Arabic Coffee: A Nation Celebrates

Do you know that Arabic Coffee will be renamed Saudi Coffee in the Saudi Kingdom’s restaurants, coffee shops, and restaurants following a directive from the Ministry of Commerce?

The Year of Coffee

It gets better.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture christened 2022 as the year of coffee to celebrate its coffee culture dating as far as the 15th century. From the Ethiopian highlands where coffee is widely believed to have originated, the Middle East became the next frontier of diffusion. These celebrations affirm coffee’s heritage in shaping the wider culture in the Saudi Kingdom. Importantly, they also affirm the unique role of coffee in both the old and new world. Coffee transcends nations, empires, and civilizations.

Saudi celebrates the year of coffee

How do you feel about having a Coffee Carnivore? Well, I hope one of the coffee-growing nations provides a platform for the world to understand the not-so-subtle power of coffee. That’s one carnivore anyone would look forward to.

Coffee Symbolizes Hospitality

In Saudi Arabia, coffee is a symbol of hospitality. When you visit someone’s house, it is customary to offer coffee to your guests. It is considered rude to refuse.

arabic coffee symbolize hospitality

Coffee is also served during business meetings and other social gatherings. It is seen as a way to build relationships and bonds. Chances are, the first Saudi serving you’ll receive will be a coffee.

Saudi coffee is best enjoyed by friends and family. It is a social drink that is often shared in small groups.

Come to think, what’s your country’s signature beverage or food?

The Saudi Coffee Experience

Saudi coffee is usually served strong and sweet. The coffee beans are roasted and then ground into a powder. This powder is added to boiling water and allowed to brew for a few minutes. Sugar and cardamom are added to taste.

The coffee is poured from a height into small cups, which helps to cool it down slightly. Saudi coffee is usually drunk black, but milk can be added if desired.

Why is Saudi Coffee so Good?

Saudi coffee is made using only the finest quality Arabica beans roasted to perfection and then ground into a fine powder. Saudi coffee is also made with cardamom, which gives it a unique flavor.

why is saudi or arabic coffee good

Saudi coffee is usually served strong and sweet. The coffee beans are roasted and then ground into a powder. This powder is added to boiling water and allowed to brew for a few minutes. Sugar and cardamom are added to taste.

Coffee tip 1

Though often compared to Turkish coffee, Saudi coffee is less known for its thickness but rather for its abundance in taste because of the use of spices.

How to Make Arabic | Saudi Coffee

how to make arabic coffee

Usually, light and heavily roasted coffee beans are used. The coffee brewing methods may vary but in most instances, Saudi coffee is traditionally made in a small pot called a dallah.

what is dallah arabic coffee pot

The coffee and water are boiled together with cardamom pods. Once the mixture has boiled, it is removed from the heat and allowed to settle for a few minutes.

Sugar is not used to make Saudi coffee. Depending on your location in the Kingdom, the coffee is spiced up with cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, or saffron.

Fun fact

When drinking coffee as a guest in Saudi Arabia, the host keeps pouring small servings until instructed otherwise. That’s generous!

To balance the bitter coffee flavor associated with the Saudi coffee culture, it’s served with sweeteners such as dates, candied fruit, or nuts.

Regional Differences

Jazan Province contains Saudi Arabia’s main coffee-producing region. The city is located on the Red Sea and is known for its high-quality coffee beans.

The coffee from this region is strong, dark, and Flavorful with a slightly sweet taste. It is often made with cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon.

Saudi Arabia is also home to a variety of other coffee-producing regions, each with its own distinct flavor profile.

Coffee tip 2

Whenever you visit Saudi Arabia, remember the further north you go, the darker the coffee beans become. It’s a reflection of regional preferences in coffee consumption.

Spices can influence the color of the coffee beans. For instance, southwestern regions use different spices compared to the northern and central regions.

Fun fact

In southwestern regions, there’s coffee produced from shells of coffee beans, usually with a greenish-brown color. The coffee then applies a spicing known as ‘nahkaw’.

Is Saudi Coffee highly caffeinated?

A simple YES.

Saudi coffee beans have high caffeine content. The Saudi Arabian government regulates the amount of caffeine to no more than 0.1%. Unlike most people in the West who consume coffee in the morning, coffee in Saudi Arabia is mainly consumed late in the day to recharge after a long day of work.

Coffee tip 3

You can save some Saudi coffee for later use by storing it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. When you’re ready to drink it, add hot water and enjoy!

Don’t try this with Starbucks coffee.

Saudi Coffee vs Turkish Coffee

Saudi coffee and Turkish coffee are both made from Arabica beans and have similar strengths. However, Saudi coffee is less bitter than Turkish coffee because Turkish coffee beans are roasted longer. It produces oily and glassy-looking beans, which produce a fine powder upon grinding. It takes a few minutes to brew Turkish coffee. The taste is best described as seductive and potent.

turkish vs arabic coffee

Saudi coffee is also made with cardamom, which gives it a unique flavor. Its roast is also light and medium rather than scorched earth.

Turkish Coffee is made with grounds that are very fine, almost like powder. Saudi coffee grounds are coarsely ground.

Coffee is history

Saudi coffee has a long and rich history.

Coffee made its way to Saudi Arabia in the 16th century. It was introduced by Yemeni Sufi pilgrims who came to Saudi Arabia to visit holy sites. They brought with them both coffee beans and the knowledge of how to brew coffee.

Saudi coffee quickly became popular, particularly among scholars and religious leaders. It became a significant part of Saudi Arabian culture and social life.

Saudi coffeehouses, called qahwa, became places where people would gather to discuss politics, religion, and current affairs. They were also places where poets would recite their works and where musicians would play.

Saudi coffeehouses played an important role in the Saudi Arabian awakening, or renaissance, of the early 20th century. This was a time when Saudi Arabia began to modernize and Saudi intellectuals began to call for political and social reforms.

Saudi coffeehouses were closed in the 1970s as part of a government crackdown on dissent, but they have since reopened and are once again an important part of Saudi Arabian culture.

It’s not surprising modern Saudis wish to reconnect with a drink that has played such a critical role in the evolution of the nation.

Be a good guest

Saudis take offense when a guest turns down a coffee serving.  Saudi Arabia is a country that takes great pride in its coffee and its culture. Saudi coffee is strong, but it’s also smooth and has a rich flavor. If you don’t like your coffee black, you can always add milk or sugar to taste.

When you’re a guest in Saudi Arabia, it’s important to remember that coffee is more than just a drink. It’s an important part of Saudi Arabian culture and history. Saudi coffee is a symbol of the hospitality of the Saudi people.

So, next time you’re invited to a Saudi home, don’t turn down that cup of coffee. Enjoy it and savor the experience!

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