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July 22, 2013

RAMADAN GATHERINGS جلسات في رمضان: Tradition to drink coffee in Al-Khaleej.

Khaleejia said: Jalsat with Khaleejia.
Let's talk about drinks in Ramadan.Today we will talk about Coffee. 
We know that It is very old drink that actually invented by Arabs. Despite that we have now lots of kinds of coffee Brazilian, American, Italian (cappuccino, americano, etc) but  the original one  was discovered in Yemen, and from the city where the trading started the coffee got its popular name from arabic Qahwa which turned to be "Coffee"  as qahwa, a truncation of qahhwat al-bun 'wine of the bean'.  From Wikipedia: 

"The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the Sufi monasteries of the Yemen in southern Arabia. From Mocha, coffee spread to Egypt and North Africa, and by the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia and Turkey. From the Middle East, coffee drinking spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, and coffee plants were transported by the Dutch to the East Indies and to the Americas.

Shepherds noticed that their animals after eating some kind of plants were more active than usual, horses run faster and without any harm to their health. So people started adding the seeds to the food, but it became bitter. Though after they ate it they noted being energetic and could not sleep. 

After more attempts and tests with cooking of the coffee seeds, they discovered that it is good to boil and drink the same way as for medical herbs. After were added  some spices: zaafran and cardamon. These spices are very useful for the health as cardamon(traded from India) good for digestion and zaafran(traded from Iran) relaxes  body so after such a good "energy drink" people got lots of benefits: after heavy food or tiredness, no problems with stomach or nerves. :)

 With a time coffee became a drink that is served first to the guests as an act of hospitality. Mostly it was hard to offer anything else as there was problems with water and food. Yet effect of the coffee even in a small portion gave some relaxation& energy to those who came tired from the way. Usually coffee serving with dates as every Bedouin family had these food for the whole year and sweetness of the dates had a perfect match to the bitterness of the coffee.

 Till now-a-days coffee in the Khaleej is one of the favorite drink that presence in any occasions and gatherings. For men gatherings the coffee is served by youngest ones, at this time it is like a life-school for them. Politic, business, religion all are discussed by men during the gathering.

There are some etiquette for drinking coffee : right hand is used to hold a cup "fanjan", once you finish and do not want more swing it very slightly in front of the person who is going to pour some more into it, and without distraction he will pass you over.
The Bedouins were very practical in life, and this reflected in the utensil designs. Dalla -دلة - Arabic coffee jug made the way to be able to cook it directly on the fireplace, then easily  use it for pouring coffee into the tiny cups which are also smartly designed to be without handles as during the trips they can be broken  Small size of the cups allow easily store big quantity (as families were big) in one place and drank without harm of hot coffee because it will never be filled full. 
And of cause our gatherings (jalsat) can't be without coffee too:) 

* Share what your thoughts with us in the comments.:)
I just did this brief video additionally for this post. The way how to grind coffee:

1 comment:

  1. Assalam Alaykum

    Ramadan Karim! I love coffee! As I live in Brazil, I also drink much brazilian coffee, one of the best in the world.


will appreciate your kind notes :)