Arabic Coffee. History, Preparation, Health Benefits & Etiquette
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Believed to have been originated in Ethiopia or Yemen, coffee has a long history dating back to the 9th century. The coffee’s origin is largely attributed to a goat herder, who first noticed the increased level of goats’ energy upon chewing certain berries.
Based on the information, locals experimented with these berries, which eventually turned out to be an energizing drink. It made its way to Middle Eastern and Northern African regions during the 15th century, and later on, it traveled to Italy and other European regions as well as to the Americas. Today, coffee is widely consumed across the world and is especially lauded for its rich taste and tempting flavor.
How it is prepared?
Though unanimously referred to as Arabic coffee, it is categorized into two: Al-Qahwa (Saudi coffee) Turkish-style coffee. While Qahwa is prepared using heavily roasted beans, Turkish coffee is made with roasted and finely grounded Arabica coffee beans.
In the Gulf countries, it is mostly called Khaleeji. The coffee beans are widely available in supermarkets and are usually prepared in a traditional coffee pot, named, dallah. It is commonly infused with spices such as cardamom, cloves, and saffron. Preparing coffee is simple. Add ground coffee followed by cardamom and cloves to the boiling water. After 10 minutes, remove it from the heat and allow the grounded coffee beans to settle down. Then strain and transfer the steaming coffee into a thermos flask.
A small cup of brewed Arabic coffee is almost free of any calories or fat. However, its protein content is very minimal amount adds up to its calorie. Likewise, though Arabic coffee does not contain carbohydrates, the consumption of coffee with sugar or cream will certainly reflect its carbohydrate levels.
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Major studies reveal that Arabic coffee’s intake can minimize the onset of such devastating ailments as Type II diabetes, dementia, heart diseases, and even certain types of cancer. That said, make it a point to take coffee in moderate quantity due to the presence of caffeine, which in turn can be causative for the narrowing of blood vessels. Likewise, people with conditions such as high blood pressure and insomnia should avoid or cut down the intake of coffee.
Ingrained in customs and hospitality, Arabic coffee finds a prominent position in traditional Arabic feasts, special occasions such as Ramadan and Eid, weddings, social gatherings, and even business meetings. Coffee is served in a small cup “Finjaan” and usually paired with a piece of sweets such as baklava, dates, Turkish lokum (Turkish delight).