Coffee, which is generally linked to South America, is in fact one of the most preferred beverages in the Arab world. It is drunk by people of all ages since it invigorates and relaxes. According to an Arab legend, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian shepherd named Khalid.
He noticed how his sheep became more excitable after grazing from the coffee bush. He immediately attempted to make his own coffee, noticed the effects of the caffeine and decided that he must share the secrets of this beverage with the monks of the nearby monastery.
They, naturally, were impressed by the energizing effect of the warm beverage, which turned out to be the #1 ally in helping them stay up during nighttime prayers. And indeed the name of coffee is connected to the very birth of Islam because that's when other invigorating drinks, such as alcohol, started to become inconsequential.
Today, despite Brazil and other Latin American countries being the main producers of coffee, we know that the 1st cultivated coffee bush was grown in Yemen. And it was the Yemeni who began to roast the beans and implement coffee trade. At the end of the 10th century, Persian physician al-Razi mentioned it in his scientific works under the name bunchum.
With everything written thus far, it's not at all strange why coffee is linked with authentic rituals and has turned into a symbol of hospitality in the entire Arab world. The latest statistics indicate that the Arab countries consume the most coffee, followed by the Scandinavian countries. The greatest amounts of coffee are consumed in Lebanon, Algeria, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait.
But if you decide to drink coffee in an Arab country, you must familiarize yourself with the rituals related to the traditional drink. Here's what's important to know:
1. Don't be offended when you see the host pouring coffee for themselves first. This ritual, bequeathed by the Bedouins, has to do with the idea that the host must be the first to try the coffee in order to make sure that it's well prepared.
2. You must always ask for a second cup of coffee before you leave, otherwise the host will be offended.
3. If you ask for a third cup of coffee, this will lead to an inseparable friendship and the host will have to swear to be your eternal guardian.
4. If you are offered a third cup of coffee but don't accept it you will serious offend the host.