Holding such a central place in the Middle East and in Arab culture, Arabic Coffee or Qahweh Arabiyya is the sumptuously flavored, unfiltered version of coffee brewed from Arabica beans. Prepared in a traditional pot called a dallah or bakraj, the Arabic coffee is boiled for several minutes, cooled slightly, and then served black in espresso-sized cups called fanajin.
Traditional Arabic Coffee
Traditionally, Arabic coffee is unsweetened and flavored with exotic and aromatic green cardamom. The coffee beans and cardamom pods are roasted separately and then combined and finely ground together finely before being brewed.
With such deep cultural meaning, Arabic coffee is served both daily and at every important event including births, engagements, holidays and even funerals. Serving Arabic coffee honors the guests and also brings honor upon the host. It is custom to serve the coffee with something sweet; the traditional accompaniment are dates to balance the bitterness of the coffee. However it is often served alongside of fruit or other Middle Eastern desserts.
We are using El Nakhleh coffee:. Finely ground roasted Arabica coffee beans with ground cardamom.
How to Make Arabic Coffee
Use the small cup (finjan) as a measuring tool. For 3 servings of Arabic coffee, measure 3 fanajin and pour them into the dallah or bakraj.
- 3 heaping teaspoons of ground coffee, with ground cardamom.
- 3 small cups (fanajin) of water
- Fill the pot with 3 fanajin of water .
- Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat,
- Add 3 heaping teaspoons of coffee and stir . Be very careful as the coffee may quickly overflow.
- As soon as you have poured the coffee into the boiling water, lower the heat, stir down the foam, and hold the pot close but not right on top of the fire and then bring the coffee to a second boil.
- Turn off the stove and let the coffee rest for 3-5 minutes.
Serve coffee with medjool dates. We serve coffee with Medjool dates stuffed with roasted walnuts.
Coffee Fortune Telling
Predicting one’s future by reading coffee grounds is one of the oldest fortune-telling practices in the world. Reading images in leftover coffee grounds that settle at the base of a cup known as tasseography.
Coffee fortune telling is common throughout the Middle East. Because Arabic coffee is not filtered, a dark, muddy sediment forms at the cup’s base. Images in the cup form by flipping the cup upside down unto onto its saucer. The coffee grounds will then fall down and form patterns on the cup’s surface. A coffee ground reader will interpret the patterns and tell a person about his or her past, present or future.
Daymeh “may you always have the means to serve coffee”
You can order El Nakhleh coffee here
You can order Palestinian Medjool dates here