What is the Difference between Arabic Coffee (Gahwa Arabi) and Regular Coffee?
Arabic coffee or Gahwa Arabi is a drink served when welcoming guests in Saudi Arabia and in the Arabian Peninsula. Commonly called the “welcome drink “, Gahwa Arabi has been a symbol of generosity and hospitality to the Arabs and almost every Arab family has Arabic coffee in their homes. Gahwa Arabi is not only used to greet guests, but for lovers of coffee, Arabic coffee is available every day at breakfast, after breakfast, as afternoons drinks, and even during the night when family or friends are gathering.
According to Islamic tradition, glorifying guests is an obligation of all Muslims. It is said to have been a habit of the prophets and the pious, and has been implemented as a show of Muslim generosity. Rasulullah (SAW) tells us: we who believe in Allah, and His Messenger, and the believers of the doomsday, must have a noble character, as we should honor guests..
Abu Hurairah (RAA), said that the Prophet (SAW) said:
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, then let him glorify his guests.” (muttafaq ‘alaih).
Different regions, ethnicities, and countries have unique customs and ways of welcoming and entertaining their guests, and in Saudi Arabia, Arabic coffee plays a large role in how guests are treated. Gahwa Arabi is presented in special thermos that are attractive and distinctive. They are called Dallah and are considered to be special cups. They are also called Finjan Gahwa, and cups of gahwa are small in size without handles.
Gahwa Arabi is generally taken hot or warm and served with dates, chocolate or other sweet foods because it is somewhat bitter and has a spicy taste due to it being mixed with cloves, cardamom or saffron to color and flavor it.
Coffee is a beverage that originated from the coffee bean and the word itself comes from the Arabic word: قهوة qahwah which means strength, because coffee is used as a high-energy food. The word qahwah evolved into kahveh which originated from Turkish and then it again changed into koffie which is Dutch. The use of the word koffie was immediately absorbed into the Indonesian language and became the coffee known today.
The difference between Arabic coffee, Gahwa Arabi, and others can be distinguished by the process of roasting (frying without oil or its roaster). The roasting process is the most important in influencing components of coffee beans through changes in the chemical and physical characteristics, which give a distinctive flavor to the coffee and its caffeine content.
Scientific evidence shows that the more roasting of the coffee beans decreases the amount of caffeine and water content therein. Arabic coffee (Gahwa arabi), is brown in color or sometime close to dark yellow. This is because the roasting process takes place only briefly so that the content of caffeine and water is higher.
Arabic coffee (Gahwa arabi) is always mixed with cardamom, sometimes also with cloves, saffron or with ginger, because they are herbs that are nutritious for our bodies. Cardamon is known as one type of herb that is also useful in cooking ingredients and it is widely used as a cooking spice in Indonesia and other Asian countries. Cardamon is also well known as one of the most expensive spices, third after saffron and vanilla. Sabrang (Elettaria cardamomum), another type of cardamon, is a kind of herb that is important for various types of cuisine in Asia and is also widely used for traditional medicine (herbal medicine).
Caffeine, useful for activating the nervous system and helpful in fighting the challenges of an excessive appetite, can be used for weight loss and to reduce muscle soreness.
Gahwa Arabi is therefore beneficial for your health, just do not drink too much. Just about everything that is consumed in excess can be turned into a disease.
in conclusion, how do you make gahwa arabi? It is very easy: just boil water, add Arabic coffee powder, after boiling, add cardamon, saffron, ginger, and clove powder according to your taste. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, and it will be ready to serve.
Enjoy your coffee!