Our World Interviews–Making Arabic Coffee



Coffee with grape vines in paint cropped

Description: This is an Arabic and English interview in Lebanese Arabic.  Leslie and Zeina talk about the process of making Arabic coffee.  Zeina reads a description about how to make the coffee and then describes the process as she makes it.  She points out how important it is not to let the coffee boil over on the stove.  Then while they drink the coffee they discuss the friendly tradition in Lebanon of neighbors always visiting each other.  Zeina notes what sort of food or drink might be offered, (depending on the time of day) besides the coffee—sweets, manakeesh, a special raspberry juice and cheese etc.,  She particularly and fondly describes everyone coming to her sister’s home to visit.  They conclude with a final thank you and continue drinking their coffee in the sunshine. (Recipe follows below the verbs and vocabulary.)

Question:  “ Hello, Welcome to Our World Interviews. Today we’re in a sunny southern California kitchen and we’re going to be speaking in Arabic and English and we’re going to be talking about Lebanese food and culture.  Good morning Zeina,___________صباخ الخير____   . “  “________صباح الخير ليسلي, كيفك اليوم؟__ — Leslie”–. __شكرا___” اهلا وسهلا بهذا النهار الحلو, افتكر (اعتقد) انه لسه بكير هلا (الان) تعالي نعمل القهوه العربية.___Okay, so tell me what we need to do to get started to make this delicious coffee?”


Important Verbsيذهب – go, يتكلم – speak, يتحدث – talk, يخبر – tell, يحتاج- need, يبدأ – start, ينتظر- wait, يسأل – ask, يغلي – boil, نضع – put, يفضل – prefer, يحرك – stir, يفضل – prefer, يعود , return, يشرب – drink, ينزل – go down, يزور – visit, يفيض - spill over, يسكب – pour, يتجنب – avoid, يخدم (يضيّف) – serve.


Important Vocabulary:اليوم – today, مشمس- sunny, جنوب- south/southern, كاليفورنيا – California, مطبخ – kitchen, عربي- Arabic,  انكليزي – English, لبناني – Lebanese, طعام – food, ثقافة – culture, الدلة , Coffee pot ( Dallah), غاز – gas, مع سكر – with sugar, بدون سكر – without sugar, عزيمة ( دعوة) – invitation, سؤال – question, أهلا وسهلا – welcome, حلو ( جميل) – beautiful, مبكر  -early, القهوة العربية – Arabian Coffee, ماء – water, ربع – quarter, ملعقة – spoon, نار – fire, رائحة – smell, مذاق- taste,  بعض الاحيان – sometimes, شوي شوي ( تدريجيا)- gradually, خفيفة – light, لذيذة – delicious, فرحان  ( مبسوط) – happy, ماما – Mama ( mother), زوار ( ضيوف) – visitors, لازم نتعلم ( يجب ان نتعلم ) – we have to learn, عمري عشر سنوات – ten years old, بابا – baba ( father), جبنة – cheese, لبنة – labena, زيتون – olive, كنافة بالجبن – kunafa with cheese, خيار – cucumber, ,وقت محدد – specific time, ضيافة – hospitality, فواكه – fruits,  بقلاوة – baklava, صيف – Summer,  شراب التوت – raspberry juice, شجرة كبيرة – big tree, زوجة اخ – sister in law, محلات – stores ( shops), محلات عربية – Arabian stores, جيران – neighbors, حلويات – desserts, كيك – cake, كيك بالعسل – honey cake, بنت – daughter, بسكويت –cookies, وصفة – description, مهم – important.


Here is the process described briefly in English.:-)

Arabic coffee process


Arabic coffee –2 full teaspoons and ¼ teaspoon depending on strength preferred

1 cup water


A special small pot for making Arabic coffee


First boil the water in a special pot; a small ½ , or less, teaspoon of sugar may be added now.

When the water starts boiling remove the pot briefly from the stove and add the coffee.   (It is best to remove it briefly  to avoid the  possibility of the coffee  spilling over the pot.)

Additionally, stay near the coffee, and observe and stir, to ensure that the coffee doesn’t spill over later.

Boil on low heat for another two minutes; then pour in small cups and serve. And drink with friends in a beautiful garden–if you can. :-)

Zeina cropped backyard