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Discovering the Rich Heritage of Emirati Gahwa: From its Traditional Preparation to its Significance in UAE Culture

Qahwa, also known as Arabic coffee, is a traditional coffee made from roasted coffee beans that is popular in the Middle East, especially in the UAE. It is an essential part of the country’s heritage and culture and is often served to guests as a sign of hospitality.

The preparation of Qahwa involves several steps and is considered an art form. The coffee beans are roasted, ground, and then brewed in a traditional coffee pot called a Dallah. The coffee is then served in small cups called Finjan, along with dates or sweets.

Qahwa has a distinct flavor and aroma, which comes from the use of spices such as cardamom and saffron. It is often served during special occasions, such as weddings and religious festivals, and is a symbol of social gatherings and community spirit.

In the UAE, the serving of Qahwa has a specific protocol. The coffee is served by the host or hostess, and the cup is passed to the guest using the right hand. The guest is then expected to take three sips and return the cup to the host, indicating that they have had enough. If the guest wants more, they can tilt the cup slightly to indicate that they would like a refill.

The significance of Qahwa in UAE’s heritage goes beyond just its preparation and serving. It is considered a symbol of hospitality, generosity, and friendship. It is a way of showing respect and appreciation to guests and is often accompanied by lively conversation and storytelling.

Arabica coffee beans have been cultivated in the Middle East for centuries and are still grown in several countries in the region, including Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. The beans are typically harvested by hand and sun-dried and are often roasted in small batches over an open flame to produce a unique flavor and aroma.

In conclusion, Qahwa, or Arabic coffee, is an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and culture. Its preparation and serving are steeped in tradition and protocol, and it symbolizes hospitality, community, and friendship. Its popularity has also contributed to the country’s economy and identity as a major producer and exporter of coffee beans.

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