According to the famous legend, the Arabian coffee-drinking began almost 12 centuries ago (850 A.D.) when an Abyssinian goat herder noticed that while the afternoon sun made him drowsy, his flock frolicked and skipped about after nibbling at some berries.
When his wife saw how energetic the normally exhausted husband was, she urged him to share the miraculous discovery with the local holy man at the monastery. This is the legend!
In the Qatari society coffee has a special meaning and place in the collective memory. It is a symbol of generosity and hospitality. Qataris serve it in ceremonies and weddings.
Because of this importance and respect, the Arabian coffee (Kahwa in the North of Africa and Gahwa in the Middle East), Arabs in general and Qataris in particular insist on some rituals to prepare a cup of coffee.
Arabian coffee is a token of generosity and hospitality in our culture, Khalifa Alsayed, told Qatarinfo.net, adding that it is very essential in solving problems as the two parties could be served coffee before starting negotiations.
Arabian coffee is not confined to some people or categories, he explained. It is a popular drink, he insist.
The preparation, serving and drinking of gahwa (Arabian coffee) are individual rituals derived from Bedouin hospitality. These traditions are still practiced today with the same ceremonies and etiquette which have prevailed for centuries.
To pour coffee is not given to any one. There are some rituals that should be respected. The pouring should make a sound. Historically this sound is made to draw the attention of the guest in case he lose attention. To say one has drought enough coffee, he should move the cup right and left.
Qataris consider the fact of not serving Arabian coffee to guests as an offense and lack of respect, according to the researcher, who says that some of them believe that it is good to invite the guest himself to participate in preparing coffee.
Some of the equipment used in preparing the pure Arabian coffee in Qatar and most of the Arab world:
Alkhamra: It is the local name of the recipient used to boil water in order to prepare coffee and sometimes the rest of the ingredients mixed with coffee.
Almezal or Almaklama: of medium size. It is used to pour coffee inside it and mix it with water. Usually boiled on wood.
Almassab: It is the smallest recipient used in preparing Arabian coffee. It come as a second step in preparing the coffee as it is used for the pure coffee before serving it in cups.
Almihmas: A special pan used for roasting the coffee beans
Almekla: (The pan) it is usually used when no roaster is available (Almihmas). Because it is lighter than the mehmas people tend to use it instead of the mehmas.
Almihbash: it is made from the brass or bronze. It serves for grinding the coffee beans. Sometimes it might be made of thick wood that could be ornamented.
Alhawn: it is either steel or brass and is used to squeeze coffee beans inside using the Almihbash.
The cup: there are several sizes of the cups used to serve the Arabian coffee.