Bedouin Coffee

bedouin coffee1bedouin coffee2bedouin coffee3bedouin coffee4bedouin coffee5The best coffee in the world is bedouin coffee ground with cardamom. You can still get it custom ground in Arabic grocery shops, but today I used the commercial Najjar brand to make it.

While this may be the best tasting coffee there is, the effects may not always be desirable. The coffee itself is a fine powder similar to espresso, and with similar effects.

I always find myself unable to sleep after drinking this coffee, which for some reason always happens late at night while having a spirited conversation with some Arab who is trying to learn English.

Paradoxically, today I drank the coffee early in the morning and found myself lying down for “just a minute”–and waking up three hours later.

Drink this coffee at your own peril!

Here are the instructions:

Start with cold water.
Put in a heaping spoon of coffee.
Then add an equal amount of sugar.
Stir. (The quantities shown are a bit skimpy.)
Boil. You have to keep watching this as it will boil over very quickly. Once it starts boiling, keep stirring it and continue to boil for a couple minutes. You will have to lift it off the flame and keep stirring.
Let it sit a few minutes to let the sludge settle to the bottom.
Pour it out into a finjon. An espresso cup will work fine.
Let settle again and enjoy.

A corollary activity is reading the coffee grounds in the bottom of the cup, but since Ramadan begins tomorrow, I hesitate to discuss this in depth.

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5 Responses to “Bedouin Coffee”

  1. pihuio Says:

    you hav thtb coffee i dont like it.

  2. Nijma Says:

    Don’t they drink it there in Saudi, pihuio?

  3. Sashura Says:

    this is completely wrong – the boling bit destroys coffee.

    here is the how I was taught to do it:
    Start with cold water.
    Put in a heaping spoon of coffee.
    Then add an equal amount of sugar.
    Stir.
    Heat on a very low gas, or put a metal dish with sand on the cooker and coffee jug in the sand.
    Stir until you have light brown layer on top.
    Now don’t stir, just watch.
    When the first bubble appears through the brown layer, coffee is ready.
    Put a small bit of cold water (half of a teaspoon) in.
    Stay. Sludge settles, but crust (top layer) remaiins.
    Pick a small amount of coffee grounds (tip of a teaspoon) off the crust and put into each cup or small glass.
    Pour out slowly.

  4. Nijma Says:

    How interesting–I’ll have to try it. I was taught by a non-English-speaking Egyptian (the guy who reads the grounds left in the cup after you drink the coffee), so I don’t know if the Arab way is different from the Russian way or if I just missed some of the nuances.

  5. Sashura Says:

    I was taught this first by a Russian-speaking Armenian from Georgia in Moscow, and then, same recipe, by an English-speaking Armenian from Cyprus in London. I think the main clue is cold water start – stop just before boils.


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