Arabic coffee is a traditional hot drink that is enjoyed throughout the Arab world and beyond. This rich and flavorful beverage has a long and fascinating history, which is intertwined with the culture and customs of the Arab people.
The origins of Arabic coffee can be traced back to the 15th century, when coffee was first cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula. The first coffeehouses, known as qahwah khaneh, were established in Mecca and quickly spread throughout the region, becoming a popular gathering place for people to socialize and discuss important issues.
The preparation and serving of Arabic coffee is a highly ritualized process that is steeped in tradition. The coffee beans are roasted to a deep, rich brown and then ground to a fine powder. The ground coffee is then mixed with water and heated in a small pot known as a dallah. The coffee is served in small, handle-less cups known as finjan, which are often decorated with intricate designs and patterns.
Arabic coffee is more than just a beverage – it is an important aspect of Arab culture and hospitality. It is customary for hosts to serve coffee to guests as a sign of welcome and respect. The serving of Arabic coffee is also an opportunity for social interaction, as guests are expected to engage in conversation and exchange pleasantries.
But did you know that, in addition to its cultural significance, Arabic coffee also has health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants and has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Despite its long history and cultural significance however, the future of Arabic coffee is uncertain. The rise of global coffee chains and the popularity of Western-style coffee drinks have led to a decline in the consumption of traditional Arabic coffee. Thankfully, there is also a growing movement to preserve and promote the traditions of Arabic coffee, and to introduce it to a new generation of coffee drinkers.
In the United Arab Emirates, that charge is being lead by entrepreneur, Ali Mansoor.
Although Ali holds an academic qualification in Engineering, he found his calling in PR and communications. It became his passion which he turned into his profession. With over a decade of experience across the MENA region, Europe and the US, Ali held numerous positions, from production assistant to Chairman and CEO.
Ali is passionate about enabling people to build brands and businesses that are human-centric. More recently, he developed an interest in the coffee industry, leading him co-launch a coffee trading company focused on sustainable and ethical coffee sourcing and trading. With his newest project, UAE-born Al Dallah w Al Finyal, Ali aspires to carve a unique niche for Gahwa (Arabic coffee) in the local and global coffee market.
“My passion for Gahwa (Arabic Coffee) and my hope to raise its profile from local to global, were the inspiration for Al Dallah w Al Finyal. The cappuccino or V60 is now found at every corner around the world and have become go-to beverages. When we order those, we know what to expect every time.
I want to introduce a fresh concept, something exciting to discover and learn about. I want to take authentic UAE-made Gahwa out of the confines of homes, majlises and the MENA region to the global coffee market where consumers can enjoy it and learn about it every day.
While increasingly competitive, I think the global coffee market could welcome a new product: Gahwa. The challenge ahead of us is significant, but my philosophy has always been that one ought to be daring to break new ground.”
Al Dallah W Al Finyal is introducing traditional Arabic Gahwa in a trendy, sophisticated manner. It’s a infused with emotion and style along with plenty of stories to tell. It will lead the way of how the world will experience Gahwa.
The inspiration for the brand is Alia Sultan Aljoker. Born in Deira, the heart of old Dubai, Alia’s fondness for photos and cameras lead to her becoming one of the UAE’s leading artists. But it was her photograph of an elderly Emirati woman holding a cardboard sign above her head, reading “We’ve reached Mars”, that caught Ali’s eye. Dressed in traditional clothing, her eyes revealed a smile obscured behind a golden burqa. The sidr tree, which holds a symbolic value in Emirati culture, loomed in the background.
It was Alia’s beautiful merging of contemporary and traditional Emirati culture that inspired Ali to create Al Dallah W Al Finyal. In fact, Alia’s own words beautifully encapsulates the foundation of the brand: “A strong future depends on strong roots.”
The brand will launch with 2 Products: Gahwat Al Dhaif and Gahwat al Kaif.
Available via Instagram now. And soon in the UAE’s most exclusive retail outlets.