You haven’t experienced real Omani culture until you’ve been invited to the Omani Qahwa. Yes, this unique word means coffee, but there is so much more to it than a simple cup of brown, hot drink. It is a complete course of hospitality that reflects the exceptional essence of Omani heritage. Here are all the distinctive wonders you need to know about this splendid culture of Qahwa.
Qahwa, (or kahwa) is the Arabic word for coffee. Nevertheless, Arabic coffee has a specific taste that distinguishes it from how it is served in other non-Arab countries. The way coffee is prepared is also different, and sometimes almost every Arabic country has its unique method of making it. In Oman, for example, qahwa covers a bigger meaning of hospitality than in other countries. Qahwa in Oman refers to what guests are served when they are invited to an Omani house. It includes the Omani coffee, different Omani dates (fresh and dried), fruits, Omani halwa (dessert) and cakes and bakery. Omanis even use the word “qahwa” as a verb to invite people to their houses.
Omani qahwa uses spices and flavours to give a unique taste to the coffee. The main ingredients include: saffron, rose water and cardamon. However, some people also like to add cloves and cinnamon. These ingredients are boiled in simmering water to mix flavours.
Omanis are some of the most generous Arabs. They love inviting people to their houses and serving them with their best food, desserts and drinks. They are so hospitable that they’re known to welcome people into their homes every day.
Omanis usually sit on the floor in a circle, where the food is in the middle. They sit close to each other and make guests feel welcomed and treated like family. You can ask to sit on a chair if you can’t sit on the floor for a long time. Make sure that you don’t eat before you visit Omanis because they will offer you a lot of food.
The traditional course of hospitality in Oman usually starts with qahwa and dates. Beside the dates bowl, there will be a water bowl. You should gently wash your fingers in the bowl before you start eating dates Then, the host will serve coffee in a small cup. If you want another cup of coffee, you simply give your cup to the host. If you don’t want to drink anymore, make sure you shake your cup before you give it back to the host.
The coffee is served in a traditional hot coffee thermos called Dallah. These pots are also representative of the rich heritage of Omani metalwork and, more generally, traditional crafts. Shipbuilding, weaving, pottery making, and metalsmithing with copper, silver, and gold have always played an important role in the urban, rural, and pastoral economy of Oman, with skills handed down from one generation to the next. Some traditions date back as far as the third millennium BCE, and the government now works to preserve and encourage craftsmanship—as reflected in Oman’s participation in the Festival.