE and you might even come across a huge dallah kept as a decorative piece on the streets of Abu Dhabi. This is crazy as one of the dirham coins of UAE also consists of a picture of dallah.
Preparing coffee in a dallah is a popular practice that has been followed by the Arabs since several years. Once the coffee is boiled in a dallah for few minutes, it is poured in a thermos so that it stays warm for a long time. The coffee is served from the thermos in tiny cups to the guests. Serving the coffee is quite unique as it is served in a small cup that is called as finjaan.
All that you want to know about the Arabic coffee cups:
Finjaan is the name of the coffee cups in which Arabic coffee is usually served. These cups are petite, cylindrical in shape, and do not have handles. The cups are usually matching with the inscribed or patterned serving tray. These trays are generally made of silver or brass.
Want to know the best part? The coffee cups are always filled up to half. Guests are usually served two to three servings of coffee. It is customary to accept at least one cup of coffee; however, you can even have more if you like.
The traditional Arabic coffee is made without sugar. However, you can add sugar if you prefer your coffee to be sweet. Also, milk is not added to the coffee, but it can be altered as per your preferences.
Did you know this about how to make Arabic coffee?
- Serving Arabic coffee is a ceremonial act of showcasing kindness and hospitality. So, it is very rude to decline a cup of coffee when offered to anyone in Middle East countries.
- Coffee is served at all vital events like wedding and funerals. Moreover, if a girl serves coffee to the family of her lover, then it means that she has accepted the wedding proposal.
- If the occasion is bitter then the coffee is bitterer. In such situations, it is alright if the guests takes a couple of sips from the coffee cup and leaves the rest.
- It is not considered good etiquette to fill the coffee cup more than half with coffee.
- The coffee is always served with right hand and even accepted by the guest with right hand.
- Guests are supposed to swirl the cup to indicate that you have finished drinking your coffee and are ready for some more.
- The last sip of coffee is often ended with a blessing so that they continue drinking coffee in the same way forever.
Now that you have learnt how to make Arabic coffee, don’t forget to surprise your guests and family members with this spicy beverage!