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Coffee History

  The Tradition of serving Gahwa
It is the host's privilege to serve his guests.

To refuse the first round is considered an insult to the host.
Strict rules of etiquette are observed in the serving order. If only men are present, the most important person in the room is served first. Age takes precedence if there is any doubt as to rank. Until a few years ago men were always served before women, but today that custom is often reversed. The cups are only half filled, but guests may have several refills. It is polite to accept an odd number of cups -- one, three or five. When the guest is finished, he should jiggle the empty cup from side to side, indicating to the host that he has had sufficient coffee.

Gahwa is never sweetened with sugar.
Instead, fresh dates are offered to accompany the aromatic brew. Dates contains natural sugars that refresh and sweeten the palate between each sip of gahwa.

To be served a cup of this unique beverage is more than just
refreshment, it is considered proof that the guest is revered
and honoured in Saudi Arabia

The host will say "Ahlan Wa Sahlan"
('Welcome') when
offering a cup of gahwa.

Part I - Journey To India . Part II - The Obsession . Part III - The Holy Drink . Part IV - The Coffee Houses . Part V - Coffee & Sex

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