Arabic Language Blog

Coffee – قهوة Posted by on Jun 26, 2010 in Culture

I recently came across a BBC article on coffee (قهوة) and its effects on the human heart. According to a 13-year-long study carried out in the Netherlands, drinking several cups of coffee–four to be exact–helps reduce the risk of heart disease by one-third.

Coffee is a popular drink in the Middle East, and I do enjoy one or two cups per day, rarely more. In Lebanon and elsewhere in the Middle East, the coffee we drink is ground very finely, similar to espresso, and it’s often roasted with cardamom (الهيل) seeds to give it a special aroma. We use a special pot (ركوة) to boil water. Once the water boils we add the coffee powder straight to the pot and continue to boil it. Sugar (سكر) is added to the pot as needed. Once done we let the pot sit for a few minutes. This helps the coffee powder sink and form a sediment at the bottom of the pot. This is important since we do not use a filtration device. This coffee is usually very strong, so we serve it in small cups as you would when serving espresso.

Here’s a photo of my coffee pot:Coffee pot


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  1. Noblese:

    Hi there, regarding the word “cardamom (الهيل)” don’t you also call iz ‘7abahan’ in Egyptian? Thanks

  2. Samir Farha:

    The best coffee to drink should be medium roasted ( not light + Dark 50+50) you boil until its bubbles on the top become like large lentils we say when lentils like bubbles appear it is perfect ,put off the fire and cover the pot let it rest for a minute or two sugar and cardamum are optional.

  3. Scheich Josef:


    There are several words in Arabic for cardamom; e.g.

    الهال and الهيل (al Haal and al Hayl)

    حب الهال and حب الهيل (Habb al haal and Habb al hayl)

    and in Egyptian

    حبهان from حب الهان (Habbahaan from Habb al haan)