Marjeyounis, like me, from Jdeidet Marjeyoun in South Lebanon, are known for their love of cardamom-flavoured Arabic coffee. I still remember my grandmother roasting the green coffee beans in a special pan and the sweet smell of coffee filling the whole place. She would grind the freshly roasted beans with cardamom seeds in a special grinder and then gently cook a big pot of coffee.
My summer memories of Jdeidet Marjeyoun are of the several cordial visits you do during the day. Being more a residential town than a touristic one, the best entertaining activity you could have was to visit family and friends over a cup of coffee. By the time you had finished your round, you would have drunk at least 10 cups of coffee if not more, as declining your host’s offering would have been an insult for their hospitality, regardless the fact that your heart palpitation might have reached some critical level…
Moreover, the Marjeyouni community in Beirut is so big that some coffee roasters have introduced a special blend called “Kahwe marjeyounieh” to meet the growing demand, and to supply transplanted Marjeyounis with their favourite hot drink.
Kahwe Arabiyye – Arabic Coffee with Cardamom
- 500 ml boiling water
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar optional
- 2 tablespoons ground Arabic coffee from a dark or semi-dark Arabian or Ethiopian Mocca bean
- Seeds of 2 cardamom pods
- Add the boiling water to a coffee cooking pot, leaving 1 cm on top. Stir in the sugar, the coffee and the cardamom seeds. Let brew on low to medium heat until it starts boiling and foaming. When it starts rising to the top, remove from stove and let foam settle to avoid over boiling.
- Return pot to the stove and allow to reach a boil and a foam again as in the first stage. Repeat procedure once or twice.
- Let rest for a minute before serving.