Ottoman and Andalusian influences
- Coffee came to Tunisia in the 16th century through the Ottomans.
- In 1846 there were already 102 cafés in Tunis, half of which were run by Turks.
- The coffee houses of the time, as well as in other countries, was a place for intellectuals, politicians and poets.
- Only the French colonialists brought the western way of drinking coffee to Tunisia.
- Traditional cafés where you play backgammon and smoke narghile are still around today.
☕ Traditional Preparation
The way in which the coffee is served also plays an important role. After Tunisian traditions and customs coffee is drunk while sitting. The idea of “to-go” does not exist.
The Tunisian morning coffee ritual takes place every day after the Fajr prayer before sunrise. The café next to the mosque serves coffee and croissants. You read a newspaper and maintain your social contacts in the group.
- In a Tunisian coffee pot (zézoua) a mocha cup of water is brought to a boil.
- Then remove the pot from the heat and add 1 heaped tsp of very finely ground coffee powder (mocha mixture) and sugar to taste and stir well.
- Cook over medium heat on the stove and then pour into a mocha cup and add 1-2 drops of orange blossom water.
- Alternatively to orange blossom water, rose water, geranium water or grated dried orange peel can also be used.
- According to Andalusian tradition, a bowl of jasmine flowers is served with coffee.