Open Up to Traditional Coffee With a Modern Twist

Italian coffee lovers can head to ‘Signature’ where the Caramel Latte and White Mocha are guaranteed to put a pep in your step.

Coffee is the ultimate symbol of hospitality in Arabian heritage, and so it is with a piping hot cup of ‘gahwa’ and succulent dates that a veteran coffee maker serves visitors at the ongoing Sharjah Heritage Days.

Mohamed Ahmed Al Tamimi brews Arabic coffee over a rudimentary fireplace dug into the ground at the fest’s recreated ‘Bedouin Village’. Seated on the sand, like the Bedouins of the past, he gently roasts aromatic Arabica beans over the hot wood-burnt fire, in a small circular pan.

It is the differences in the roasting technique that makes the flavours of each region distinct, he explained, as he prepared to powder the beans when it turned just the right shade. A dash of saffron and cardamom were added after brewing to balance the high-intense, full-bodied flavour of the beverage. Occasionally, rose water is added to enhance the aroma.

He uses three types of dallah or coffee pots to prepare the coffee — one for boiling, the other for filtering, and another for serving.

Head over to the ‘Mountain Environment’ section at the festival to savour another cup of hot Arabic coffee prepared in a similar manner.

With the coffee-drinking culture so deeply entrenched in the Middle Eastern culture, Sharjah Heritage Days offers a choice of specialty coffees to cater to all tastes. At Cofina, located at the food trucks area, it is the velvety and creamy Spanish Latte that is the best seller. “Made with high quality Brazilian beans, visitors enjoy the balanced taste of coffee and sweetness it offers,” said the barista.

Italian coffee lovers can head to ‘Signature’ where the Caramel Latte and White Mocha are guaranteed to put a pep in your step.

The heritage festival runs until April 10 at the Heart of Sharjah.

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