Cairo – the world’s first coffee capital
- The enjoyment of coffee in Egypt goes back to the brotherhood of the Islamic Sufis who drank it during their prayers.
- Towards the end of the 17th century there were already 643 Bayt Qahwa coffee houses in Cairo. They were both a cultural center and a public meeting place.
- And even today, coffee houses are place for literary conversations or political discussions and meeting point of merchants to make business in peaceful cozy atmosphere.
Traditional Preparation of coffee in Egypt
If you order a coffee (قهوة) in Egypt or Syria, you have to say how much sugar you want, because the coffee is prepared here with sweetened water. One can easily order it sweet (arriha), medium sweet (mazboot) or very sweet (ziyada). Unsweetened coffee (sada) is only drunk on sad occasions, like burials. The preparation is Turkish. Therefore very finely ground coffee powder, which is mixed with cardamom*, is boiled together with sugared water in a coffee pot called kanaka*. The coffee grounds go into the cup and settle on the bottom, so you can enjoy the coffee after a short waiting time after serving.
Egyptian mocha from Alexandria
- 2.5 kg roasted, very finely ground coffee* (blend from Brazil, Colombia, Yemen and Ethiopia)
- 100 g ground green cardamom*
- 50 g ground nutmeg*
- 25 g ground cloves*
- 10 g crushed mastic
Add 3 cups of cold water and three heaped teaspoons of the coffee mixture as well as sugar to taste into a tumaka/ kanaka كنكة. This is a copper, brass, or aluminum vessel. Stir everything well and heat on the fire until the coffee begins to boil and foam. Serve immediately by pouring some spoons of foam into each cup and filling with coffee. The traditional small cups are without handles. You can serve the coffee with Basbusa bi l-lauz – almond grit cake.
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