Thursday, December 8, 2011

[ traditional arabic coffee ]

ARABIC COFFEE is all about tradition, hospitality and ceremony. It's a sign of welcome and marks the beginning and end of a guest's visit. Recently we were presented with a lovely gift of a traditional brass Arabic coffee pot called a Dallah.

The Dallah is an important symbol in the UAE and even appears on their dirham coin.

Not to be confused with the thick, dark Turkish coffee, Arabic coffee is called Khaleeji, is paler in colour and is served in a small cup with no handles called a Finjan. It is traditionally ground with cardamom and prepared by adding cloves, saffron and rose water.

The coffee is served and received with the right hand. The host serving the coffee fills the small cup only half full so it cools quickly. As soon as the guest drinks it, the cup is refilled continually until the guest gently jiggles the cup indicating he has had enough {it is customary to take 2 to 3 cups}.

Sugar and milk are never added but it is often served with dates, an extremely popular sweet here in Dubai. Emirates Airlines also serves Arabic coffee and dates on its flights.

Arabic coffee can be served anytime at home, at social gatherings or business meetings. I've only tried it once and found it quite strong and bitter {I enjoy sugar in my usual coffee} but perhaps I'll develop a taste for it now that I have my own Dallah.

[mine, via camerasandcucumbers, 2, 4 via arabiczeal]


Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

I really liked hearing about a custom in the culture. The spices added to the coffee sound delicious. That coffee pot is so pretty I'd want to display it.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

It's very pretty. I don't like coffee at all so I imagine I wouldn't enjoy this but the Dallah set is beautiful. I could do hot chocolate in it though :)

Carolyn@SweetChaos said...

That is so interesting, Lisa! I love your beautiful Dallah, but I'm with you. Dates ain't gonna cut it. I need sugar, and lots of it :)

Lisa @ Fern Creek Cottage said...

What a beautiful coffee pot! I don't drink regular coffee (because I think it tastes like dirt:) But I've always wanted to try turkish coffee because I've read about it so many books and I love cardamon. But I probably wouldn't like it w/o sugar too!

Meeling said...

Very interesting! I like hearing about different cultures. Far more sophisticated than meeting at the local Starbucks! ;-)

What a lovely gift to receive. I'm with you though, coffee without sugar or cream would definitely take some getting used to.

Lulu and Co. said...

It's beautiful. My parent's have one. My husband was just in Dubai for the airshow they had and brought me back some dates.....oh my goodness they are my favorite!
Wishing you a wonderful day,


How interesting! And darling! Love that set. Great blog! Following you now!

XO - Jami
Imagine Design Blog

My Beautiful World said...

Love that coffee pot thanks foe sharing I never knew that. thanks for visiting me so nice to catch up again, hope you have a great day.

Always Wendy

Jo @ In Corners of My Mind said...

I so enjoy learing about life in Dubai, it's culture, it's customs and traditions. I feel sometimes I am living vicariously through you.
Thanks for sharing...Happy Thursday!

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

What a gorgeous pot you were gifted with. I love all the tradition and ceremony that surrounds coffee drinking there.

April said...

This is so cool and educational. I love hearing about these kinds of ceremonies. They make the mundane less... mundane.

Karena said...

Such a lovely way to enjoy coffee, which I love!! The dates are another favorite that I do not think of serving enough!

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Amanda Hill said...

Interesting...they are very beautiful!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

This was a really fascinating post. I love learning about customs in other cultures, the rituals and the proper ways things are serving a cup with the right hand. Our culture has so little of this in many ways. And, what a beautiful Dallah!

Holly said...

This is so interesting - especially since I really enjoy coffee a lot. And that Dallah that you were gifted is really beautiful.


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