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Hassouni

Yemeni milk tea

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So at some Yemeni cafes here that I've gone to, the drink of choice seems to be a big glass of strong, very sweet, very milky tea - almost like masala chai without the spices, but thicker in mouthfeel. I'm guessing low-grade tea is boiled and then evaporated milk and sugar are added, or even condensed milk. Has anyone had this? It's kind of nice when it gets cold out.

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That picture on the link looks about right...I don't think what I've had had cardamom in it though

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I found this on line when looking - sounds really good although it would take a lot to pry me away from my Lebanese/Arabic coffee in the morning!! http://www.yemen-today.com/go/general/7402.html

What is the Arabic coffee like? The only "Arabic" coffee I've had has been Turkish coffee, made in a briki, very finely ground and boiled up, with sugar. Sometimes with added cardamom.

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I suspect Turkish coffee is what's meant. "Arabic coffee" is a lot rarer and means two different things depending on where you are - in the most traditional sense (Iraq and the Arabian peninsula) it means barely roasted, still mostly green coffee coarsely pounded with about its weight in cardamom, and boiled up into a thin, sort of odd-tasting drink. An acquired taste, with no sugar, usually reserved for serving to guests. In the Levant, "Arabic coffee" is extremely dark roasted coffee, without cardamom, with or without sugar, simmered for 1-2 hours to create a super concentrated dose drunk in little shots, usually from street vendors or after a meal. However, in the Levant, Turkish coffee, usually referred to as such, is much more common.


Edited by Hassouni (log)

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Also, briki is Greek. It comes from the Arabic "ibriiq" which simply means pitcher. In Arabic the device for making Turkish coffee is called either a rakweh or a dalla, with the latter more specifically being what's used to make traditional Arabic coffee (in Iraq, dalla refers to both). Personally, despite my Arab background, I call the Turkish coffee pot by its Turkish name, cezve (pron. jez-veh)

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In Kuwait we drank a very pale Arabic coffee which almost looks more like tea, flavoured with cardomom, saffron, cloves and cinnamon and boiled for a long time and served with dates to counteract the bitterness. "Lebanese" coffee to me on the otherhand is finely ground coffee and crushed cardamom. I have too many Lebanese Armenian friends to call it Turkish coffee and my Lebanese friends of any background baulk at anything Lebanese being described as Arabic - never has coffee been quite so political!!!

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Thank you both for the education. My husband's family is Greek and god forbid I should call the coffee they make in the briki "Turkish" -- I'd get shot! (His ancient grandmother used to say very sternly, "Greeks drink Greek coffee. Turkish coffee is only for Turks.") My husband lived in Egypt and Saudi for a number of years and was always talking about the cardamom coffee (mostly from his time in Saudi, I think), but insisted it wasn't the standard dark coffee flavored with cardamom and I couldn't figure out what he meant. When I read him your description of the green roasted coffee, thin and odd, he said, "Yes, that's it!" Eureka!

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Re: Turkish, Greek, Lebanese coffee - it is all Turkish coffee. It was invented in the Ottoman empire and drunk among the high society of Istanbul, from where it spread throughout the empire - the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa. Lebanese in Lebanon seem to almost universally call it Turkish coffee, while restaurants here seem to call it Lebanese/Arabic, but I suspect that's to avoid confusion ("but this is a Lebanese restaurant, why is the coffee Turkish?")

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