Sweets, Arabic. Turkish, Coffee, Backgrounds
Food - Drink
The Cultural Significance Of Qahwa Coffee
Coffee has been around for centuries, but its cultivation and trade actually started in the 15th century in the Arabian Peninsula, where early coffee houses were community gathering places. In fact, the cultural, social, and traditional aspects of Arabic coffee, or "qahwa,” are so significant, it has been officially recognized by UNESCO.
Qahwa is a rich, unfiltered, and unsweetened coffee, but more than that, it’s a traditional and ceremonial way of preparing and serving the drink that has been passed down for generations. Qahwa is a sign of hospitality that transcends cultural divides, and it is often incorporated into special occasions and cultural or religious holidays like Ramadan and Eid.
Qahwa is typically made with arabica beans, and the process starts when the host picks out the coffee beans and then gives them a light roast in a pan over a fire. Once roasted, the beans are ground down with a copper mortar and pestle, and then placed inside a dallah, a traditional lidded pot, which is filled with water and placed over a fire to boil.
Once the qahwa is ready, the host stays standing and serves the guests while they’re seated, pouring the coffee into fenjals, small cups with no handles, with the first cup being served to the eldest or most distinguished guest. In 2015, UNESCO recognized Arabic coffee stating that the traditions around it are an "expression of hospitality, generosity, and social etiquette.”