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Saudi Coffee

 While Al-Qahwa is a symbol of hospitality throughout the Arabian world, in the Arabian Gulf hospitality is incomplete without Al-Qahwa. It is served day and night, at all social gatherings, offices, parties, weddings and condolence visits. Anything sweet such as dates are served with the coffee.

Al-Qahwa is served by a moqahwai or by the youngest person at the gathering, or perhaps by the host, depending on the occasion and the social rank of the host. The server should always hold the dullah with his left hand and the fanajeen stacked in his right. Using the left hand to deliver or receive at item is considered bad manners. Serving should always start with the guest of honor or the person highest of rank and age of the people present. It is a sign of respect to be offered the first finjan and a nice gesture to offer the cup to the next in rank or the eldest. When serving you should pour enough coffee to fill the cup slightly more than one third, but definitely less than half as over filling indicates that the server is not hospitable and would like the guest to leave as quickly as possible.

This is my mother in laws recipe so it as authentic as it gets. Saudi coffee which is also known as Arabic gulf coffee is made with green coffee beans which just mean they have been lightly roasted. You can grind them at home but I have mine ground fresh at the store.

4 cups water
1-1/2 heaping teaspoons ground coffee
3 teaspoons cardamom
1 teaspoon coffee mate creamer (powder)

1. In a coffee or tea pot on high heat add water and coffee. Bring to a full boil until top is frothy. Boil for 2 more minutes.

2. In a flask or coffee pot add cardamom and creamer, pour coffee into. Stir then serve in Arabic coffee cups.

Yields: 6 servings


  1. Anonymous3/22/2011

    I love all of this information bc I never knew it. Thanks so much and your pictures are great. I want to try this coffee.

  2. Janice3/22/2011

    Ahh I miss this

  3. Anonymous3/24/2011

    Mashallah, love the changes to your blog! Your pictures look different, did you get a new camera? Can I twist your arm into cat sitting for me? :)

  4. Noor3/24/2011

    Thanks so much yes I re-designed it a few months ago and finally got me a Canon. Who is this lol????

    Thanks for the kind comments everyone.

  5. Anonymous3/24/2011

    I am Maya, a long time lurker and fan! I read on your other blog that you would love to have a cat. I am thoughtful like that, and thought of you....Lol (wink) I need to go back home urgently for 6 weeks inshallah, so maybe by cat sitting you can test the water so to speak...... Lol :)

  6. Noor4/02/2011

    Oh really your on the CM forum?? I actually had two cats for years but we left them back home. I have been 'thinking' of getting a baby bc I love cats so much.

  7. Anonymous8/31/2011

    salaam, I came accross your site while I googled Saudi Coffee mashaAllah i'm trying to find a good recipie, i love your site and the photos and the info/history that you put w/ each recipie...mashaAllah, lovely.
    but i have a question..really you put creamer in the saudi coffee??

  8. Noor9/01/2011

    Thank you so much for your kind words I really appreciate them. Yes, my mother in law who is Saudi always uses that and she makes the best coffee ever mashAllah so we all do as well.

  9. MashaAllah sister I love your blog! I'm a swedish convert and I just love Saudiarabia! ( too bad my husband is Syrian lol)Noor, What kind of coffee do u use here? I'm not very into coffee but occasionally I have a cup of arabic coffee with LOTS of sugar and this recipe seems great. Ramadan Mubarak to you and your family!

  10. Noor7/28/2012

    Thanks sis mashAllah thats awesome :) Ramadan Mubarak to you as well :)

  11. Leigh Ha8/06/2012

    Salam, is it customary to use cream or do some just serve the coffee as is?

  12. Noor8/06/2012

    Everyone has their own version I am sure this is just my families and my mil is the best :)