The Land of Incense | The Man | The Call of Ancestors | Ritual Hunting | The Bazaar | “My Home Is My Castle” | The Woman | Hospitality and Coffee | Women’s Work | A Taste of Sun | Where Two Worlds Meet

Hospitality and Coffee

According to Bedouin custom, the master of the house must give refuge to any traveller and feed and protect him for three days. During the time of his stay the guest may not see a single woman from the master’s family, but how he is received depends on the women. One of the poets of Hadramawt said: the husband must be generous without thinking, but the wife (or wives: for under the laws of Islam one man can have up to four wives at once) — must be careful and frugal, for days of plenty are followed by days of hunger.

Hospitality is announced by a loud thud of the pestle in the mortar where coffee is ground. Yemenis are proud that their country introduced the entire world to coffee over four centuries ago. It came from the port of Mocha, which gave its name to a famous type of coffee — mocha. The pan for frying coffee beans — mihmasa — has become a symbol of Arabic hospitality. In Yemen, people drink coffee made of beans (bunn) or coffee husks (qishr) with a high level of caffeine; cardamom, ginger and honey are added to the drink. However, many Yemeni prefer to drink tea with peppermint or milk.

 Coffee: from coffee berries with husks (from which the drink qishr is made) to roasted coffee beans.
Coffee: from coffee berries with husks (from which the drink qishr is made) to roasted coffee beans.
Mortar — minhaz for coffee. Hadramawt.
Mortar — minhaz for coffee. Hadramawt.
Coffee cup — finjan. Hadramawt.
Coffee cup — finjan. Hadramawt.
 

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