In the newly released book ‘‘The Art of Arabic Coffee’’, author Medina Ilyas, coffee expert and the founder of Medina Coffee Company, embarks upon a fascinating journey to explore the rich cultural heritage of authentic Arabic coffee or “qahwa”. Pronounced cah-wah or gah-wa.
Did you know that the cultivation, roasting, and preparation of coffee were originally pioneered and perfected on the Arabian Peninsula? In fact, Arabic coffee is not merely a drink – it is a cultural institution in itself as well as the cornerstone of the famous Middle Eastern hospitality. With hundreds of years’ worth of history in the Middle East, the wealth of oral traditions and intangible cultural legacy surrounding the rituals of brewing and serving coffee has been passed down over many generations.
“When I was visiting Oman for the first time,” says Medina, I was introduced to authentic Arabic coffee. It was true love at first sip. I was mesmerized by the taste, but also intrigued by the ceremony, the culture, the dedicated artistry of making the perfect cup of coffee.”
Medina Ilyas has been on a journey these past 15 years conducting extensive research to gain an in-depth understanding of the rituals and traditions of brewing, serving, and drinking Arabic qahwa. She documented and collected hundreds of coffee recipes from across the Arab region. She shares her own secrets of coffee brewing – including unique recipes that may include cardamon, frankincense or saffron to create unbelievably rich and flavorful Arabic coffee.
The Art of Arabic Coffee includes a brief history of Arabic coffee and introduces Arabian culture and hospitality including the customs and etiquette of serving and drinking it as well as some key insights into the world of Arabic coffee, its ingredients,
Medina Ilyas is married to Usama Barwani and is the daughter-in-law of Mohammed Barwani