Arabic Coffee the Bedouin Way

Preparing Arabic Coffee at our Camp

Our guests enjoy learning about the local culture in Wadi Rum. One great way to experience the local hospitality customs is in the preparation of traditional arabic coffee the bedouin way. The process can be lengthy as it is prepared start to finish, beginning with the roasting of the beans, and grinding the coffee with a mortar and pestle. It’s quite the ritual to observe and participate in! Gahwa Arabiyyah is on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural History of Humanity. We hope to preserve and share this tradition in Wadi Rum at our desert camp.

The beans are roasted slowly over the fire and must not be allowed to burn. The amount of roasting can vary, but in this area the roasting tends to be lighter.

Abdullh roasting the coffee the bedouin way over the fire in the communal tent.

After roasting, the coffee beans must be allowed to cool a bit before the grinding. This also takes time, depending on how finely you want the coffee to be ground. Abdullh uses a mortar and pestle to grind the beans.

Traditional coffee the bedouin way also includes cardamom, so Abdullh also grinds the cardamom seeds and adds this powder to the hot coffee and brings it to a boil again. It should be about 3 teaspoons of cardamom per 1 liter of water. Arabic coffee is not filtered and here it is usually prepared without sugar (or served with sugar). This is called Gawha sada.

The coffee will be transferred to a Dallah (the coffee pot with the large spout) for serving. It should be piping hot when poured into the small cup called a finjān. Usually the cup is only filled 1/3 of the way. Your server will keep giving you more until you give the signal that you are finished: shake the cup!

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