One of the world’s greatest and most important civilizations, Egypt’s almost timeless heritage evokes pharaohs, pyramids and mummies. But still rather unknown, coffee is a tradition that also resists the test of time, definitely anchored in the habits of both young and old.
A reflection of a multifaceted society
Coffee was popularized during the 16th century in Egypt and quickly became what wine is to Europeans: an ordinary drink. Shortly afterwards, hundreds of cafés opened in Cairo, the capital.
Restricted to men, these cafés were frequented by the wealthy, who made use of the discretion and coziness of these places to talk business, to look after their networks and acquaintances, and also to gauge public opinion.
The more rural and simple populations, such as the craftsmen or the Bedouins, also made the frequentation of cafés part of their daily routine, to entertain themselves and rest after a hard day’s work.
Above all, it was a real means of socialization, as one could see people of different origins and conditions meeting, exchanging and joining together in a common community. Cafés quickly became a place of conviviality and hospitality: almost like the intimacy of home by extension.
So, are you familiar with the technique of preparing Egyptian coffee? Very similar to Turkish coffee, it requires patience and a precise respect for the steps.
The ingredients are very finely grinded coffee, cardamom and sugar according to taste. Everything is boiled, twice. The mixture is then poured into the cups, and the coffee grounds will naturally sink to the bottom of the cup after resting for 5 to 10 minutes.
Ready to travel to Egypt? Get your cups.