In the modern part of Dubai, it’s pretty hard to find places, which offer the atmosphere of traditional Arabic life. A couple of years ago the Coffee Museum located in one of the quiet streets, became one of such authentic venues. This place is not well-known among the tourists, but local citizens come here to enjoy fresh coffee and hold friendly talks. This quiet café with home atmosphere offers traditional coffee ceremonies and Arabic qahwah. Coffee is not just a drink in this part of the world, but a sign of friendship, respect, and hospitality.
The Coffee Museum is located on two levels of an ancient building in Al Fahidi area not far from the Dubai Museum of History. The Coffee Museum looks really basic outside, and only the tasteful coffee aroma attracts the visitors, who could simply miss this incredible place. So follow the aroma, and you will have a chance to enjoy a cup of the best coffee here.
Traditional Ceremonies in Coffee Museum
As soon as you enter the Coffee Museum, you will feel at home with your good old friends. The venue is immersed in the quiet and patient music, the walls are decorated with paintings and quotes from Quran. Small tables are located right next to the low oriental couches, while the air is full of coffee and spices.
Guests are welcomed by a very kind lady, who offers to try famous al qahwah. It’s an old tradition in the oriental world, and every guest has to drink it before going further. In general such coffee has to be cooked by the owner of the house in order to show you hospitality and respect. You need to drink it very slowly, enjoying each part of this incredible coffee. Drinking al qahwah too fast can be considered as disrespect.
In case if you want to discover local traditions, you can order a coffee ceremony. There is a couple of secluded halls on the first floor of the venue. According to the tradition guests and the family member have to sit on the floor next to a low table with all the instruments for coffee making.
During the first step, the guests have to burn the coffee beans, strictly controlling the fire in order not to destroy the amazing taste. After that, the beans have to be put in a metal scrapper in order to get a bit colder. Later all of them have to be crushed in the mortar and put into a special kettle with hot water. The coffee has to be almost boiled three times. Every time when the temperature gets close to 100 degrees, it has to be decreased in order to avoid boiling.
Coffee Museum is not really popular among the tourists for now, but local people are coming here to have a cup of the tastiest coffee, and hold a friendly conversation. The quiet café with the home atmosphere is the great place for a coffee ceremony. One can also taste the famous Arabic qahwah, buy coffee beans from all over the world, and discover the best secrets of the coffee world.
Before offering coffee to guests, it has to be poured into a beautiful coffeepot with a long nose with palm fibers, which prevent coffee residues from going out from the coffeepot. Firstly, the owner has to taste coffee himself in order to be sure that it has the required quality and aroma. The second person is the most respected guest.
Traditional Arabic coffee is light brown and a bit sour. It’s made from green beans, which are not too dry. The coffee is added with cardamom and saffron before serving.
Antique tools and coffee from different parts of the world
After getting to the second level, one can discover the history of coffee and a lot of interesting facts about it. For example, we all know that Ethiopia is the homeland of coffee beans, but they were used in order to create a drink only in Yemen.
The museum also offers a huge collection of incredible items and tools. One can find ancient coffee grinders, coffee cooking machines, as well as many other tools, which look incredibly complex without explanations from the guide.
The best way is to combine theory and practice, thus you can walk around drinking fresh coffee. The small shop offers beans from more than 20 countries in the world. No doubt that you can’t try all of them at the same time, but you definitely need to taste at least a couple.
People from the oriental world are never in a hurry while drinking coffee, that’s why the museum offers a huge number of comfortable places for relaxation. You can take a seat, enjoying your drink, and the incredible aroma of spices. The youngest guests can easily play in the local playground.
A cup of coffee in the authentic museum is the best final for a long walk in the old city. Don’t be late because the café is closed at 17:00.
Coffee Museum in Dubai: coffee ceremony, traditional Arabic qahwah, and the unique atmosphere of the old town
Address: Villa 44, Al Fahidi historical area, Dubai, the UAE
Working hours: from 9.00 to 17.00, closed on Friday
Price: Museum admission is free, while coffee starts from 5 AED.