Arabic Coffee: History and Origin
You can argue for a long time what this phrase means – “coffee in Arabic.” Some will argue that this is a special kind of arabica that has conquered the whole world. Others – that this is just a recipe for making a drink, and still others will convincingly prove that this is a ritual of hospitality among the Arab peoples. And all these values are equally true, since the concept of “coffee in Arabic” is as multifaceted as the endless deserts of the Arabian peninsula …
kofe po arabski almaty 01Mocco is the loudest geographical name in the history of a coffee drink. A small port in Yemen gave the name to a coffee variety grown in Arabia. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the port provided the whole world with dried coffee beans in the sun. The Arabs sacredly protected the monopoly, and strictly watched that not a single green seed leave the country. Foreigners were forbidden to visit coffee plantations, and for the export of grains that could sprout, they were punished until the death penalty.
By the way, there is such an interesting fact – before the coffee became world famous, in the Arabian settlements, the coffee drink was made not from grains, but from … husks. The grains were thrown out, and the husks were cooked in brass coffee pots on charcoal. The taste of the dark and strong drink is very different from traditional coffee. The drink is called “gyshr”, and it can still be found in Yemen’s coffee shops along with coffee beans.
Starting to sell grain to Europeans, the Arabs themselves gradually switched to them, but at the same time a whole ritual of coffee drinking developed, which they strictly follow. In the East, a cup of coffee is an indispensable attribute of any conversation, so they do not drink it in one gulp. In general, learning to drink coffee in Arabic is difficult. Try savoring a small cup for at least forty minutes. It’s impossible without hard training!
By the way, overturning a cup of coffee on the go means greatly offending the owner, because the process of making coffee in Arabic is a technology polished for centuries. The highest sign of respect for the guest is when the owner personally undertakes the preparation of Arabic coffee. There are many recipes for making coffee in Arabic, and many Arab families still have their own secret to making coffee, preserved for centuries, so you can only describe the general course of this ritual, without nuances.
Making Arabic Coffee
The beans are fried until dark brown on a baking sheet or in a large spoon, depending on the number of guests. Then the owner carefully examines each seed. If the quality of the roasting does not satisfy him, the grain is thrown away. Finished grains are poured into a metal scoop for cooling, and the owner fries a new batch until he reaches the quantity he needs, in his opinion. The whole process takes place in silence, guests carefully observe the actions of the coffee maker.
beduin gotovit arabskiy kofeAfter all the grains have been approved, the coffee pot is put on fire and the owner starts grinding. The grains are pounded only in a metal mortar, as the coffee maker “plays” simple melodies with a pestle, evoking the admiration of the guests. The finished mass is carefully poured into boiling water and thoroughly mixed. Coffee is brought to a boil and removed from the heat. According to the traditional Arabic recipe, it must be brought to a boil three times. After that, the owner takes the cardamom grains, grinds them in a mortar, and adds them to the finished coffee. And only after the guests picked up the cups, an unhurried conversation begins.
Later, the recipe has changed. One ingredient was added to it, which brought world fame to Arabic coffee. This is sugar, which gives the drink a unique caramel flavor. Sugar is put on the bottom of the Turks and warmed to brown. The resulting caramel is poured with cold water and brought to a boil, stirring thoroughly, and only then add coffee. It is believed that to understand the real taste of coffee in Arabic is possible only when, before adding water, caramel from a Turk is wound on sandalwood sticks and served separately.
There is another fairly common way to make coffee in Arabic, when the coffee is first brought to a boil in a Turk, only half filled with water. After the first rise of the foam, water is added and brought to a boil two more times. To preserve the aroma for a longer time, add a spoonful of butter to the cups – from cream to olive.
There are really many recipes, but one thing unites them: coffee is brought to a boil three times, but in no case is boiled. This is the art of making coffee in Arabic – to catch the “moment of a thousand streams”, when the water has not yet boiled, but was saturated with air bubbles as much as possible.
If you are looking for an institution where you can enjoy original, authentic Arabic coffee in Almaty, and where it is prepared in compliance with all the nuances and ancient Arab traditions, be sure to visit the White Whale!
Here, in a special atmosphere of comfort and coziness, you can always warm yourself with a cup of coffee and share it with a bosom friend for heartfelt conversation, and our courteous and attentive staff will serve you at the highest level!