Updated: Sep 21, 2021
First of all, what is Gahwa coffee? Gahwa Coffee (pronounced Gow-wah) is an Arabic coffee that is integral to Emirati culture. When traveling to Dubai, you will find it in the lobby of hotels, where typically, tourists are first introduced to Emirati hospitality and tradition. It is served out of an Arabic shaped coffee pot or thermos (such as that pictured below) and as it is bitter, it is enjoyed with a beautiful, sweet date. The best local variety of dates, in my opinion, are the Khalas dates. They are small, light colored and taste like caramel!
Gahwa coffee is traditionally kept in a pot called dallah and poured into a small cup called finjaan. A finjaan is the size of a Turkish coffee cup. To read more about the history and customs related to Gahwa, click on the following links:
I was taught to make Gahwa coffee by a wonderful Emirati friend.
3 finjaan of coffee beans
1 tablespoon of whole cardamom pods
A pinch of saffron
1 and 1/2 liters of water
In a pan over a stove top, dry roast coffee beans with cardamom pods. Once roasted, let them cool and then pass through a coffee grinder.
Place the water in a pot and add the coffee mix with a pinch of saffron.
Bring the water to a boil and then bring the temperature down to a gentle simmer. Repeat this process two more times and then serve and enjoy.
Gahwa is served with the dallah pot in the left hand and the finjaan in the right hand.