Qahwa: Meet Arabic coffee


Qahwa is certainly not just any drink. It is a symbol of hospitality, a true tradition in Arab culture. In this blog we delve into the world of qahwa and discover how this coffee has a unique place in daily rituals and social interactions in the Arab world.

We are not going to discuss recipes or techniques, but will give you a glimpse into the fascinating world of qahwa. We discuss the traditions of coffee , its cultural significance and how it is used to show hospitality.

Whether you are a coffee lover or deeply interested in Arabic culture, there is certainly something to learn about qahwa. Prepare for a special journey to the world of Arabic coffee!

The culture behind Qahwa

Qahwa is more than a simple hot drink, it is an important element within Arab culture. It goes beyond the sweet taste and aromatic scent, it embodies age-old traditions and expresses deeply held values.

Arabic coffee is central to social gatherings, where drinking it is a ritual that brings people together. Still, we must be cuidado and not romanticize the reality of this drink. It is a complex product, the result of carefully selected beans and a precise process to achieve the perfect taste and consistency.

Qahwa is not just a coffee, it is an experience shared, a way to show respect and affection. The art of making qahwa is educational, but let us not lose ourselves in excessive admiration. Qahwa is, at its core, still a drink - a delicious, powerful and meaningful drink.

The ritual of setting

Making qahwa is a process that requires a combination of precision and patience. You don't need expensive equipment, but you do have to pay attention to the details. It starts with selecting the right beans. The choice of bean has a huge influence on the final product. Choose a bean that gives a good aroma and a taste that is balanced, not too bitter and not too sweet.

Next comes the grinding of the beans. It is important that the beans are not ground too coarse or too fine. A good grind is essential for obtaining a tasty qahwa.

Then comes the actual setting of the qahwa. This is usually done over low heat. The water should be warm, but not boiling. Water that is too hot can ruin the taste of the coffee. It is also important not to let the coffee steep for too long. Steeping too long can make the qahwa bitter.

Finally, the qahwa is served. Serving the qahwa is just as important as brewing it. It is usually served in small cups, without milk or sugar. The idea is to appreciate the pure taste of the coffee.

Setting qahwa is therefore a careful process that requires attention to detail. It's more than just making a cup of coffee, it's an art form. And like any art form, the result is worth it.

Ingredients that define Qahwa

Interestingly, in the world of qahwa there are a series of factors that determine the final product. Things like the quality of the water you use, to even the mug you serve it in, can make a difference.

But there are also other, lesser-known elements that are part of the recipe for a cup of qahwa. The first ingredient that is often overlooked is time. You need time to let the beans rest after roasting, and time to steep them after grinding.

In addition, there is the temperature. The ideal temperature for brewing qahwa is a topic of debate among coffee enthusiasts, but it is generally thought to be somewhere between 90 and 96 degrees Celsius.

Finally, there is the matter of the ratio of water to coffee. This is another point of contention, but most people prefer a ratio of about 1:15. All these factors, and many more, come together to give each cup of qahwa its unique character.

Sweetness in simplicity

Although qahwa is often thought of as a simple drink, it is actually anything but that. Don't let the bright, clean taste fool you; behind that simple facade lies a complex process that requires care, patience and precision.

Every step, from selecting the right beans to controlling the perfect temperature, contributes to the unique character of each cup. And then there are the subtle variations: the amount of water, the grind of the beans, the length of the infusion.

Each aspect affects the taste, aroma and texture of the drink. It is a process that must be constantly refined and adjusted depending on the drinker's preference.

Despite this complexity, there is a certain beauty in this simplicity. Perhaps that is the secret of qahwa's enduring popularity. It's more than just a drink, it's a celebration of simplicity, a tribute to the art of patience.

Qahwa vs. western coffee

So, now we make the comparison between qahwa and western coffee. Let's face it, qahwa isn't just a morning caffeine boost, it's a ritual. But on the other hand, Western coffee is not just a boost either. It has its own rituals and mannerisms, from the morning cappuccino to the afternoon espresso.

There are certainly differences. The qahwa often has a lighter and brighter taste than the often more robust flavors of Western coffee. This is because more attention is paid to the selection of the beans in the qahwa. In the West, the focus is often more on the preparation method.

But let's not lose sight of the similarities. Both forms of coffee have their roots in age-old traditions and are part of social rituals. So whether you choose qahwa or a Western variant, you choose more than just a tasty drink. You choose a piece of history and culture in your cup.

Qahwa vs. Turkish coffee

Now we turn our attention to the comparison between qahwa and Turkish coffee. Contrary to what you might think, this isn't just a comparison between two types of coffee. These are two traditional preparation methods, each with their own unique taste and character.

Although qahwa has its roots in the Arab world, Turkish coffee is considered one of the oldest ways of preparing coffee.

How to make Turkish coffee is an art in itself, in which the fineness of the grind and the cooking time play important roles. The end product is a drink with a rich, full flavor, often served with a glass of water to cleanse the palette.

On the other hand, qahwa is characterized by its light, clear taste, which is the result of careful selection of the beans.

In short, whether you choose Turkish coffee or qahwa, rest assured that you are choosing a proven method that has been around for centuries.

To pour

If you take the time to delve deeper into the world of qahwa, you will discover a fascinating landscape of culture, tradition and taste. This is no ordinary coffee, but a drink that captures the soul of the Arab world in every cup.

The light, bright taste of qahwa comes from careful selection of the beans. There are no secrets, just a deep respect for the beans and the process that brings them to life in your cup.

The casting process plays a crucial role in the preparation of qahwa. The hot water must be poured over the ground coffee beans with care and precision to extract the optimal flavor. Unlike Western methods where water is poured all at once, when preparing qahwa the water is added gradually.

This process, often described as a ritual, begins with pouring a small amount of water to 'bloom' the coffee. Then, after a few minutes, the rest of the water is added slowly and evenly. This methodical approach ensures that all the flavors and aromas from the carefully selected beans are fully expressed, making every sip of qahwa a unique and unforgettable experience.

Social bonds over coffee

Qahwa is more than just a drink. It goes beyond the simple action of drinking coffee. Qahwa is a symbol of hospitality, a means of establishing and strengthening social bonds.

In the Arab world, inviting someone for a cup of qahwa is a sign of respect and friendship. It is a moment of togetherness, a chance to talk and share. But let's not idealize it. The taste of qahwa can vary greatly depending on who makes it.

Some may find it too strong, or too weak. Others may find it too sweet, or perhaps not sweet enough. And while the tradition of drinking qahwa is deeply rooted in Arab culture, it is not for everyone. It requires a certain taste, a certain appreciation. So the next time you are offered a cup of qahwa, think of everything behind it.


Qahwa is not just about coffee; it is a symbol of connection, community, and hospitality, deeply rooted in Arab culture. It is an invitation to come together and participate in shared conversations, to forge and affirm bonds.

Making qahwa is a careful and thoughtful process, designed to reveal every nuance of flavor and aroma. Although the taste of qahwa can vary and depend on personal preferences, the essence of the experience remains intact. It is a celebration of tradition, respect and friendship.

So the next time you are invited for a cup of qahwa, remember the rich meaning that resonates in every sip.