The reason why Arabic coffee tastes so good is all down to the preparation. In the past, Bedouins brewed their coffee over a rudimentary fireplace dug into the ground. Over time, this was replaced by the kuwar, a clay pit with a stove made from pebbles and stone plates. In houses or tents, the kuwar sits in a nook of the Majlis, and beside it there is a firewood container and a place for the person preparing the coffee. The process of converting beans into coffee comprises several steps, including sorting, washing, drying and roasting the beans until they turn red or brown. The roasted beans are ground and brewed to produce an intensely flavoured coffee.
Utensils and tools
Coffee-making tools are collectively called the ma`ameel
(brew basket), and include specialised equipment, chiefly al tawa
(a wide circular pan for roasting coffee beans), mihmas
(a spoon for stirring beans) and the mehbash
(iron tongs to distribute the coals and spread the embers in the stove).
or coffee pot is an important utensil in the coffee-making process. Specially designed and decorated, there are three types of dallah in the preparation and serving of Arabic coffee: dallat al-khumrah
(a large pot for boiling coffee and cardamom), dallat al-talgeemah
(a medium-sized pot for filtering the coffee) and dallat al-mazalah
(a small pot from which the coffee is served).
Traditions and practices
The serving of Arabic coffee follows an elaborate etiquette for the server, the guest and the host. For example, the server must hold the dallah with the left hand, with his thumb pointing to the top, and hold the cup (finjal
) with the right hand. Likewise, etiquette for the guest dictates they must use the right hand to receive and return the cup to the server. The most important or oldest guest is served first, and the cup is only filled a quarter full. It can then be refilled. Common practice is to drink at least one cup but not exceed three.
If you would like to learn more about Arabic coffee, please take a look at the document below.