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How To Make Yemeni Coffee

There seems to be an increasing number of ways to brew coffee, with a new one being invented every other day. So which way is the best way? Everyone tastes things differently. So, to find your best cup of coffee, your best bet is to experiment. Play around with ingredients, brewing methods, and flavors to figure out what exactly you like. Regardless of what you prefer, some recipes depend on the type of coffee you’re brewing there may be some ways that are better than others for certain bean types. In terms of Yemeni coffee, the traditional way undoubtedly wins over any competition.

Qishr, or Yemeni ginger coffee, is a sweet tasting coffee drink, also referred to as a coffee substitute. It is traditionally served in a small cup, like an espresso cup, and made with the outer shell of the coffee bean, called the husk. Oh, and did we say it’s supposed to be sweet? It’s fairly simple to make and will change the way you think about home brewed coffee forever.

To create this Yemeni classic, all you need is Yemeni coffee beans (important for the overall taste), a grinder, ginger, sugar, and a small stovetop pot. First, grind the beans down to a fine powder, again resembling the process for making espresso. You then place 6 teaspoons of grounds, 4-6 teaspoons of sugar to taste, 2 teaspoons of ginger, and about one cup (~250 ml) of water into the small pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to come to rest, and then return to heat. Let the mixture to come to a boil and then to rest again. Repeat this process a third time, pour into small cups and enjoy.

Allowing the coffee mixture to boil and rest multiple times brings out the taste and aromas in a bold and flavorful way. This is a respected and time honored tradition, and one in which many take great pride. Making Yemeni coffee is considered an art form.

In a somewhat modern twist, the recipe can be altered to fit personal preferences as mentioned above. Different spices such as cinnamon or cardamom can be added to tweak the flavor profile and spice level, or milk might be added to create a creamier texture. However, the main process stays the same whichever way you choose to indulge.

As in many countries, coffee in Yemen has it’s own sort of culture surrounding it. It may be enjoyed as a morning beverage, or when hosting visitors at your home, and is best enjoyed in the company of friends and family. As Yemeni coffee makes it’s comeback in the U.S. these new techniques are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are we learning that the best mocha’s are made with Mocha beans, but also some of the best ways to drink coffee in general come from a place that has been rich in coffee culture for centuries.

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