Kahawa (Coffee)

Coffee was first discovered and consumed in the Ethiopian province of Kaffa. According to legend, a shepherd noticed his sheep were especially lively after eating a certain plant, he tried it and noticed the same effects on himself. People then started mixing the beans of that plant with butter or fat to form cakes. Later, monks in the Ethiopian church consumed it to stay awake during prayers. After that, people in North-eastern Africa and nearby Arabia were using the beans to make a fermented, alcoholic beverage, as well as what is now known as Kawa, Kahwa, Kahwah, Gahwa, Guhwah, Kahawa. The rest of the world calls it, Coffee.


(recipe may be doubled)

1. one litre of cold water
2. seeds from one or two cardamom pods
3. three tablespoons freshly ground coffee beans
4. 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
5. 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)


There are two methods in which this coffee can be brewed.

Method 1:

1. In a saucepan combine all ingredients. (Just water, cardamom seeds, and coffee for the basic brew.)
2. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat and maintain at a low boil for ten to fifteen minutes.
3. Pour through a strainer into a coffee pot and serve hot.

Method 2:

1. Bring water and cardamom seeds to the boil. Keep on a low boil for ten minutes.
2. Add coffee.
3. Simmer for five minutes more.
4. Add ground cardamom and ginger (if desired).
5. Pour through a strainer into a coffee pot and serve hot.

Source: The Congo Cookbook


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